The Goldfinch: A Novel (pulitzer Prize For Fiction)

Paperback | April 7, 2015

byDonna Tartt

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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.

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From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE"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 ReviewTheo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker...

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.

other books by Donna Tartt

The Secret History
The Secret History

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The Little Friend
The Little Friend

Paperback|Oct 28 2003

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Le chardonneret
Le chardonneret

Paperback|Jan 13 2014


see all books by Donna Tartt
Format:PaperbackDimensions:784 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 1.38 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316055441

ISBN - 13:9780316055444

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sigh I so wanted to love this book and I had great promise for it. after about 200 pages I put it down for good. while I loved the style, I just couldn't get into it. I found it slow, Gosh was it slow. I was easily distracted when reading it and when I put it down, the next time I picked it up, I had a hard time remembering what was happening when I left it last. I always had to go back a few pages and refresh my memory. maybe down the road I'll try again...
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-rending meditation on the meaning of loss, addiction, friendship, art, love, and life itself. The Goldfinch is a roller-coaster ride in which fear, euphoria, and a sense of groundlessness succeed and overlap each other with blazing speed. The narrator, Theodore Decker, is a 13-year-old boy whose life crumbles as he miraculously survives a terrorist attack in an art gallery only to discover that his mother is killed in it. His only link to his mother, and the object which, from then on, infuses his life some sense of purpose, becomes a tiny masterpiece by a Dutch artist which he had taken from the gallery on the day on the attack. What follows is not, however, a “Book (art) Thief” type narrative, but rather a furious exploration on the meaning of loss, addiction, friendship, art, love, and life itself. In some sense, it is a coming of age novel, but not the Dickens or Salinger style we are used to. Theo may have the making of Pip, Oliver Twist, or Holden, but the 21st century world which he is hurled into makes him a completely different protagonist. The question which Donna Tartt seems to be asking in The Goldfinch not so much, “how to live?”, but whether to live at all. Just take a look at this voluptuous passage in the middle of the book: "...depression wasn’t the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil…People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten top to bottom. Putting your time in at the office; dutifully spawning your two point five; smiling politely at your retirement party; then chewing on your bedsheet and choking on your canned peaches at the nursing home. It was better never to have been born—never to have wanted anything, never to have hoped for anything." Tartt may be more prolix than Shakespeare, but whose life has not had moments when it feels like “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. You may think that only PTSD and severe addiction which can engender such moods, but I would argue that all of us are addicted to something and loss of a loved one is not matter of option but of time. I know, all of this may sound depressing, but The Goldfinch is, in the upshot, a novel of hope. Like its non-fictional counterpart in Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus, Theo lives on rolling on his boulder of memory and at times “one can imagine…[him almost] happy”.
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is, hands down, the BEST book I have ever read. The story is so well written, and the way each page entices you on to the next is fantastic. I've read all of Donna's books, each, in their own way, is a stand alone story. However, I found that The Goldfinch is the BEST of all three. I can't say enough about Donna Tartt. She is a master storyteller. BUY THIS BOOK.
Date published: 2016-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book renewed my love of reading! A friend recommended this book to me with the caution; she loved it but had lent it to someone else and they really didn't enjoy it. So, curious I picked it up. I was hooked from the 'get go'! It was so rich with details, it ran like a movie in my head. It's been several weeks since I finished it and I still think of it. David T. W. McCord's poem must have been written with this in mind..."Books fall open, you fall in, delighted where you've never been..." As a result, here I am on the Indigo/Chapters website looking for another adventure in reading!
Date published: 2016-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this book Happy i bought this book, very good read once you get into it.
Date published: 2016-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! My cousin recommended this book to me and at first I thought she was exaggerating on how amazing it was.Then I started the book for myself to see what all the fuss was about and I could not put it down! I don't think I've ever read a book that fast before. The book was quite long but it was worth it!
Date published: 2015-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memorable! This is one of those books that you will remember for the rest of your life. The characters are complicated, the plot is full of unexpected twists and the overall story is heartbreaking. It's a book about loss, trauma and longing, but there is hope and love and redemption. A very fulfilling read.
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This book is one of the best coming of age books I have ever read! It's powerful, it engages the reader and yes it is too long! But no life can ever be written in 10 pages! If you are looking for a quick read this is not it! This book requires all your attention and demands only that you let yourself go and get caught up in Theo's life! I will recommend this book to anyone who asks for a great read! Donna Tartt is an amazing writer!
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Do not buy this book. If you're like me and you read for enjoyment, you most likely look to be entertained by a work of fiction. The best works are engaging and compelling. They challenge the way you think. This novel does not do that. It is long, drawn out, irrelevant, and boring. It serves mostly as a platform for Tartt to showcase her knowledge of art, antiquities, and language than it does to fully engage the reader. The irony of the self-deprecating finale "if anyone ever reads this" is comical. It is certainly inconsistent with the rest of the novel. Better editing to consolidate the plot to the things that actually matter would have helped. Same with a plot that actually felt believable. My problem is that once I start a novel I always feel the need to finish it. My best advice to you, the potential customer: save your time and money and buy something else.
Date published: 2015-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very good read! An excellent story, however a little long in the middle, but then again, I find most all books over 400 pages to lag on and on in the middle like this one does. Had an opportunity to see the painting in Dan Hang this summer and loved it.
Date published: 2015-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could barely put it down! I bought this book without really knowing anything about it and I found the story beautifully constructed and absolutely riveting. If I have a negative at all it's that some sections could have been cut down and would have served the same purpose. However, the author shows her talent on so many levels that it's really hard to fault her for taking us down so many different avenues. I became obsessed with the Goldfinch painting and couldn't wait for the outcome. A wonderful book.
Date published: 2015-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great on so many levels. I loved this book- the hardcover was a little tough to navigate while reading at bedtime, but well worth it. One of the main things I liked about this book was the character development of the two adolescents in Vegas. They are left on their own without supervision while their "parents" are off gambling or involved in their unsavory activities. The boys take drugs, skip school, don't eat or eat leftover takeout food they find. Theo is dealing with grief, guilt and having to adjust to living with his father, who has only taken him in in order to access funds he believes Theo will be inheriting. Boris, the immigrant boy who has befriended Theo, has grown up exposed to violence and neglect. Boris's alcoholic, criminal father leaves him to fend for himself while he is away working or in an alcoholic stupor. This book touched me as a parent and a teacher- who hasn't known those kids who are slipping through the cracks through no fault of their own and end up on the street or involved in criminal activity. It's a long book, but I couldn't put it down- I could go on ....
Date published: 2015-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Story but Dragged in Spots Overall a good story but I felt the middle part in Las Vegas really dragged, the book could have been shorten as well since it was pushing 1000 pages and I think the story would have flowed better.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my favorite The first chapters are interested. After the novel gets into a slow narration.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Bloated but interested.
Date published: 2015-05-14

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Editorial Reviews

"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