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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
6,927505522 (3.98)1 / 567
  1. 154
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (stricken)
  2. 72
    The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (JuliaMaria)
  3. 00
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 01
    You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon (sipthereader)
    sipthereader: Loss of a young parent; leading a deceptive life
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English (480)  Dutch (6)  Italian (5)  Spanish (5)  French (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (505)
Showing 1-5 of 480 (next | show all)
Very long, interesting story but I felt some of the writing was self-indulgent and it should have had tighter editing. This was Beijing Bookclub choice for April 2017. ( )
  herschelian | Apr 13, 2017 |
I'm glad I read it, but I think it loses its way at several key stages, (this, ironically, may have helped in the contest to win the Pulitzer) keeping it from being, in my opinion, a GREAT book.

The character, a sensitive young boy who is devoted to his Mother, when not living obsessively inside his own head, rings mostly true from a former boy's point of view. However, the author's perspective that "life is a cesspool" contaminates the protagonist's perspective throughout. This, and her decision to end the book in Theo's late 20's, prevents him from returning to a "safe" place at the antique shop with his father figure to enjoy that companionship and to develop a fulfilling life's work - the source of rising from the cesspool for many of us.

Too bad - such potential.

I must say, however, two major themes: 1) the exploration of grief in a young person, and 2) the meaning that art can give to our lives are both spectacularly depicted. ( )
  KyCharlie | Apr 3, 2017 |
A Pulitzer Prize winning book. What more can I say?
(Except it is looong!) Everyone agrees the writing deserves 5 stars, but honestly.... if I had never read a review I couldn't give it more than four stars based on my level of enjoyment - just a very personal opinion. I rarely skim a book - if it worth reading I want to savor every word, but it took me forever to finish. (Maybe I should quit picking up these 3 inch thick books!) ( )
  CindaMac | Mar 26, 2017 |
What a wonderful novel. I loved the characters, the intense writing (long descriptions and all) and the settings.

The plotlines - the painting and Theo's own development and relationships - are great, too, although my eyes slightly glazed over during the 'action' bit of the painting plot.

I felt like I was wandering in and out of a dream all the way through the book, yet it was totally gripping and all-consuming. Yes, it's long, but worth the time if you enjoy really getting to know complex, fascinating characters. ( )
1 vote mooingzelda | Mar 24, 2017 |
As a teenager, Theo Decker survives a terrorist attack in a museum, which kills his beloved mother. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Theo makes a split second decision and steals a painting which his mother always loved - The Goldfinch. This incident, and indeed the painting itself, sets the course for his life - a life which as a reader, we join him on as he makes friends and enemies, makes bad decisions which reverberate for years, falls in love and in lust, and eventually gets mixed up in the criminal underworld.

Well, this is a brick of a book - coming in at over 850 pages of smallish font - if I'm honest, the size of it put me off reading it for a while, but once I picked it up I was glad I had done so. After reading it, I did what I usually do when finishing a book and went online to read reviews of it. What struck me the most was that it seems to be a very polarising read - people generally loved it or hated it. It certainly seems to be the least well received of all of Donna Tartt's offerings, and this is good news for me, because if this is the worst she has to offer, then I definitely look forward to reading the best! I enjoyed the book a lot, especially the first two thirds, which cover Theo's teenage years. It's fair to say that not all of the characters are particularly likeable (except for Hobie, Theo's guardian of sorts, who is just adorable), but they are all beautifully drawn and utterly believable.

The writing is elegant and often beautiful - Tartt uses a lot of words to describe the most mundane and ordinary events, and while this can be annoying with some authors (just get to the point!!) here it works really well, because it is just such a pleasure to read lovely prose. The story is told in the first person from Theo's point of view, which is good because if we had seen Theo from the outside in, I think he would have been much harder to like or understand.

If I'm honest, I did think that the last part of the book paled in comparison to what had gone before, but it still held my attention and at the end, I came away satisfied.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book - don't be put off by the size...while the story doesn't always move particularly quickly, the writing does draw you in. I look forward to reading more by Donna Tartt. ( )
1 vote Ruth72 | Mar 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 480 (next | show all)
I don't know if I'll get through it. It's about my worst nightmare - for my child to be abandoned.
 
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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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.)
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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 lifes 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 5 descriptions

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