The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Book - 2013
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

" The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."--Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

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 longing for his mother, he clings to the 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 mesmerizing, 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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780316055437
0316055433
Characteristics: 771 p.

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Catmamakim May 18, 2015

At first sad and page-turning, the novel eventually became for me a bit long and tedious. However, it ultimately developed through the myriad of emotions and life experiences of the main character and was thoughtfully well-written. I would say that I would recommend it to others.

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ehbooklover Jan 29, 2015

This is a tough book to review. At some points, I absolutely loved it. At others, I actually debated giving up on it. It's beautifully written but at times I found it a tad monotonous. Most of the characters' poor choices (especially the protagonist's) frustrated me to no end and honestly, very f... Read More »

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debwalker Apr 17, 2014

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Citation: "For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

"Awarded to "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown), a beautifully written coming-of-age... Read More »


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l
liteman11
Oct 13, 2017

Tartt writes brilliantly at times in this novel, and she's clearly a genius. But she has a penchant for including all kinds of irrelevant details that fail to move the story along one iota. This book would have been better if she had left out every other sentence. I also must admit that I did not from page one buy that it was written by a male. Her voice is clearly a woman's. This novel is a worthwhile read, if you're not offended by drug use and violent crime, but I do not believe it rated a Pulitzer.

j
jontalk
Oct 10, 2017

While Donna is a prolific word smith whose vocabulary is PhD level, I find this story a bit slow, long and tedious at times. And while the life of the affluent is interesting as are character names and back story, I can't honestly say this is one of the best books I've read. Compared to authors like Richard Russo or Jonathan Franzen, to name a couple, I'm not a fan. I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it's not my cup of tea, no milk, lemon.

Bunny_Watson716 Sep 25, 2017

I love Donna Tartt's writing and didn't mind that this book was long -I was completely engrossed from the first page forwards. Her first book "The Secret History" is one of my all-time favourites and this will be too. Highly recommended - I'm sorry it took me so long to finally get to read this.

AL_KATI Jun 28, 2017

You have to commit to this book--it's incredibly long. The story is good, the character development is strong, and you might find yourself discouraged about halfway through because you'll think the editor needed to break out the red pen more often.

s
srd66669
May 27, 2017

At first, I thought I had found an interesting book! Although it was over 800 pages, I was optimistic that time spent would be worthwhile. Midway through the story, I found myself becoming tired of the very long descriptive paragraphs...and ,worse, becoming a little bored. I believe Tartt would have produced a better book if she shortened it to 300 pages. The story is not worth the time spent.

e
eoflanagan
May 09, 2017

One of the best books I've read in a while! Donna Tartt is an incredibly prolific writer and will have you hooked from page one. Truth be told, this is a very lengthy book, but I found it so captivating that I didn't want it to end. Like other reviewers said, this novel has a lot of dark undertones, but that doesn't mean you should shy away from it. In fact, I think it's because of her outstanding writing that it is easy to become enraptured with the story and dark feelings of the characters. Phenomenal story, and worth trying out.

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gabym17
Apr 17, 2017

This is one of the most brilliantly written novels out there. I loved it from beginning to end. Donna Tartt just breaks your heart with Theo's life, yet it's filled with so much fun with Boris. I absolutely loved Boris and he's my absolute favorite in the book. It's truly a great book and the characters and story are just rich in life. You'll want to read this book and never put it down.

z
zackary147
Mar 28, 2017

At times brilliant; however, indispersed between long sections of very downbeat and depressing self destruction. Overall a intriguing book, but Definitely not for anyone but optimists. One wonderds if perhaps the author was walking in the protagonist's shoes for a while and wanted us to get a feeling of what that was like. I, too had to put the book down at times, as it dragged me down or I just wanted to quit hanging in there with this character. Some of the side bars overshadowed the plot line.

s
Soundreader
Feb 18, 2017

From page one I was sucked into the story and world of Theo and could not put the book down. Tartt's descriptions are transporting and her characters, while almost too fantastical to be real, feel real in Theo's upside down world. The characters are the glue to this story but the mystery and plot move the story along. Highly recommend.

r
rheyven
Jan 20, 2017

This book KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF - an amazing, dizzying, virtuosic feat . I lived every minute of the story with the characters. I did not find it too long, in fact I wanted MORE. I missed the characters for weeks; they had become family. Now I'm having a hard time finding another novel that grips me like this one.

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gabym17
Apr 17, 2017

“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”

f
fallonbenner
Jun 16, 2015

“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”

KateyC Jun 26, 2014

Why does it cost so much, a thing like from kindergarten class? 'Ugly Blob.' 'Black Stick with Tangles." - Boris

j
jimg2000
Apr 13, 2014

That life -- whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. … It is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch (the Goldfinch painting). For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time – so too has love….

l
LauraM185
Jan 21, 2014

"A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are."

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Chapel_Hill_KenMc Oct 23, 2014

Chapel_Hill_KenMc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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siammarino Sep 22, 2014

Leo is in a museum in New York City when a terrorist sets off a bomb. Alive but stunned, Leo comforts a dying man who gives him a ring with instructions where to take it, and then he grabs a valuable painting of a goldfinch and makes his way out of the museum and home. His mother has died in the bombing, and his life from then on revolves around the painting, the girl Pippa who alerted him to the bomb, Pippa's uncle Hobie who takes in Teo and teaches him to restore antiques, and Boris who is just bad news. This is the story of the power of great artworks to grab you soul and not let go. It is also a powerful reminder of the plight of children who lose their parents, or whose parents don't care for them.

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