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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
7,099509506 (3.98)1 / 572
  1. 154
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (stricken)
  2. 72
    The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (JuliaMaria)
  3. 10
    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
Romans (49)
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English (484)  Dutch (6)  Italian (5)  Spanish (5)  French (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (509)
Showing 1-5 of 484 (next | show all)
Loved this! ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
I came to this book a bit late and am not sure I can offer any insights. Yes, it's too long. Yes, the second half isn't nearly as good as the first. Yes, the final few pages are downright bad ... but you can't put The Goldfinch down, despite its considerable heft (Kindle readers excepted). I preferred this to The Secret History, and found myself loving almost every character. Sadly, while the novel sets up two stories early on (about a painting and a girl) one is resolved with great drama, but the other merely peters out - which is inexcusable given the number of pages we've waded through! Half-way through it's an easy recommendation, but in the end I'm more wary of foisting it on others. ( )
  alexrichman | Jun 6, 2017 |
I hesitate whether to give this book 3 stars or 4. Initially I was captivated by the story, swept into the eventful day when fear of a meeting with the school principal became totally irrelevant after a devastating explosion destroys paintings, takes his mother's life & changes Theo's future.

The relationship between Theo and his mother, which he recounts, is warm and believable so you feel his loss and wish you had met her. I also found Mrs Barbour really intriguing using detachment to cope with her dysfunctional family and to give Theo sanctuary without smothering him.

However most of the other characters, such as Boris are unlikeable or two dimensional. Hobie seems Dickensian and Pippa too shadowy and undeveloped.

I should say more about the painting and its significance but somehow as the book progressed it was hidden both in the plot and symbolically as Theo lost hope.

At times I relished the quality of Donna Tartt's expressive prose and the philosophical debate which Theo indulges in is interesting but I really do not want to read so much about the details of drug taking and the consequences.

I found this an over long flawed novel with high points which make me want to read her other books but I am still waiting for Theo's redemption. ( )
  Somerville66 | May 29, 2017 |
Despicable characters, outlandish plot, yet an amazing story that I couldn't help falling in love with. ( )
1 vote pan0ramix | May 26, 2017 |
I'm giving it 5 stars on the basis of Boris alone. What a great character. I did not like the way the book ended. The last chapters became entirely philisophical, which was nothing like the rest of the book. I suppose that's what the author intended but I preferred the earlier part. I found the story of Theo's unusual childhood, and how it influenced him as an adult, original and compelling. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 484 (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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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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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 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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