The Goldfinch: A Novel (pulitzer Prize For Fiction) by Donna TarttThe Goldfinch: A Novel (pulitzer Prize For Fiction) by Donna Tarttsticker-burst

The Goldfinch: A Novel (pulitzer Prize For Fiction)

byDonna Tartt

Hardcover | August 19, 2015

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"The Goldfinchis 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,The 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 his 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 the underworld of art.

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 Goldfinchis a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

Heather's Review

Great art – true genius – has a power over people that can’t be explained. It can be experienced, it can be felt, but when we fall in love with a work of art, describing that magic is impossible. Donna Tartt, in her brilliant new novel The Goldfinch, embraces that mystery and builds a story, and a life, that are unforgettable. The G...

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Donna Tartt is the author ofThe Goldfinch, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her novelsThe Secret HistoryandThe Little Friendhave been translated into 30 languages. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College.
Title:The Goldfinch: A Novel (pulitzer Prize For Fiction)Format:HardcoverDimensions:784 pages, 9.75 × 6.25 × 1.75 inPublished:August 19, 2015Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316055433

ISBN - 13:9780316055437

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book There were definitely some slow parts, but overall I loved the story and despite the book's length, finished it pretty quickly.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it ! It was a great book, some slow parts in the middle, but overall a great read!
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful but tedious Tartt's writing is beautiful, with vivid descriptions. The story is engaging, but often it is slow developing.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Pulitzer Prize This is a masterpiece of literature. A multilayered novel dealing with tragedy, art, antiques, survival and sabotage!!
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written Slow start but as soon as I got into it I loved it. Great story
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from slow to start but great read!! It starts and ends slow but the story is complex and well written. There is a lot of adventure and has sections that are fast pace and ends with some philosophy all blended together elegantly. I very much enjoyed it
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Great characters, great story, full of hope after a big storm.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from long, but beautiful This book is a work of art. At times the writing was so breathtaking I had to pause and admire it. I don't often enjoy stories about people who make so many bad decisions, but this was an exceptional novel that kept me following a character who could not be more opposite from me.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pulitzer Prize worthy! I love the way the story unfolds, and the prose...I just wish a little less prose got used and the story unfolded a little more quickly. Descriptions are beautiful, majestic even in their ugliness. Characters are cheered and boo'ed. Love was dashed and found; careers made, lost and remade. The story was suspenseful and yet moved slowly in parts. All in all a great book, to be read again!
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I bought this book awhile ago and it is well-written but it is terribly slow starting. I read maybe half of it and couldn't finish it because it was so boring.
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book! long but totally worth it!
Date published: 2017-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing story it's a long book but definitely worth the read!
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from it's ok It was interesting at times, and dragging at other times.
Date published: 2017-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow in Parts A beautifully written novel with vivid imagery and unforgettable characters. The middle section does drag on, however. The beginning and end are worth the slog though. The protagonist is very wise beyond his years, but still manages to maintain hope through his heartbreaking journey. The streets or New York and the desert wastelands of suburban Las Vegas are almost characters of their own and will linger in the mind long after the story ends.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Meh I kept hearing great things about this book, but I just couldn't get into it. Like other reviews have said it does drag on quite a bit. Not my cup of tea.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from You'll either love it or you'll hate it. I despised this book, and yet I read it all the way to the end. As other reviewers have said, it is a LONG book. The ending just drags ON and ON and ON with mindless drivel.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, right up until the end. Up until the last maybe 10 pages I was ready to give this 5 stars. Over all, I loved it. Wonderdul story, varied characters, unexpectes developements... all beautifully told. But when the story is over and Theo addresses the reader directly with an overly long rambling "meaning of life" essay, I almost couldn't finish. I can appreciate the intent of the ending, and maybe I was too tired when I read it, but did it have to be so long? If I could give 4.5/5 stars, I would. Theo is awful, but forgiveable and a character you xan care for. Everyone he meets feels real - no one has just one layer, more than characters in a story they are real people with flaws and positive attributes seamlessly combined. I often had a hard time putting the book down. Until the end. Then I had a hard time NOT putting it down.