The GoldfinchDonna Tartt

The Goldfinch

4
4 star

Total 7,378 Ratings

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Book Summary

A young New Yorker grieving his mother's death is pulled into a gritty underworld of art and wealth in this "extraordinary" and beloved Pulitzer Prize winner from the author of The Secret History that "connects with the heart as well as the mind" (Stephen King, New York Times Book Review).
 Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love — and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
 The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention. From the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld, this "soaring masterpiece" examines the devastating impact of grief and the ruthless machinations of fate (Ron Charles, Washington Post). 

The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) Book Reviews

Love itWas not what I expected. I think this is a very realistic story of how a young boy can fall prey to addiction after experiencing tragedies. From some of the reviews I’ve read, people are clearly not understanding the crucial social monologue that narratives like this provide. Or perhaps these people are devoid of empathy? Opioid addiction is a very real crisis, so it’s actually not surprising that this book is so popular, a movie is being made as well. Of course, whether you choose to view Theo’s struggle with addiction as a boring subplot or remember the fact that he is also struggling with the anxiety and paranoia of keeping secret a multi-billion dollar stolen painting after the death of his mother and father, which is actually the main plot, is your choice..Score: 5/5

BeautifulLiterally the most beautiful thing I've ever read. You need to read this, I've never loved a book so much before..Score: 5/5

HuhMaybe I downloaded the wrong book. Obviously a Herculean effort yet a most depressing story with the slimiest of characters I wished would just go away. The endless pathological attention to boring details is no doubt what got critics all excited but for a pedestrian reader all the inane observations were way over the top. The writing in the voice of a young boy for most of the book left me wondering how can such a young boy have such adult and astute observation skills... a forever read that left me highly disappointed..Score: 3/5

StunningYou fall in love deeply with every character, with the plot, everything. Such a well written, gripping and moving novel. Please read, you won’t regret it! Best fiction novel I’ve read in years..Score: 5/5

Takes a little effort at first...It took me a while to get into this book. At one point, I even considered not finishing it. But, I kept on going and found that it was worth the effort. I think, more than anything else, it is a character study. The characters are very well developed and the descriptions of everything are very detailed. There’s an interesting mix of people who are thrown together by very unusual circumstances. All in all an interesting read!.Score: 4/5

Too many detailsIt’s a good story. However, it has too many details that in my opinion don’t add anything to the story..Score: 3/5

The GoldfinchThis book could have been 1000 pages shorter. I never thought it would end..Score: 1/5

II’m.Score: 5/5

GoldfinchThis was an interesting read. It was a drug-induced ride through adolescence into early adulthood, a narrative of a boy’s life as he grew up with a tragic childhood. Lots of rambling, pages on pages of descriptive situations, that would normally be annoying,but somehow kept you wanting to read more! The details in this book were enthralling and mesmerizing..Score: 4/5

Ccaero75Not since reading & rereading Stephen King's The Stand, have I ever literally "fell" into a book. I became Theo Decker, I felt his pain, small happiness. This will be a novel I will re-read over & over again..Score: 5/5

The GoldfinchThe best book I’ve ever read. Period. I love the stream of consciousness ramblings of the mind of a boy, then man, steeped in guilt and self loathing. Really felt like I was inside Theo’s head. Part Less Than Zero, part 21st centuryDickens. I loved it, and will miss these characters for a long, long time..Score: 5/5

Ihhidnsssvtrc herCycling for.Score: 5/5

Love itThis is my all time favorite book. Granted, you have to like how circular and branching Tartt’s writing is..Score: 5/5

Hated itA long-winded, depressing story about a self-destructive drug addict with no redeemable qualities. Enjoyed the first part - lost interest as soon as the character of Boris was introduced and it just got worse from there. Would not recommend..Score: 1/5

Not a thrillerThe books opening of disaster and thrill are short lived. The rest of the book is overly lengthy and not meant for those trying to read a thriller or fast paced novel of excitement..Score: 1/5

