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The Goldfinch (2013)

by Donna Tartt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,086684450 (3.95)1 / 706
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.… (more)
  1. 194
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (stricken)
  2. 102
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (JuliaMaria)
  3. 00
    Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (pbirch01)
    pbirch01: Both have protagonists that use rare artworks to get what they want and execute their plan over many years
  4. 00
    Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic (niquetteb)
    niquetteb: The detailed writing styles are similar.
  5. 11
    The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (shaunie)
    shaunie: The Dutch House is in some ways a slimmed down, more enjoyable Goldfinch.
  6. 11
    The World to Come by Dara Horn (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Paintings are at the heart of these hefty novels, both of which combine the antics of a heist novel with ruminations on literature, history, and loss. Memorable characters and rich details add to the enjoyment of both books.
  7. 11
    Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A book about trauma, guilt and complicated grief. The effect of secrets and drugs on lives and families.
  8. 01
    You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon (sipthereader)
    sipthereader: Loss of a young parent; leading a deceptive life
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2010s (203)

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» See also 706 mentions

English (651)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (6)  Italian (6)  French (6)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (682)
Showing 1-5 of 651 (next | show all)
Goldfinch follows a boys life to adulthood and his painting that although hidden from sight, plays a crucial role in every aspect of his life since a horrible accident occured. The morals of the child are challenged and are sometimes lost because of his companions or because of his situation, but are also learned through characters that mean so much to him. Overall this was a good read, but found the "action" parts of the book were too forced, and did not fit the style the rest of the book had established. Overall a good read. ( )
  sjh4255 | May 4, 2021 |
Theo records in sensory detail the story of him and The Goldfinch as he moves from an comparatively idyllic life in New York City into a dystopian one. In either world, visual art and craftsmanship are painstakingly described, and seem to rise above daily life. I don't think I'm giving away any spoilers here but I'm trying to put my finger on what Tartt was getting at and am not sure she's clear about this herself. The writing changes in the last chapter and is less diary and more authorial voice. Before then, I thought her main theme was about the power of art (and craftsmanship) both to elevate and to abase -- those who were elevated were Theo (though he's a bit conflicted about it), Audrey, Welty, and Samantha. The others used works of art mainly for profit. Tartt depicts (through Theo's eyes) stark contrasts between a dystopian world without art appreciation and a rarefied one where it's loved and appreciated. ( )
  dcvance | May 4, 2021 |
Overall this is a unique and well written book. It follows a boy’s transition from boy to man, recording the good and the bad of this not-perfect character (but who amount us is perfect). The persistent connection to the Goldfinch painting and its many possible meanings and the character’s attachment to it (right or wrong..but such terms cannot be attributed to felling) are probed. I highly recommend this book. It is thought provoking and often strikes discord with what the reader may feel as “right”, but there is no right or wrong...it just is ( )
  kurdziel | May 4, 2021 |
Allow me to eschew the well tread ground of the parallels between Tartt’s latest novel and Dickens’s bildungsroman Great Expectations and the symbolism of the book’s eponymous painting as an analogue to Theo Decker’s own ineluctable tethering. Instead, I would like to address what seems to be the more pressing question: People seem to be more interested in whether they should read the novel than in actually reading it. I discovered a lengthy thread on the LitNet forums where the original poster (OP) spends numerous posts seeking a sort of support group from the community just to get off the ground with the novel. Then follow further posts concerning the number of pages the OP has managed to read that day and more queries for affirmation that the OP is doing the right thing in reading the novel and sticking with it. To be sure, this is an extreme example, but from what I can tell from a sampling of other opinions, this book seems to pose a daunting threat to many readers.

See full review: http://www.chrisviabookreviews.com/2017/09/09/the-goldfinch-2016/ ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
My profound “thank you” to VanityFair. I have been struggling with this book for months now, and I don’t seem able to move forward.

As it is, I put too much energy into it and it feels wrong to give up when I “listened” to 25 or so hours of it. But reading this article from Vanity Fair has helped me to move along.

Yes, count me among the literary snobs, but The Goldfinch is a bore. I am sure that are other books out there more deserving of my ears and I am heading out to find them…
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 651 (next | show all)
Good things are worth waiting for. . . a tour de force that will be among the best books of 2013.
added by 4leschats | editBookPage, Megan Fishmann (Nov 1, 2013)
It’s my happy duty to tell you that in this case, all doubts and suspicions can be laid aside. “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. I read it with that mixture of terror and excitement I feel watching a pitcher carry a no-hitter into the late innings. You keep waiting for the wheels to fall off, but in the case of “The Goldfinch,” they never do.
Book review in English 2 out of 5
added by zwelbast | editNRC (Dutch), Rob van Essen (Sep 23, 2013)
Book review in English 5 out of 5 stars

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donna Tarttprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fabritius, CarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayes, KeithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jong, Sjaak deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lecq, Paul van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, Rose-MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nimwegen, Arjaan vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pittu, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

La Scala Rizzoli (Stranieri)
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The absurd does not liberate; it binds.
#part 5: We have art in order not to die from the truth - Nietzsche
#part 2: When we are strongest - who draws back? Most merry - Who falls down laughing? When we are very bad, - what can they do to us? - Arthur Rimbaud.
For Mother, For Claude
First words
While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years.
It seemed like the kind of room where a call girl or a stewardess would be murdered on television.
He's telling you that living things don't last--it's all temporary. Death in life. That's why they're called natures mortes. Maybe you don't see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer--there it is.
Every new event--everything I did for the rest of my life--would only separate us more and more: days she was no longer a part of, an ever-growing distance between us. Every single day for the rest of my life, she would only be further away.
But sometimes, unexpectedly, grief pounded over me in waves that left me gasping; and when the waves washed back, I found myself looking out over a brackish wreck which was illumined in a light so lucid, so heartsick and empty, that I could hardly remember that the world had ever been anything but dead.
When I looked at the painting I felt the same convergence on a single point: a flickering sun-struck instant that existed now and forever. Only occasionally did I notice the chain on the finch's ankle, or think what a cruel life for a little living creature--fluttering briefly, forced always to land in the same hopeless place.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Qui est Theo ? Que lui est il arrivé à New York pour qu'il soit quatorze ans plus tard , cloîtré dans une chambre d'hôtel à Amsterdam comme une bête traquée ? D'où vient cette toile de maître , Le Chardonneret , qu'il transporte partout avec lui ?

Ce roman laisse le lecteur essouflé , éblouï et encore une fois conquis par le talent hors du commun de Donna TARTT.
Haiku summary
Liked a goldfinch chained / Booze, drugs can't erase the pain / Of his mother's death (LynnB)
Blast kills mother.
Painting of a goldfinch
dominates life's remainder.

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