• The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (41,281 ratings)

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The Goldfinch  By  cover art

The Goldfinch

By: Donna Tartt
Narrated by: David Pittu
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Editorial review

By Sam Danis, Audible Editor


The Goldfinch was one of the first novels I listened to when I started working at Audible nearly a decade ago. I joined the team in September, and with this title releasing in a month’s time, I remember what a very big deal it was that a new Donna Tartt book was forthcoming (she only publishes about once a decade, after all). The plot is gripping: During a bombing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, two events alter the course of 13-year-old Theo Decker’s life. His mother—the most prominent figure in his life—is killed, and he grabs the painting they were there to see (the titular Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius), thereby becoming an accidental art thief. What follows is a coming-of-age story of epic proportions—about fate, loss, consequences, and the intangibility of home and family. It is at turns sentimental, suspenseful, melancholy, and hopeful.

I watched as the glowing reviews poured in, with no real intention to listen myself. A 32-hour audiobook seemed incredibly daunting when I was new to the world of audio entertainment—primarily, a podcast and short audiobook listener. And this, after all, was literary fiction.

Why did I ultimately decide to pick it up? I can’t recall exactly, but I imagine it had something to do with peer pressure. My fellow editors and I influence each other in the best of ways—nobody wants to be the last one to hear something truly amazing—and I think it was our fiction editor, Tricia, who first sung the praises of this one. So, I buckled in (read: put on my headphones) and prepared for whatever was to come.

Continue reading Sam's review >

Publisher's summary

Audie Award Winner, Solo Narration - Male, 2014

Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction, 2014

The author of the classic best-sellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and at the center of a narrowing, ever-more-dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

©2013 Donna Tartt (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

Narrator David Pittu accepts the task of turning this immense volume into an excellent listening experience. Pittu portrays 13-year-old orphan Theo Decker with compassion, portraying his growing maturity in this story of grief and suspense…Pittu adds pathos to his depiction of the troubled Theo as he deals with addiction and finds himself in a dance with gangsters and the art world's darker dealers. ( AudioFile)
"Dazzling....[A] glorious, Dickensian novel, a novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading." ( New York Times)
"A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art....Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters....A standout-and well-worth the wait." ( Kirkus, Starred Review)

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