Enjoyable And Very LongSaw the movie first then read the book. Detailed in ways and lacking in others. Pippa, Lucious, Horst follow ups? Literally skipped through 30-40pages cuz uninteresting detail. Cannot say “So glad I read the book!” Wish I would have left it at the movie.Score: 2/5

The GoldfinchUse of rich language, reminders of beloved writers of classics long ago, chords of words that pull you into the scenes, into the minds of the characters, their experiences..... yet often the writing is too deep, too long, too dark, too overwhelming to absorb by readers who flow among the living wonders of family and nature.Score: 4/5

Great!My favorite summer read! Not only was it interesting and entertaining, it was also longer than most books I’ve read! I loved the way the author went so into detail of the characters. Highly recommend..Score: 5/5

The GoldfinchI watched the trailer of this upcoming movie and decided to read the book first to get to know it and think that is good book that I recommend to read :).Score: 5/5

Recommend reading something elseI am in disbelief this book has been rated so highly by so many people. The editor did a huge disservice to the author and readers by not not trimming the wordiness. This book should have been easily only half as long. I am now to the last 15% of the book and am forcing myself to finish it....and it’s a complete drag. Do yourself a favor, find something else to read..Score: 2/5

StunningRichly plotted and exquisitely crafted, this book is a pleasure to read and almost as satisfying to ponder. Like an amazing, multi-course meal that you know you will never experience again, to read this book is to savor every word..Score: 5/5

A rewarding journeyI didn't know what I was getting into when I started reading this book. Had I known, I might never have begun. But I'm so glad I did. Tartt paints such vivid pictures that easy to get lost in the worlds her characters inhabit. At times I could feel the weight of time, of sorrow, of emptiness. At other times, I couldn't help reading long into the night to see where the journey would go next. I laughed and cried. Sounds trite, but it's true. At the end, I was scared Tartt was going to ruin the whole experience by explaining it. But that's not what happens. I'm not a great writer. Not even really a great reader. But this was one of the most rewarding journeys I've taken..Score: 5/5

EnthrallingDonna Tartt is an expressive writer without using boring or incessant adjectives. The characters stay true to themselves and the reader remains captivated throughout this rather long journey. The Goldfinch is a literary classic - beautifully written!.Score: 5/5

AMAZINGOne of the top 5 books I’ve read in my life. Could not stop reading and was nearly impossible to put down each night. Truly a masterpiece..Score: 5/5

Best book in a long timeWhat a powerful, intense, rich and complex story. So many complicated characters, some loveable, some hateable. We read and watch as a sad little boy, practically an orphan navigates his life with bad and good choices. I loved this book..Score: 5/5

So underwhelming!!!Great 50 pages and then just on and on and on .... don't waste hours reading this!.Score: 1/5

AmazingA wonderful book definitely worth the read.Score: 5/5

GoldfinchThe beginning of the book and first half were so riveting, but the second half was terrible; boring, wordy, overly descriptive, and made me hate the protagonist. I could not root for such a reprehensible character. The more I read, the more depressing it became..Score: 2/5

Well-written, but not a great storyThere were so many opportunities for this story to go into some extraordinary directions. Instead I followed a very unlikeable main character through his drug-addicted waste of a life and ended up at a weak ending. The writing itself was very nice, but The story wasn't worth the time spent reading it..Score: 2/5

Words escape meI am a lifelong, obsessive and devoted reader. This book leaves me speechless. Its beauty, poetry, intensity, creativity - you name it! - combine for a literary adventure like no other. I truly feel as though I was transported not just to another place but inside another human being. What an absolute treasure this book is!.Score: 5/5

EnjoyableExcellent character development. Would definitely make an interesting movie. Does seem to "jump the shark" about 3/4 into it, but I was already committed..Score: 4/5

