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The Goldfinch

Tartt, Donna

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Goldfinch
"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"--
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780316055437
Branch Call Number: FIC T
Characteristics: 771 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

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I would found Tarrt a wonderful storyteller with such rich, descriptive narrative that I was drawn into her story and her characters. It was a pleasure to read and made reading other novels after it very difficult because they lacked the same vocabulary and depth. Yes, I understand that others found it too long but I disagree that it was pretentious. I prefer to have words to describe the look, taste, sounds and facial expressions rather than be told what happened in one line.

Feb 12, 2015
  • booksophie rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a lengthy novel, but it's filled with many good life lessons, sorrow, and love.

Feb 07, 2015
  • KCLady rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Many times the writing in this book made me think of friends who argue with themselves about inconsequential things when they're telling me a story. (Did it happen last Tuesday? No, it must have been Wednesday. Wait, it was Tuesday because it was the same day as my doctor's appointment, but my doctor's appointment was Monday.) I would have liked this story much better if it had been edited to eliminate the non-productive rambling. The last 100 pages seemed better - or maybe I was just excited that I was finally approaching the finish line!

This is the best book that I read in 2014. It is probably 100 pages too long and goes on too long in the final part but honestly, I was sad to see it end. It is Dickensian in its scope and has a wonderful circular story. There were some things that I did not see coming even though I am usually quite able to predict these. But the best parts are the characters-the author has a knack for rich characters and I loved some of the people in the story.

Jan 29, 2015
  • ehbooklover rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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 few of them were genuinely likeable. My final take: overall, a difficult read, but well worth the effort.

Jan 26, 2015
  • yontichat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful book - i wanted more - i didn't want it to end - I loved every single character - even the dog - and days after finishing it - i'm still wondering about what happens?!! great read - worth the wait

Jan 24, 2015
  • Sanrin rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The book is well written with, as reviewers have remarked, a Charles Dickensian feel to several of the characters. But unlike "Great Expectations," I had trouble connecting to the narrator, Theo. GE's Pip suffered poverty, cruelty, and terror, as well as loss and the hardship of being an orphan. Theo struggles with loss, but is quickly taken into a wealthy family and surrounded with caring (though not always effective) teachers, social workers, therapists. Even the doormen at his former residence take up an offering for him. The novel felt like an excuse to create colorful characters and entrancing images/scenarios, but lacked substance and plot. I gave up about 1/3 of the way through.

Jan 24, 2015
  • thunderingfox rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Very dark and hopeless feel to this book at time. You do keep rooting for the main character right to the end.

Jan 20, 2015
  • bruno11 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The book was way way too wordy.

Jan 19, 2015
  • AnitaB33 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

WOW! I am shocked to read such rave reviews for this title. Boo. Yuck. Pretentious drivel. Every monotonous passage reeked of the authors love of her own intelligence. We get it, you have an extensive vocabulary and a vast knowledge of the world around you; where is the plot? I offer my sympathies to any and all book club devotees who are forced to scratch and claw their way through the verbose ramblings of Ms. Tartt.

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

Apr 13, 2014
  • jimg2000 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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….

Jan 21, 2014
  • LauraM185 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"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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Oct 23, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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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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