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliantly written This book is written beautifully - although long, it is hard to put down. It is extremely captivating and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from artestry in the writing Initially this book caught me and I was devouring it but suddenly felt it got a little slow (or I just missed the character Boris!) At any rate, I've picked it up again and will finish it - definitely picks up speed again. Worth reading though some might find parts of it a bit long winded.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool From start to finish I loved this book
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!! From start to finish I loved this book and it's main character.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this book! It was a surprise birthday gift from my friend! I LOVED it from beginning to end
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Characters You'll Never Forget This was recommended by my book group and was one of the best picks we had all year. The story was not predictable, and the characters were some of the best I've encountered. Who would not want a Hobie in their lives? And Boris, the larger than life Russian, who shatters normalcy with his exuberance and mischievous capers. I alternately loved and hated Theo, truly a product of his angelic mother and misguided father, and a victim of circumstances no child should endure. There were sections that went on a little too long, but all in all it was a wonderful ride, one that I recommend whole heartedly.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A work of art This book is a literary work of art. One of the best books I have read in a long time. I was captured from the beginning to the end.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great novel? I absolutely loved this book. Enjoyed the characters and the different relationships. Great storyline.
Date published: 2016-07-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Awesome book Way to go J.K. Rowling!
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Strange After being highly disappointed by "The Litle Friend" I had great hope for this book but it seems that her great opus was "The Secret History"
Date published: 2015-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from provoking The Goldfinch is strange, disturbing, mesmerizing by times and boring by others. I felt a visceral reaction to this story, waxing and waning between love and hate. All the drama stems from an impromptu act performed in the most dire of circumstances. We follow the protagonist through his unenviable life with a negligent father and phony friends. Most of the characters are relatable only in a negative manner as they are unsavoury at best, criminal at worst. The two sympathetic characters offer much needed salvation. The Goldfinch has been both lauded and criticized but it certainly provokes discussion. Most of my friends disliked it intensely so I guess I'll stop recommending it.
Date published: 2015-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grief and Despair I quickly became immersed in this ovewhelmingly sad novel. The feelings of grief evoked by the author were at times too real. Brilliantly written, masterful but the subject matter makes the novel difficult to read at times.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A lesson in frustration I wanted to love this book, really. It was recommended to me by a friend who adored it, which was reason enough for me to want to give it a read. It took me 3 months to get through this book. 3 months! It's never taken me 3 months to do anything! The progression of the story made it very difficult to really sink my teeth into, so I found myself reading only small chunks at a time because I got bored, even though I was enjoying the story. I felt I had to press on, though, because my friend had loved it so. If it could have ended 3-4 of the way through, I think I could have forgiven the fact that the story could've been told more effectively in half the amount of words. But the last few chapters made me hate every single person involved in this book. I hated the characters. I hated the author for completely wasting the entire story that had been told with the most painful, preachy, annoying ending. I hated my friend for loving this book, and recommending it to me. I hated myself for wasting 3 months reading this book, which I walked away from without any sense of the joy or accomplishment that one should get from reading a good book, but instead with frustration and the need for a stiff drink. The first 3-4 of the book gets 3-3.5 stars. The ending gets 1. My annoyance is un-quantifiable.
Date published: 2015-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put in words This a sprawling buildingsroma. I liked the conceit but felt that for all of his talk, his confession that Theo gained no self insight and learned nothing. A true dickensian hero grows in wisdom. Some lovely prose. It makes you feel; what exactly i am not sure. Theo's etherized mind is contagious.
Date published: 2015-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story! Intricate, wonderfully flawed characters coupled with a complex and unpredictable plot. Both sad and uplifting. This book explores life, art and the art 0f living.