One of my all time favorite readsThis novel captivated me from the beginning, and took me on a tremendous journey through the mind of Theo, a young boy first numbed by tragic death of his genteel mother. How does he navigate life all alone? From subtle golden emotions and heartfelt kindnesses to manipulative plotting and underworld scenes lower than a snakes belly, Theo traverses it all. The one part of the book I skimmed through was Las Vegas. It was just too much and after a while felt gratuitous. Like a parent you are proud of him, so very disappointed, but root for him along. You are so grateful for the people who raised and inspired him, and woeful for the abusers. I was sad to come to the end of the book, yet savored the approach the entire way and felt a sense of satisfaction from the rich journey. Thank you Donna Taart!.Score: 5/5

Good Read but...The last pages after Amsterdam were boring and went on for way too long and trying to be philosophical. Keep fiction fiction 3.5/5.Score: 3/5

Another Catch 22As soon as I saw the trailer for this book as a movie, I knew I had to read the book first. It’s existentialism existence was too dark and too deep for me to read cover to cover. I needed to get my head above water to fill my lungs with sunshine, rainbows and lollipops before my next submersion..Score: 4/5

A book needed by the psyche of the curious readerLike any great work of art this book shines a floodlight on each readers personal experiences with pain. It teaches you about yourself because of the immersive experience of getting to know these characters. A once in a decade read..Score: 5/5

This book will stay with youExistential, nihilistic, adventurous masterpiece.Score: 5/5

Shallow boring and repulsiveOne of the worst books I’ve read. I can’t understand its popularity. I can only guess the good reviews come from those who quit reading after the first few chapters as the book starts well but than gets boring, predictable and you grow to hate the protagonist as a truly despicable person..Score: 1/5

FloorjackI hope that when the reviewer “floor jack” runs out of their pain pills or can’t get anymore, that they realize what a “pathetic” piece of crap they actually are. This book brought home so many of the issues that young people have to face nowadays, “like addiction” And depression And lose so deep it claws at your heart every second of everyday! And you would do anything to just quite it for a bit, for some respite from the pain..Score: 1/5

The GoldfinchGreat story and character development..Score: 5/5

Fantastic!Though I can see where some may find the pace slow, as the entire middle of the book seems to go on a tangent, I found this book to be one of the best I've read in years. It was highly original and I found myself relating to the characters in so many ways. It is the perfect storm of great character development, a unique plot, and an uncommon story pacing that kept my intrigue high all the way until the adrenaline-inducing end. It's one of those books where you won't be able to stop thinking about it..Score: 5/5

Good but longGood book, but too much details and I think it can be easily shortened.Score: 3/5

Pros and ConsA great read besides the fact that it was wordy and too descriptive. it could’ve easily been shortened by a few hundred pages..Score: 4/5

Interesting, but wordyStoryline that enthralled me, however what fell short (for me, at least) was the ending..Score: 4/5

The GoldfinchSoul-stirring! Page-turner!.Score: 5/5

Best novel I've come across in years!I purchased the audiobook, as I spend many hours in my vehicle. Here are a few observations: 1) With this particular novel, I was glad I paid the extra money for the audio version. The narrator, David Pittu, was fantastic; capturing the essence of the characters with different voices for each. He earned two Audie awards for his work on the project; one for male solo narration and the other for literary fiction. This was quite honestly some of the best narration I've heard - and I listen to A LOT of audiobooks... 2) To say that the novel "leaves you thinking..." Is an understatement. Ms. Tartt presents a masterpiece for the serious reader to feast on. It's the type of novel you have to "gear up" for, preparing mind and heart for the material ahead. 3) Audio or written, tackling the novel is a 32 + hour endeavor. It's not for the casual reader, although some may find they enjoy it. 4) It IS NOT a fast paced read - nor was it meant to be! It was meant to be consumed slowly and reflectively. Ive gone through the novel 2 times and will no doubt revisit it several more times in the years ahead..Score: 5/5

