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The Goldfinch [Paperback]

Donna Tartt
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,288 customer reviews)
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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 (1,288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6 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

Review

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
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Goldfinch 13 Dec 2013
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I discovered Donna Tartt through The Secret History and, although I enjoyed The Little Friend, I didn't feel it was in the same league as her debut. So, I approached this novel with some trepidation but, I am delighted to say, it was unnecessary. This is a masterpiece - in fact, it may well end up considered her greatest work. A huge, sweeping novel, which takes you on a roller coaster ride, doesn't let up for a minute, and has a breathtaking ending.

Theo Decker is a young boy when we meet him, who lives with his mother in an apartment block in New York. His father has left and his greatest worry at that point is that he has been suspended from school. On his way to a meeting with his headteacher, Theo and his mother visit an art gallery and his life changes forever. A bomb explodes and Theo is unable to find his mother. Instead, he finds an injured, elderly man, who he had seen before wandering the gallery with a young girl. Before dying, the man gives Theo a ring and he also takes a painting - The Goldfinch, a masterpiece painted in the 1600's. That whole scene is like a dreamscape, as Theo emerges onto the street almost unnoticed and returns home. However, he cannot remain alone forever and, before long, social workers emerge on the scene. From that moment on, Theo is shuttled from place to place. He spends time at the home of a school friend, visits the antique shop of the man he saw in the gallery and finds his business partner, James Hobart 'Hobie' and meets the girl, Pippa, is reclaimed by his estranged father, befriends another lost soul, Boris, at his new home in LA, before returning to New York. Throughout his travels, Theo is neglected, often lonely, always feels an outsider and, although he fears discovery, clings to the painting that he took that day. It is meaningless to say more - this is a huge book and you will need to give it your time and attention, but it will reward you amply. A stunning achievement and possibly the best book of the year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. 16 Aug 2014
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really was looking forward to this book, having read the secret history and loved it. I found the start of the goldfinch amazing, the portrayal of theo and his feelings of loss after his mothers death are the best. The reader can not help but be shocked at how he is abandoned by the state, his father and everyone around him.
The story then deteriorates, the death of his friend andy is just one loss too many, how much bad luck can one guy have? The use of drugs, too much and too much part of the story, clichéd and detracts from Theo's feelings. Boris again a caricature and why do we have to read about him in his bad english, it makes the story telling difficult to read and goes on too long. The gangster theme is unbelievable and the book slides downhill, a murder , getting away with it, buying the furniture back with all that money, really??? The rambling at the end about the point of life, an authors luxury which does little for the story. Disappointing.
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466 of 520 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 24 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover
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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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance and paradox 13 April 2014
Format:Paperback
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
A great read, has you hooked from the first page. I still don't know what this book is actually about, which makes me sound a bit thick! Read more
Published 2 minutes ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It's going to be a long read. I will keep at it.
Published 23 minutes ago by Mervyn Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars I have not enjoyed reading literature ever
How could you give this an adequate review on Amazon? Donna Tartt is probably the most significant author on the planet right now, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Read more
Published 25 minutes ago by Mrs. R. G. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now !
A wonderful read , I was so sorry to come to come to the end of this delightful book .
I would be more than happy to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an exciting ,... Read more
Published 4 hours ago by e.p.thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Still reading,unputdownable
Published 5 hours ago by eric
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely breathtaking, a masterpiece!!
I would highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone....exceptionally good read. Love, loss and finding oneself. Read it now!!!
Published 11 hours ago by Miss V Wilks
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh I loved this book
Oh I loved this book, despite making me cry several times. it resonated on so many levels and made me think about the world (and my time left in it) in a different way. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by izcullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, I can't recommend this book enough
Wonderful, I can't recommend this book enough. I was sad to see it end and can't wait for the film to come out. The characters were memorable as was the sweeping storyline.
Published 23 hours ago by Miss P. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Not finished (only just over half way through) but enthralled. Great understanding of intra family relationships and how parent child and sibling love and loyalty endure the... Read more
Published 23 hours ago by Wicked Thumbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Brilliant, amazing, the author has a profound understanding of the human condition, individual and societal.
Published 1 day ago by A VAN DER WERFF
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