Date published: 2015-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Of Human Painted Birds in Bondage This book is a commitment. Initially I thought this fairly straightforward story was well written, but not particularly "Pulitzer" worthy, but it grows on you. The themes aren't new, the story telling is simple, and the characters are essentially as they initially manifest. But the essay-like denouement that fill the final pages, on the genesis of art and consciousness make the book for me.
Date published: 2015-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I've read in a long while Loved this book! I would have changed the ending, but all in all it was great!!
Date published: 2015-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Goldfinch One of those books that you hate to put down and you can't wait to read the ending but that you don't to end. So well written and so interesting. The reason I did not give 5 stars was that it confusing at times but highly recommed it.
Date published: 2015-06-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Long and rambling St Found the author to be using the book as a platform foR her philosophy on life. Fine if done with sutilty. This was not
Date published: 2015-06-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Goldfinch It started off great then flopped. Was very disappointed. Even the ending left you saying ...what? Very disappointed.
Date published: 2015-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! Donna Tartt writes in such a way that you feel everything the way her characters do. An amazing book. Loved it from beginning to end.
Date published: 2015-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Goldfinch Story is excellent but some of the writing is far too long especially near the end. But a very good read overall
Date published: 2015-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well written Suspense throughout the read and the life of the main character. I liked the literary style of the written words. Worth the 5 stars!
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read A winding path through heartbreak and irony. This book will make you think about all the things you need to do in life.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't ask me how it ends..... I could not, despite great effort finish this book. Felt like when you're at a dinner party and the one eccentric guest goes on and on and on about a story that could have been explained in half the time.
Date published: 2015-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book, quite long I really truly loved this book! I thought it was beautifully written and it was both sad and funny in parts throughout the book. I thought it dragged on a little especially near the end, but it was really only the last few chapters that I thought that. Otherwise, if you're ok with long books then I would definitely check this one out, I'm glad I read it!
Date published: 2015-02-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fought my way through to the end Thought it would be great and fought my way through to the end. It touches on some ideas for thought at the end which I like, but nothing was definitive. A few excellent quotes when the ideas cleared but complete fog in the middle. I cared a little about the characters but not enough to feast on the novel. I wish the author had been more bold in her characters as well as circumstance, it would have focused the ideas which could have been grand.
Date published: 2015-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Goldfinch I felt a continuous feeling of loss and despair that must be like the goldfinch. The author amassed me with her introspection into a young man.
Date published: 2014-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved the writing style This book was so wonderfully written the characters come alive within the pages. If I could have lived in the magic of the beginning of this book I would have. The writing continues to swallow you into its world, and although many readers will find the rest of the book incredibly entertaining, I'm not a big fan of reading thru heavy drug and alcohol abuse and found the ending to be a little long compared to the rest of the book.
Date published: 2014-12-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A DOWNER Good read for the most part but a nihilistic downer at the end. Dont understand why it merited a Pulitzer.
Date published: 2014-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beauty and harshness of life. Complexity of the mind,this book stimulates the artist,psychologist,delinquant,romantic ,philosopher,rebel... In all of us... Wonderful,meaningful reading.
Date published: 2014-12-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Goldfinch. Disappointed in this one. Loved her other books.
Date published: 2014-11-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Love it/Dislike it Opinions about this book divide. Opinions about divisions of this book divide. Some critics rave about its "art," but other critics pan its far-fetched plotting and meandering narrative. The Goldfinch, it seems, leaves no room for middle ground. Before I read this book, I spoke with many people about it. Their opinions, like those of the literary critics, fell at opposite, extreme ends of the spectrum. Some raved about how they couldn't put it down, but others rolled their eyes and said, "I could not finish that awful book." When I read the opening chapters, I thought, "I have to go with the friends who say this is a great book." I loved the child character, Theo Decker, and his strong-willed mother. The events of their life in New York City absorbed me, the idea of the painting intrigued me and I admired Tartt's seamless storytelling. Then I reached the part when Theo ends up in Vegas. The storytelling pace slowed, and the subject matter of Theo's Vegas life did not appeal to me. For