Ugh..I dont like leaving negative reviews. BUT I also dont like wasting my time on a LONG verbose book that was unnecessarily over the top depressing..Score: 2/5

A beautiful advanced novelI’m taken away by how beautifully Tartt writes, as if each sentence is its own lyric in the years greatest Pop ballads. This novel is wonderful for advanced readers and those who want to delve into a book that will make them come alive with the excitement & passion of desperately awaiting to get back to your book..Score: 5/5

Annoying.It was very detailed and frustrating, By the time you got to the point… it was like ehhh. Some parts were really good but then ending was lame..Score: 2/5

The goldfinchThis book was long. But it's one of those books you fight through and are so glad you did. I loved this book. More depth to it than many other novels..Score: 5/5

WowSo well written. Characters are flawed and empathetic. A book you never forget..Score: 5/5

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Slow readOMG too much boring details about nothing..Score: 1/5

GoldfinchAt times riveting, at times dreamlike, at other times far too drawn out. Overall I found the book well written but tiresome in its sometimes excessive descriptions and dialogues..Score: 4/5

MasterpieceThose who complain about excessive detail and description in this story completely miss the point. There is a compelling plot, but the descriptive passages are this book's greatest strength..Score: 5/5

Too long and ploddingThere were good parts, mostly related to the character of New York City, Andy and his family, Pippa, and the craft of antiques. There were long drawn out parts which I ended up skipping over: life in Las Vegas, and the week(?) in Amsterdam after failing to get back the Goldfinch. Friend Boris got far more attention than he deserved. What bothered me most were the anachronisms. The story starts around the year 2000 but the author has the characters using technology that isn't invented or ubiquitous until 10 years later. The other aspect that irritated me was how knowledgeable the 13 year old hero was about art, books, interpersonal relations, world views, etc..Score: 1/5

The Goldfinch is an book that simples around by this book - and it's around downDont you read this book? Oh, it is an good book to read with the iBooks Store. Is it fun to read. Thanks for the book!.Score: 3/5

Please, stop writing!Donna Tartt's boring, overly-detailed literary slop is an affront to book lovers. I give this two IT SUCKS..Score: 1/5

The long slogI made myself finish this story and I wish I hadn't. I picked up and finished at least five other books before I finished this one. Anything was more captivating. I am considering donating it to the "Free Little Library," but if I do, I feel compelled to put a warning label on it. It was slow moving, overly detailed and utterly unbelievable. Now, when I see a recommendation,"if you liked Goldfinch, you'll love....." I will run like Forest Grump!.Score: 2/5

MehStarted out to be a well written story. Started to drag on half way through where I was flipping through 10 pages at a time just to get through the story. Even when I missed pages at time I never missed any of the story line. This novel could have ended half way through and been better..Score: 3/5

Gripping, personal, and relevantThis was one of the best books I've read. It is grippingly, timeless and accessible..Score: 5/5

The GoldfinchCaptivating and moving..Score: 4/5

Intriguing character and storyI was surprised at the upbeat feeling of this book considering the tragic loss of the mother. I thought it gave a great perspective on how easily one can end up addicted to drugs and alcohol to cope with life. I agree the ending could have been better but overall a good book..Score: 4/5

Too longToo long. Too descriptive. Too boring..Score: 1/5

CarrieToo long and slow. Could have been shortened and still got the story across. Useless detail after useless detail..Score: 3/5

MasterpieceWorth waiting ten years for. Totally entrancing..Score: 5/5

A journey readThis book takes you on a long often tumultuous journey. It was a great read until the last chapter. All in all, great book, bad ending..Score: 4/5

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The Goldfinch Synopsis

Book Name:
The Goldfinch
Book Language:
English
Book Category:
Books, Fiction & Literature, Family, Gay
Book Size:
5628264 bytes.
Book ID:
599669207
Book Release Date:
2013-10-22
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