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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Paperback – Apr 7 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (April 7 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316055441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316055444
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A soaring masterpiece."―Ron Charles, Washington Post

"Dazzling....A glorious, Dickensian novel, a novel that pulls together all Ms. Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading."―Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"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....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."―Stephen King, New York Times Book Review

"The Goldfinch is a book about art in all its forms, and right from the start we remember why we enjoy Donna Tartt so much: the humming plot and elegant prose; the living, breathing characters; the perfectly captured settings....Joy and sorrow exist in the same breath, and by the end The Goldfinch hangs in our stolen heart."―Vanity Fair

"Drenched in sensory detail, infused with Theo's churning thoughts and feelings, sparked by nimble dialogue, and propelled by escalating cosmic angst and thriller action, Tartt's trenchant, defiant, engrossing, and rocketing novel conducts a grand inquiry into the mystery and sorrow of survival, beauty and obsession, and the promise of art."―Booklist (starred review)

"There's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic...The Goldfinch is a pleasure to read."―Publishers Weekly

"A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art....Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters....A standout--and well-worth the wait."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"It's a classic...If you haven't read it, read it. If you have, read it again."―Andy Cohen, Today Show

"Where to begin? Simply put, I'm indescribably jealous of any reader picking up this masterpiece for the first time. And once they do, they will long remember the heartrending character of Theo Decker and his unthinkable journey."―Sarah Jessica Parker for Goop

About the Author

Donna Tartt is the author of The Goldfinch, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her novels The Secret History and The Little Friend have been translated into 30 languages. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It is not very often that one wants a book of over seven hundred pages to continue. Many reviews, both professional and amateur, have railed at the length of The Goldfinch. Some suggest that a greater economy of words would have served better. I disagree. Tartt writes with a rich elegance that illuminates even the darkest subject matter. As we follow young Theo from tragedy to tragedy, commencing with a highly indiscriminate terrorist attack, the words build upon each other creating an increasingly layered world.

Understandably Theo is overwhelmed with what that world delivers, “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.” It seems that all poor Theo accumulates is loss. Yet, when we look closer he is actually acquiring assets of experience and benefits of relationships whose value is priceless.

Theo begins to discover this and rather than expecting or running from his plight, he contextualizes, accepts and begins to accept it as making sense. Life may well be "about about playing a poor hand well.” As he plays his hand, Theo interacts with some amazing characters. Tartt has assembled a modern Dickens-like cast that are colourful, engaging and endearing. Boris, his Ukrainian high school chum, is a bluntly wise and risk-taking Artful Dodger. The seemingly dreadful Barbours are worthy of their own novel and the reader's empathy. I brightened every time Hobie, the kindly artisan, appeared on the page. Resolutely calm, patient and measured, Hobie is the epitome of old world charm and trust.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Life is catastrophe.

This sensitive book about art theft, loss, growing up, the antiques world, drugs and drink, money and poverty, depth and shallowness, is really worth every well-thought out sentence and word.

I am at a loss about what to do without those special characters Potter and Boris in my reading life. They really grew to be larger than life philosophers.

I think one will either love or hate this book. I loved it’s depth, and the fact that it kept me thinking and looking. I do love art.
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Format: Hardcover
If you read but one book this year let it be The Goldfinch, seven years in the writing and well worth every day of waiting for the incomparable pleasure it brings. Donna Tartt’s prose sings, dances, makes you smile and breaks your heart. Each word is carefully chosen, so perfect in placement that it is as if a master craftsman had set it there. And why not? Tartt is a master craftsman creating fully drawn characters and revealed to us in all of their complexities. We not only see them but share their ruminations as they reveal their thoughts on life, love and the power of art.

At heart this is the story of New Yorker Theodore Decker and The Goldfinch, a painting by Dutch master Carel Fabritius. We meet Theodore or Theo at the age of 13 when he and his beloved mother take shelter from a rainstorm in a museum. His mother means everything to Theo and when she is killed in a horrific explosion at the museum he realizes “...the daily, commonplace happiness that was lost when I lost her.” For him that is so true. Somehow he manages to escape the carnage physically sound but psychologically damaged. He takes with him the Fabritius painting, an object that becomes as necessary to him as breath. But how can he keep it when eventually the world will be looking for the masterpieces lost in tragedy?

Initially Theo returns to the apartment that he shared with his mother sure that she will return. But once convinced that she is dead he ricochets from place to place, steps ahead of the social service workers. His father deserted the family years ago, and he is alone. Theo finds a temporary home with a wealthy family on the Upper East Side, the Barbours, whose son Andy had been a playmate of Theo’s years before.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a big, dazzling novel, over 700 pages and expertly crafted. Both an insanely compulsive tale of the twisted path a young man's life takes after it is forever changed by a violent event, and a meditation on family, love, and the enduring power of timeless works of art. With Boris, the protagonist's best friend and partner in crime, Tartt has created easily one of the most memorable and original characters in literature that I've met in years. Absolutely fabulous - this is the kind of book you wish you could read for the first time again and again.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an amazing read. Donna Tartt savours the development of character and scene, allowing the reader to savour them as well. She takes her time doing this, which results in a very long book, but one that is never dull, never tedious, always surprising. The development and journey of protagonist, Theo, along with his complex, fearless, and loyal Ukrainian friend Boris, confronts us with questions of fate, chance, free will, morality, vulnerability, of good and evil. There are no stock characters here; none with a set of simple defining traits. Rather, they are complex, nuanced, unpredictable. Their behaviour takes us through shocking events and to surprising places. To encounters with the sly temptations, the numbing panacea of drink and drugs. No charicatures of "all good" or "all bad" in The Goldfinch. Its subject content is wide ranging, taking us into the world of art, the influence of art on our soul, its centrality, and the opposing influences of greed and money. It plumbs the depths of human relationships, love, and loyalty. The philosophic ending, its resolution, if it can be called that, leaves us with no pat answers, no balm to soothe us. It defies description with the usual few sentences. You must read it for yourself.
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