hundreds of pages (hundreds), Tartt describes the booze and drug escapades of Theo and his friend, Boris. I thought, "Okay, I'm not so crazy about this part, but maybe it will pick up later." My hopes raised when Theo returned to New York, but my optimism soon faded. The final part of Tartt's book details a bleak, convoluted and, yes, far-fetched plot involving yet more booze, hard-core drug use and characters pivotal to the story that we don't ever meet. I flagged reading Theo's stream of consciousness diatribe of existential angst. By then I thought, "Okay, I'm starting to understand the people who couldn't finish this book." Fittingly, my opinion about this book is divided. I loved the first several hundred pages; I endured the middle; I disliked, and actively resented, the end. Would I recommend this book? I recommend reading the opening sections and then stopping. After that, in your imagine, create your own ending for Theo and the painting.
Date published: 2014-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable but a bit too long I enjoyed this book overall even though it was quite sad and depressing, but I felt it dragged in parts and could have been trimmed down.
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worthwhile I can absolutely see why this book won the Pulitzer. The writing style is phenomenal and made even the most mundane musings of the characters feel important and interesting. I gave this book 4 stars because I wasn't completely enamoured of the story itself given the ending (a bit tidy) ... but this was a completely satisfying read and one of the better works of fiction I've read in a very long time.
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent! I rarely ever disagree with Heather's picks and this book is no exception.. It may be a long novel but it is so captivating you will have a hard time putting it down! I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering reading it.
Date published: 2014-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read. This book was wonderfully long. It kept me captivated with every page. It is sad, yet humorous. A love story but tragic. The characters are well developed and believable. I had a very hard time putting it down. My only disappointment was I bought this to read on my IPad, the first book that I have read this way, now I am going to buy a hard copy as it was difficult to go back a read a page. This has to be on top of my list of Favourites. I ca see why it is a winner.
Date published: 2014-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was one of the best books I've read! I was a little put off by the size of the book at first, however once you pick it up there's no putting it down. I flew threw it quickly as the story keeps your undivided attention from start to finish. I would most definitely recommend this novel to anyone considering it.
Date published: 2014-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Full of beauty and insight The writing is beautiful and rich, and I wasn't bothered by the heavy handed symbolism. Actually, I loved this book so much for the first 400 pages or so at which point I found myself skimming ahead quite a bit. The book could have shed a few dozen pages. Big ideas do not need to be delivered in big books. Well worth reading though!
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Full of beauty and insight I don't read for plot suspense, it's all about the language and intelligence, and most of all the humanity. I was excited about this book. I love Tartt's prose, and I didn't mind the heavy-handed symbolism, but at times I admit that I felt the need to skim along, the book could have shed a few dozen pages. The ideas are big, the book doesn't have to be.
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must read I found it difficult to put down, truly a great book. At times it dragged on; altogether an amazing enthralling tale.
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Editor Please The writing is lovely. The story plot is quite good. But then there are the rambling conversations and situations that don't always add any value to the story. About half-way through I found myself speed reading to get through the flood of words in search of the gems of humanity and enlightenment that were the heart of this book.
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written, profound insight! I think this is an amazing read, so I was happy that it was so long. I am impressed with the author's vast knowledge of works of art and how to describe and relate to them. I was in awe of her writing skills and her ability to relate how people can develop, after a tragic loss. It is a complex book, not for those who need a fast moving shorter novel. I enjoyed the experience.
Date published: 2014-06-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Glad I'm done with it Ugh, such a long winded read!  If I don't like a book, I'll know by page 100.  I read this one and was into the story for the first 400-500 pages.  I can't say that I got too attached to the main character, he was just the story teller for me.  I just didn't care about him. Past a certain point (pages 500+) I was reading a sentence or two per page and I didn't feel I missed out on anything. Starts strong then gets bogged down with odd filler, twists, long winded go-nowhere strands... I'm glad I'm done with it.
Date published: 2014-04-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Goldfinch I was looking forward to this book  unfortunately I was greatly disappointed. I enjoyed the first 300-400 pages, but then it went in so many directions  - I got bored. I actually was hoping for the end , but never quite made it . I stopped reading altogether, by page 700, I just couldn't finish it.
