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The Goldfinch : Winner of Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2014  - Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch

Winner of Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2014

Paperback

Published: 3rd June 2014
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Winner of Pulitzer Prize For Fiction 2014

Book Description

Donna Tartt, author of the phenomenal bestsellers The Secret History and The Little Friend, returns with a breathtaking new novel.

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

Few works of literary fiction will have been anticipated more than this hefty novel by an author already mythologised before she turned thirty thanks to her cult debut The Secret History.

It's been more than ten years since her second novel, The Little Friend . Since then, she's been off the radar. Rumours have swirled, deadlines have slipped.

Now Tartt is back and back in fine form, writing a dense, intelligent, complex and dark story about a small jewel of a painting that goes missing from the Metropolitan Museum following a bomb attack.

Its fate is told by a young unreliable narrator, Theo Decker- thirteen when we meet him - who has lost his mother in the museum explosion and attended the dying moments of an old man, prompting him, irrationally, to take the small painting and keep it hidden through the ensuing turmoil of his life: first with the marvellously preppy uptown Barbour family who take him in and then in the squalid chaos of Vegas, where he lives for a brief moment with his hopeless gambler father and his new girlfriend Xandra, (a piece of work who gives Tartt the opportunity to deploy her considerable comic skills ).

When Theo moves back to New York, he learns the antiques trade from the gentle Hobie, a true craftsman with no head for business. There are brilliant set pieces and a cast of characters who echo Dickens, and Henry James, pinpointing every nuance of social standing with forensic detail. Boris, a shady Russian who befriends Theo in Vegas, is the book's most memorable scene stealer, navigating the underworld and a druggy twilight zone with Slavic charm.

The book is really a love letter to New York, uptown and downtown, and to the opaque and often dubious world of antiques and their collectors. It's long and demanding and its pace is frustratingly languid at times but as a stylist, Tartt has such mastery that she keeps you in her thrall till the narrative picks up momentum.

About the Author

Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Secret History and The Little Friend, which have been translated into thirty languages.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Goldfinch
 
3.9

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (6)
  • Page turner (6)
  • Well written (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Travel reading (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (6)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    5.0

    Brilliant book

    By Lexy G

    from Townsville, Qld

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Page Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Travel Reading

      Comments about The Goldfinch:

      I loved this book, the characters were well developed and the plot was a page turner for me.

      Comment on this review

       
      1.0

      Worst book I have ever read or not read

      By Pauline reader

      from Sydney

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Pros

        Cons

        • Disappointing

        Best Uses

          Comments about The Goldfinch:

          Rubbish dreadful ending. Worst book i have ever struggled through if fact I would not even give it away, threw it away.

          Comment on this review

           
          3.0

          little 'long winded' at times

          By Tepi

          from Flinders View. Queensland

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Engaging Characters

          Cons

          • Not What I expected

          Best Uses

          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Goldfinch:

          For a prize winner it left me a little disappointed

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          The Goldfinch.... a great book

          By The Book Collector

          from Adelaide

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Engaging Characters
          • Page Turner
          • Suspenseful
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about The Goldfinch:

              This was a really great book.I found it mesmerising. I love the way the author really got inside the characters. This book was not what I expected it would be but it was very enjoyable to read.

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Loved this book

              By MM

              from Melbourne

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Engaging Characters
              • Page Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • The End Is Confusing

              Best Uses

              • Unique

              Comments about The Goldfinch:

              This was a good read. Lots of emotional ups and downs - I thoroughly enjoyed it though I found the end of it quite frustrating.

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              worth the effort

              By KJS

              from central coast NSW

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Engaging Characters
              • Page Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • Disappointing

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers
              • Travel Reading

              Comments about The Goldfinch:

              a great story characters are well developed. plot moves quickly at times compelling. found the last part of the book a bit hard to read but overall a great book and worth reading

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Intriguing. You just want to open it.

              By love books

              from Melbourne

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Engaging Characters
              • Page Turner
              • Suspenseful
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers
                • Travel Reading

                Comments about The Goldfinch:

                Reasonable price and quick delivery for a quality product.

                Comment on this review

                 
                4.0

                Book Club Best

                By amorrock

                from Sydney

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Page Turner
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about The Goldfinch:

                    The Goldfinch was chosen for our book club reading list. The size of the book worried me at first, but it was an absolute page turner. Extremely well written with an exciting end. Didn't want the book to end.

                    Comment on this review

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                    A glorious novel that pulls together all her 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 triumph ... Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction -- Stephen King New York Times An astonishing achievement ... if anyone has lost their love of storytelling, The Goldfinch will most certainly return it to them. The last few pages of the novel take all the serious, big, complicated ideas beneath the surface and hold them up to the light Guardian A modern epic and an old-fashioned pilgrimage...Dickens with guns, Dostoevsky with pills, Tolstoy with antiques. And if it doesn't gain Tartt entry to the mostly boys' club that is The Great American Novel, to drink with life-members John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth et al, then we should close down the joint and open up another for the Great Global Novel - for that is what this is -- Alex O'Connell The Times

                    Donna Tartt

                    Donna Tartt is a novelist, essayist and critic. Her first novel,The Secret History, was a bestseller and has been published in twenty-three languages. The Little Friend won the WH Smith Literary Award, in the UK, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Tartt's long-awaited third novel, titled The Goldfinch, is set for publication in October 2013 after originally being slated for publication in September 2008. The plot is described thus: "“A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld. Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America. It is a story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art.”

                    Visit Donna Tartt's Booktopia Author Page


                    ISBN: 9780349139630
                    ISBN-10: 0349139636
                    Audience: General
                    Format: Paperback
                    Language: English
                    Number Of Pages: 880
                    Published: 3rd June 2014
                    Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
                    Country of Publication: GB
                    Dimensions (cm): 20.1 x 13.2  x 5.0
                    Weight (kg): 0.6
                    Edition Number: 1