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The Goldfinch

Tartt, Donna

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Goldfinch
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316055437
0316055433
9780316242370
0316242373
Branch Call Number: FICTION TARTT 2013
Characteristics: 771 pages ;,25 cm
Alternate Title: Gold-finch

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In the years that follow the terrible loss of his mother, a boy's life is, in a sense, ruled by one of the few things that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.

Can I say OMG! This book is amazing good. I can't put it down and I don't want it to end. Beautifully written, a book about a teenage boy who loses his mother in a horrible accident and the dramatic way in which his life begins to unfold. - Susan

In the years that follow the terrible loss of his mother, a boy's life is, in a sense, ruled by one of the few things that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.

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 th... Read More »

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 th... Read More »


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I loved this book - best read of the year so far. Too long? Not long enough!

Nov 18, 2014
  • LearningA rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I'm a fan of Tartt's work, and overall I thought it was very good, but I did find it a bit hard to get into at first, and there were some sections that seemed slow or repititive. My book club thought it was too long.

One of the best books I have ever read! Who cares if it is 700 pages. I wish it had been 7,000 pages and gone on forever.

This used to be on my to-read list but I've heard from friends that it's kind of bloated (700+ pages!)

Nov 12, 2014
  • Ortegabranch rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

One of my favorite titles to read for this year!

Need to be disciplined reader because it's one of those books that grabs you by the throat and won't let go. Even though the feel is an constant downward spiral and there really isn't any heroes, you keep rooting for these flawed characters. As warped as their relationships are, they're strong and faithful in their own way. Wow - excellent reading and good commentary on the emotional effects art can have on people. I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner.

Oct 31, 2014
  • Pipstar rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I found this a hard book to read, but worth the struggle. It follows a portion of the life of a single central character, Theo.
The book begins at a moment when a young Theo suffers a great loss and commits a great crime. From there, the story follows him as he struggles to cope with post traumatic stress disorder,the tumultuous life changes that follow the incident and guilt over the crime he committed. There is a helpless feeling that pervades the story, as though at all times Theo is on the brink of oblivion, to be swept into some dark drain by forces both within and ou of his control. I suspect this is a feeling that is common to people with PTSD. It is a dark tale, with broken and damaged family members, deeply complicated friendships, death and drugs and the confusion of being a teenager layered heavily over the gilt and stress of concealing a crime committed when too young and injured to fully understand.
I almost put the book down after the first couple of chapters, because I found it immensely depressing. However, the author has cleverly weaved silver threads of hope through the fairly fast-paced narrative, which kept my just interested enough to move on. And I'm glad I persevered, because the story develops in all sorts of unexpected ways as we follow Theo into adulthood, picking up pace sharply until it turns into something like a Western, with chases and double-crosses, reappearing characters and other surprises around every corner.
Unexpectedly, once the action resolves, the final chapters become a moving essay on Truth, beauty, love and art. It was strangely uplifting and rewarding after the rest of the book, and I had to go back and re-read them to get my head around all the ideas.
A struggle to get through, but worth it in the end. I'l remember it for a long time.

Oct 24, 2014
  • sharon711 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Goldfinch is the best story I've read since Owen Meany! Richly satisfying, totally compelling, this novel held me in its grip through all 771 pages.
Tartt's detail took me into worlds I never knew existed. Her characters helped me understand the many ways that art, beauty and love exert their hold on people, She also delves into problems such as PTSD and addictions like drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling. Don't be put off by the novel's length. Every page delivers pure entertainment and provoking ideas.

Oct 24, 2014
  • sharon711 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Goldfinch is the best story I've read since Owen Meany! Richly satisfying, totally compelling, this novel held me in its grip through all 771 pages.
Tartt's detail took me into worlds I never knew existed. Her characters helped me understand the many ways that art, beauty and love exert their hold on people, She also delves into problems such as PTSD and addictions like drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling. Don't be put off by the novel's length. Every page delivers pure entertainment and provoking ideas.

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Why does it cost so much, a thing like from kindergarten class? 'Ugly Blob.' 'Black Stick with Tangles." - Boris

Apr 13, 2014
  • jimg2000 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

That life -- whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. … It is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch (the Goldfinch painting). For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time – so too has love….

Jan 21, 2014
  • LauraM185 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are."

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Oct 23, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Donna Tartt discusses The Goldfinch

From waterstones.com

Mar 24, 2014
  • ilowelife rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

BBC Interview with Donna Tart

Interview with Donna Tart on BBC Newsnight.

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Oct 23, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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Leo is in a museum in New York City when a terrorist sets off a bomb. Alive but stunned, Leo comforts a dying man who gives him a ring with instructions where to take it, and then he grabs a valuable painting of a goldfinch and makes his way out of the museum and home. His mother has died in the bombing, and his life from then on revolves around the painting, the girl Pippa who alerted him to the bomb, Pippa's uncle Hobie who takes in Teo and teaches him to restore antiques, and Boris who is just bad news. This is the story of the power of great artworks to grab you soul and not let go. It is also a powerful reminder of the plight of children who lose their parents, or whose parents don't care for them.

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