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Goldfinch: It's a long, long book, but you may like it! This book was different than books I normally read but I found it held me captive for the first 400 pages, then it got a little boring in spots, too drawn out. It's the story of young Theo and the tradgedies in his life and a picture that he carries with him thru the years as a tie to his Mother. I had hoped the ending would fill me with relief that he found himself but the end left me with relief that the book was over. The author is an exellent writer but think the book would have been better if some chapters were condensed and not so drawn out. It was an okay read but not one of my favorites.
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lengthy, but worth it Beautifully heartbreaking and painfully uplifting. 
Date published: 2014-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots to tweet about! Theodore Decker is an only child and his loving mother is a source of constant stability and security - but when she dies in a tragic accident, Theo’s life begins to unravel. The title of the book refers to his mother’s favourite painting and it becomes his last connection to her. But rather than bring him joy, it becomes a constant reminder of her death and generates incredible anxiety. Theo’s life falls to pieces and we watch him self-destruct with drugs, alcohol and crime. At its core the story is about a boy losing his mother and the more I read the less important the famous painting became. It hung loosely in the background but it’s almost as if the author wanted a hook and built the story around the painting unnecessarily. Overall the Goldfinch is a good read with vivid characters and rich plot but it is quite lengthy – so be prepared to go the distance.
Date published: 2014-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I would like to read a condensed version of this book Reading this book reminded me of waiting for a long winded person to get to the point. The person is about to tell you about the beautiful garden they visited, but buy the time you hear about how many pot holes they had to avoid, how long the wait was at each stop light, and word for word everything they heard on the radio on their way to the garden, they have totally lost your interest. I managed to read the whole book, but much of it I skimmed. When I read a good book, I feel a loss when it ends, with this book it was total relief. On a positive note I liked the premise and there were times I felt I was into the story, then it went off the rails again. If I could read a condensed version of The Goldfinch, I think it might be a four star instead of a two.
Date published: 2014-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wish I still had it to look forward to! If you liked The Glass Castle, you will love this just as much or more! Amazing story with depth and tale of the resilience of children! A definite must read.
Date published: 2014-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Moving Tale Definitely a good read and as mentioned in previous reviews a long read! Very well written! I was really moved by the story and the characters. Theo pulled at my heart strings all throughout the book.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! Sprawling, but each sentence is thoughtfully composed and flawlessness executed. This book is both gripping and intelligent: a rare combination in the world of fiction! It's definitely on my list of the top 5 books I've read in the last year or two. 
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really wonderful story and characters - so well-written I loved this book. Even though it is a huge book, every page was so interesting and absorbing, I never wanted it to end. I had never read anything else by Donna Tartt, but now I want to read everything she has ever written. It is well-worth buying this book, so that you can read it slowly and savour it, and then re-read it the moment you finish it :)
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a lengthy treat to savour At 771 pages, this novel provided many good evenings curled up with a great story. There is tragedy, love, mystery, humour, all beautifully drawn by the author in the characters she created. An important painting, beautiful, rare, is the centre of Theo's life.  As Theo grows from tragic boy to flawed but successful man, he is surrounded by exceptional, unusual people, so well drawn that I expect I'll read this again, even though it's been a long time since I read one this long. Well done.   
Date published: 2013-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A glorious masterpiece! Great art – true genius – has a power over people that can’t be explained. It can be experienced, it can be felt, but when we fall in love with a work of art, describing that magic is impossible. Donna Tartt, in her brilliant new novel The Goldfinch, embraces that mystery and builds a story, and a life, that are unforgettable. The Goldfinch is a glorious masterpiece - that rare novel that feels huge and personal at the same time. It’s the story of Theo, a boy who survives a terrible tragedy – a terrorist bombing that takes the life of his mother – he emerges from the rubble with a priceless painting, a mesmerizing image that will obsess, haunt, and inspire him. And that’s just the beginning. This is a story wrapped in big ideas, about fate, friendship, and hope, but Theo’s journey in all its twists and turns is always intimate, a small life on a big stage. The Goldfinch is a book you’ll remember forever – a book that insists on being read again and again.
Date published: 2013-12-02

Editorial Reviews

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