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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
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The Goldfinch (2013)

by Donna Tartt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,543570558 (3.98)1 / 619
  1. 164
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (stricken)
  2. 82
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (JuliaMaria)
  3. 10
    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 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 01
    You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon (sipthereader)
    sipthereader: Loss of a young parent; leading a deceptive life
Romans (49)
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English (541)  Italian (6)  Spanish (6)  French (5)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (570)
Showing 1-5 of 541 (next | show all)
This is a novel of many themes, including that one event can reorient a person’s whole life, but also how the friends you meet and truly trust along the way influence you and your life. All the characters in Theo’s life seem to represent his first two influences: His mother, good (Hobie, Pippa, Mrs. Barbor, Andy), or bad (his father, Boris), but show the influence of life, that not all that is good is good and not all that is bad is bad. Boris is good for our Theo, yet a bad influence. Someone you can trust is more important that being bad. Hobie is good, but can live with bad things happening around him. Life happens.

The reason to read this novel is to get and really understand this passage:

“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

Perhaps the magic of life is what we create, through physical creations or our thoughts as we experience art, like this novel or other artistic pieces. The magic of life is perhaps not reality, but what we can imagine.

In the end this is a flawed novel, but I loved it. Yes, it’s repeats itself, an entire page making a point that could have been made in a few sentences, but I couldn’t put down and highly encourage others to read and ponder.
( )
  LivingReflections | Dec 2, 2018 |
This isn't an easy review to conjure, because while I liked the book and I'm very glad I read it and while many parts of it will stay with me for a long time, I was also driven crazy by it's main character, Theo Decker. I should say up front that I listened to this book, and as any audiobook "reader/listener" can tell you, this can make or break and very much affect how you feel about a book or a character.

Theo's narration portrayed him as so weak, so clueless, and in such a fog for so much of his life that I came to view him with either apathy or fury. If he said, "Sorry...?" once he must have uttered it a thousand times throughout the course of this story. "Sorry...?" as in, "I'm standing right here but I am so wrapped up in my own mind that I can't possibly comprehend what you are saying or how you know it or anything about anything...?" Even if what the person is asking/telling Theo is so obvious and so expected that we've been waiting for it all along (for 700 pages!) and so has he. That got very old.

Now I am not without sympathy for Theo's life and what caused him to become the person he was. The events of his childhood were tragic and traumatic. I understood what brought him to leave the museum with "The Goldfinch." However, I wanted Theo to be stronger, and overcome it all.

I was glad when the story came to an end, but I felt as if the wrap-up left a few loose ends, such as Theo's relationship with Kitsey, and where Boris stood as the end of the story. I would have liked to have heard more about what other paintings were discovered in Antwerp. Was his relationship with his mentor Hobie permanently damaged or was he forgiven?

All in all, this is a mountain of a novel and one worth climbing. I believe any book that evokes strong emotions is a good one, even if they aren't always positive. ( )
  LMJenkins | Nov 28, 2018 |
Reading [b:The Goldfinch|17333223|The Goldfinch|Donna Tartt|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1378710146s/17333223.jpg|24065147] is like swallowing some kind of bibliophile's lives of past books enhancer or something - it made me vividly recall fictional characters and real people while I was reading. It brought back to mind other books that had similar scenes, characters, or situations that rubbed me the wrong way. Conversely (and most intensely) this read brought back memories of other books' characters who now live quite indistinguishably in my memory alongside facts, and other truthful remembrances. Their thoughts, actions, and failures have become part of the memories I can recall at will but reading [b:The Goldfinch|17333223|The Goldfinch|Donna Tartt|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1378710146s/17333223.jpg|24065147] made me realize the lives and my memories of these characters are callable too by new books, movies or conversations that evoke them as if by some spell.

Reading [b:The Goldfinch|17333223|The Goldfinch|Donna Tartt|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1378710146s/17333223.jpg|24065147] took me back to: [b:A Scanner Darkly|14817|A Scanner Darkly|Philip K. Dick|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388737865s/14817.jpg|1527439], [b:The Gambler|12857|The Gambler|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348607722s/12857.jpg|4356972], [b:The Swan Thieves|5983057|The Swan Thieves|Elizabeth Kostova|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1256542427s/5983057.jpg|6156487], [b:How to Buy a Love of Reading|5975766|How to Buy a Love of Reading|Tanya Egan Gibson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347484439s/5975766.jpg|6149015], [b:Less Than Zero|9915|Less Than Zero|Bret Easton Ellis|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1282271923s/9915.jpg|1146200] , [b:Under the Volcano|31072|Under the Volcano|Malcolm Lowry|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1390014193s/31072.jpg|1321805] and so many more.

It's 700 pages of a ticket to the lives of your immersion in past books and that's a ride worth going on if you like that sort of thing.

It is also one of the most loved or most irritating books reviewed on goodreads depending on your perspective but if you want a glimpse into everyone else's check this wonderfully long review thread of Jennie's where tons of people have chimed in about what they love and hate about the finch!


my ode to the finch reviews here on goodreads!


( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
This book...what can I say about it? I'm surprised it gets good reviews. It's terribly long, terribly wordy, and difficult to get through. I enjoyed it in the beginning and then it took a strange turn that was unexpected and disappointing. I won't spoil it, but Boris is one of the worst characters in a book I've ever read. This book goes on and on and on and when you think it's starting to get better? On and on and on and on some more. It should've been 300 pages. Leaving the weird side stories out would've been so much better!! I feel like I wasted two weeks on this book. It was hard to finish because I kept thinking I should give up but I didn't...and now I'll never get that time back..haha! Read it if you must, but go in knowing you can close it and give it away to someone you hate anytime you want. ( )
  thisismelissaanne | Oct 29, 2018 |
This is possibly in my personal top ten books. Donna Tartt writes really,really well. The story is engrossing, the characters very real,vivid and charming in the best sense of the word. There is much philosophy in the musings on art and deathless beauty but Tartt always grounds these conversations in the story and the characters. Highly reccommend! ( )
1 vote Darragh4444 | Oct 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 541 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tartt, Donnaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
The absurd does not liberate; it binds.
ALBERT CAMUS
#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.
Dedication
For Mother, For Claude
First words
While I was still in Amsterdam, I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.
(Bebedee)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316055433, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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"--… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

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