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The Goldfinch [Paperback]

Donna Tartt
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

5 Jun 2014

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (5 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349139636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349139630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Secret History, The Little Friend, and The Goldfinch, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014.

Product Description


A glorious novel that pulls together all her remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

The Goldfinch is a triumph . . . Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction (Stephen King New York Times)

An astonishing achievement . . . if anyone has lost their love of storytelling, The Goldfinch will most certainly return it to them. The last few pages of the novel take all the serious, big, complicated ideas beneath the surface and hold them up to the light (Guardian)

A modern epic and an old-fashioned pilgrimage...Dickens with guns, Dostoevsky with pills, Tolstoy with antiques. And if it doesn't gain Tartt entry to the mostly boys' club that is The Great American Novel, to drink with life-members John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth et al, then we should close down the joint and open up another for the Great Global Novel - for that is what this is (Alex O’Connell The Times)

Book Description

Donna Tartt's phenomenally acclaimed new novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read 8 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this as part of a bookclub and was not my choice. I worried about 864 pages and how I would get through it.
Starts off good with an event that clearly impacts on Theo's life and will forever do- losing his beloved mother in a terrorist attack.
I lost interest for a while and got stuck around the "Vegas" chapter when Theo is taken to live with his father and pill popping girlfriend. I also felt the descriptions of Theo and Boris endless drug taking, drinking, glue sniffing went on for too long.

I think as an animal lover, i regained interest when Theo escaped vegas with Popchick(the maltese neglected dog of dads girlfriend)
and I was touched by his feelings for the dog throughout such a rubbish existence.I almost cried when he eventually turned up at Hobies and expected as always to get rejection and was brought in to safety and how surprised he was that someone may do that for him.
I read over 600 pages in 2 days after this point and it was at times a real page turner.

As someone with a faith in God, I didnt mind the Philosophising and God details at the end but wondered where they had come from m for both Boris and Theo as no such things appeared to have been discussed before.
I also wondered how Theo and Boris functioned with such endless drug use however, I do not have personal experience of just how much you can take and function with at any given time.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and at the risk of being controversial can say the Goldfinch painting never really carried that much weight with me throughout the book other than its obvious connections to a life long lost
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance and paradox 13 April 2014
Rarely these days does one find a writer brave enough to confront so unflinchingly the desperateness of the human condition in the 21st century. But Donna Tartt is such a writer and it is this which raises her novel The Goldfinch to the highest level of art. The protagonist Theo Decker has been compared to Pip in Great Expectations but the reality is that this is a far darker tale than Dickens' novel.

Dickens shines a light on the bleakness and wickedness at the heart of 19th century British industrial society but in his novels there is always the conviction that good and right will triumph in the end. This was still a Christian world he was writing about after all and his Victorian audience expected a happy ending even if the reality did not quite live up to it.

But the amoral world Theo Decker inhabits following the death of his mother in a terrorist attack in New York, is a world of unrelieved bleakness where there are no certainties any more. Once on the road to corruption through drugs, deception, stealing and dishonesty there is no way back. Without a family to offer some sort of protection or relief, Theo has absolutely no hope in a society which is fundamentally corrupt at every level.

From the well observed social workers whose job is to process Theo through the care system, to the wealthy Barbour family with their coolly efficient lifestyle, concealing fundamental psychological flaws, Donna Tartt paints a picture of quiet desperation where there is no longer any possibility of finding anything that resembles home ever again. It's a picture of alienation and as such utterly convincing. Only with Hobie the antique restorer and Welty's niece Pippa does Theo find a temporary bolt hole where he can genuinely relax.
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431 of 482 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 24 Oct 2013
This is a tough book to review without gushing and without giving away too much of the story. I am going to gush, because in this instance I can't help it, but I'm going to try to avoid giving away too much of the story, because many of the great delights of The Goldfinch come from that rare experience of reading for pleasure: turning the pages to see what happens next, and losing yourself in this world of someone's creation. So try to know as little about this book as you can before you start to read it. The Goldfinch is a novel of many wonderful surprises, whether it's the introduction of both major or minor characters, or plot twists I really never expected, or unexpected shifts of scenery. (And whoa! One change in location in particular is a masterclass in dramatic handling, artfully rendered and most purposefully done.)

But gush isn't enough, so let me just say this: if you're a fan of Harry Potter or Pinocchio or The Wizard of Oz, if you've enjoyed Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac or J.D. Salinger, or Huckleberry Finn or Walt Whitman, if you've had fun with Breaking Bad or Six Feet Under, if you can imagine Dickensian epics retold for the era of global capital and sprinkled with a dose of Buddhist sentiment, if you love the old masters of Dutch painting, if you love dogs, if you love little birds, if you've loved either of Donna Tartt's other novels, if you live for great storytelling, if you think that art can change the world and that we can love unquestioningly (deep breath) ... if any of the above apply to you in any way, there is a good chance that you might like or even (like me) love this book and be totally wrapped in its embrace.

The ending of the book just soars. It moved me to tears.

The Goldfinch is epic, and it's ambitious. The many fantastic reviews are warranted. It takes risks, and they worked magically for me. Books as pleasurable as this are rare events. Yes, I'm gushing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I recognise that many people liked this book but I am not one of them and I found it laboured and repetitive. For much of the time I felt bored by her writing and the content. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by viv
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. At times I wanted to scream at Andy but at the same time was struck by how a single moment can be life-defining. Read more
Published 3 hours ago by KLM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
met my expectatons in size and keeping mattress dry
Published 4 hours ago by Patricia Dusting
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails as entertainment
Fails as entertainment. Fails for inclusion in the best of World literature. I won’t be keeping this book for my library.

She can write but she does not entertain. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by JPSreviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic, thank you
Published 4 hours ago by Babalina
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the goldfinch, fragile characters, but hope remains intact....
5 stars even though I've not finished it yet, but the author has taken what could have been a gloomy, depressing subject and because of the main characters it still feels full of... Read more
Published 8 hours ago by Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing writing. One of the best Summer reads for ...
Wow! Speaking as a mother of boys I couldn't put this down. She deals with some really challenging topics through a story that is frankly extraordinary.
Amazing writing. Read more
Published 8 hours ago by Minstrals
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fully deserved her Pulitzer Prize for this
Published 8 hours ago by Jane West
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed this book
A good story well told; well developed complex characters in a well paced plot set against the backdrop of the museum and antiques business. Read more
Published 13 hours ago by M. O'Callaghan
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very hard to read, couldn't finish it.
Published 13 hours ago by lucy chidley
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