The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
Average Rating:
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"The author of the classic bestsellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel. A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America, and a drama of almost unbearable acuity and power. It is a story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
ISBN: 9781478980490
Branch Call Number: eAUDIO OVERDRI
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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shrybe
Apr 24, 2016

David Pittu is an outstanding audiobook reader. Some of the writing annoyed me - she has the main character talk in "lists" quite a bit throughout the whole book, but I wasn't annoyed enough to stop listening. 32 discs but finished well before the 3 weeks were up!

8
842FDD
Dec 06, 2015

I finished reading this book at the beginning of 2015 and it is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. I could not put it down and the detailed character development was a delight. The interactions between Theo and Boris are very important as they explain what is really happening to Theo. There is nothing like a tragic event to derail one's life. I wanted to keep reading more and was sorry the novel came to an end.

f
FVReader
Dec 05, 2015

I listened to this while jogging; an hour or so at a time. The story is slow, deliberate, detailed and interesting. It lent itself well to these hour or so long intervals. I enjoyed most of it immensely.
The story of losing one's focus or purpose in life and the need to find another is so well told. When Theo loses his mother, the only person and thing in his life of importance and stability, he loses that focus and purpose. He's lost and focusses instead on a painting, The Goldfinch.
There's so much more to this book than that but saying much more will give too much away. Suffice to say that the book is detailed (sometimes a bit too much so) and that Theo is annoying (sometimes incredibly so) in his naiveté and lack of understanding. Really!....but I suppose its all part of losing Life's focus and purpose.
Loved Hobie and Boris.
This is the first of Donna Tartt's books that I've read. I enjoyed her writing style and the story very much and look forward to her other books.

d
Drewlb
Jul 16, 2015

I agree with many of the previous comments. In addition I would like to say that the narration on the audiobook is superb. I as pleased with the way the story ended and was glad I stuck with it even though I was bogged down in the middle of the story. I kept asking why did this book win the Pulitzer Prize and in the end I get it. The author justifies her narrative in the closing chapter which I found interesting.

Agree with many previous comments; page turner for the first half but drags through the morass of addiction and some of the relationship dialogues with his friend Boris do bog down. Nevertheless, the play between fate and free choice, random events and our decisions to react to them are thought provoking. "Coincidence is God being anonymous" Theo quote at the end of the book, and even for those of us who are not theists, the magic of coincidence animates the plot and resonates through the novel.

o
OhMissJamie
May 22, 2015

Fantastic narrator; very long story - started off great, and then completely lost it's direction in endless teenage substance abuse and irrelevant bloat. Prose heavy and full of fluff.

I wouldn't have been able to get through it without the narrator, whose excellent skills make an irritating, simpering main character bearable.

The descriptions were very pretty, painted a very clear picture in the mind, but this book would have been much better if it were half as long. Still, I loved the depth of the characters (whose complexity and amiability I attribute more to the narrator's performance) and the way people and places were described.

I'm also heartened to see an author talking about how really pointless and crappy this whole "life thing" is, without being maudlin and 'poor me' about it. Just matter-of-fact, even cheerily : "Life is completely pointless, what are you going to do?"

Lexicon_ Jan 09, 2015

Thank goodness for David Pittu! His reading made this extremely long and monotonous story bearable.

q
queenjill
Dec 21, 2014

If you need a tight story with a plot that moves along at even a modest pace, I will suggest that this book is NOT for you.

This is a prose-heavy book with extensive description of every detail, every thought, every moment of the protagonist's life. It is as if you are living this kid's life with him, moment to moment, in real time. And with audiobooks I find it's not as easy to just skip ahead as it is with print.

It's not badly written, and the audiobook reader does an excellent job -- I have no complaints there. But after more than 10 hours of listening, I'm still not even a third of the way through this book, and the plot up to this point could be adequately summarized in a short paragraph. I've had enough. A good editor -- heck, even an average editor -- could have done The Goldfinch a world of good.

mayfairlady Nov 09, 2014

Very good narration even though the story dragged considerably at various points throughout the narrative.

l
lpreston214
Jul 17, 2014

I listened to the Goldfinch and I highly recommend it. The reader is excellent. He never wavers from the voices. He never carries over a character's voice to the narration. He's just really great. The book won a well-deserved Audie award. With that technicality taken care of I also want to say I loved this book. It's interesting to read reviews on Goodreads and in magazines. There is a lot of debate over whether this book is "literature" or just a good story (or terrible). There's no answer to that question really. Personally I don't care. I read for entertainment, not to better myself or for prestige. Many (including Stephen King) call this book Dickensian. To me it's the anti-Dickens. Yes, the main character is poor, cast-out and a victim of circumstances but ultimately he does not rise above. He remains depressed. Love does not rescue him. For many people this book was an incredible downer. The story, though, and the writing are so great. Listening, you can just let it wash over you. The description is excruciatingly detailed. That drives some people crazy but to me it's just wonderful. The best books evoke strong emotion and this book evoked, at times, incredible tension, frustration, fear, disappointment, laughter and tears. Most of the characters are not minutely drawn (only Theo and Boris get the full treatment). The objects in the book get more attention. That is the crux of the book. People live short, desperate lives and then die. Beautiful things live on, meaningful over and over again to new generations.

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