The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Book - 2013
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Grand Central Pub

"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, 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 Goldfinch is 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.

Baker & Taylor
Taken in by a wealthy family friend after surviving an accident that killed his mother, 13-year-old Theo Decker tries to adjust to life on Park Avenue, in a novel by the author of The Secret History. Reprint. A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316055420
Branch Call Number: Fiction Tartt
Characteristics: 771 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm


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Dangerous, Living in Your Own Mind: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

Since its publication in 1992, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History has gone on to become an international bestseller and a cult classic. Tartt herself has since published two other books, both of which have met critical acclaim and success, one of them (remember The Goldfinch?) even winning the famed and hugely prestigious Pulitzer Prize. What is it about the author’s words that inspire such… (more)

Dangerous, Living in Your Own Mind: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

Since its publication in 1992, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History has gone on to become an international bestseller and a cult classic. Tartt herself has since published two other books, both of which have met critical acclaim and success, one of them (remember The Goldfinch?) even winning the famed and hugely prestigious Pulitzer Prize. What is it about the author’s words that inspire such dev… (more)

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From Library Staff

Cast will include Nicole Kidman and Sarah Paulson

This is more like three books: two separate stories that get linked up in the final part.

October 15, 2015. Great book! Well deserved Pulitzer Prize

The favorite book I read in 2015 was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt mainly because of the portrayal of Boris and his friendship with Theo. Matt

This title will be discussed on November 13, 2014.

From the critics

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Jun 10, 2019

I think you have to have time to spend with this book, know going in it's going to be a slowly developing plot involving unlikeable characters with bad habits. I DID skip through some of the descriptions and still enjoyed it. Not for everyone. If I read nothing but this type of novel, I would not be happy; but I spent a week with Theo, Boris and Kitsey, and really enjoyed myself. Would I edit it? Oh yes. Not the first novel I've read that needed some shortening, in my opinion.

Apr 22, 2019

It took me a while to find the wisdom within this title, but it was worth the effort. For me, great art exists to offset "the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament." I am certainly "...part of the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them...sought them...and tried to preserve them..."

Mar 25, 2019

I loved The Gold Finch. I couldn't put it down!

Mar 18, 2019

Ms. Tartt has repeatedly avowed that the fun is primary. If she is not having fun writing it, the reader isn't going to either. On the other hand, somebody is taking her seriously; nearly eight hundred pages.

My case attests to her power to engage the reader; I took this to the bitter end after finishing 'The Secret History'. Turning page after page, once to late hours. What, I wondered, is she up to?

Charlie Rose poked a finger in her eye on his show, (Youtubed). From such shows we find that she is a fragment collector. I suppose she is alert and observant. There are good bits. On the whole though, much is marinated in drug and alcohol episodes. Those characters so occupied and those not generally are presented as shallow and duplicitous (Brett Easton Ellis was her good writing school colleague). I doubt most will find enlightenment on the practices of antique dealers square and crooked what they were looking for.

I'll give it three stars. A page turner, certified important. I don't suppose I'll ever know who is really supporting this. Our certifying agencies of late are seeming rather curious in their choices.

Feb 13, 2019

Dry. Slow. I know it has won awards- apparently not my book style.

Jan 15, 2019

Perhaps it is just my tastes, but this novel just wasn’t worth my while to finish. I simply didn’t care anymore about what happened to the characters. I read quite a bit, I am patient, this novel came recommended, I am not sure why it won the Pulitzer. I can’t even say it was style over substance, it was neither.

Jan 06, 2019

I echo a few of the comments I have read here, because I just could not get past the first few chapters of this audiobook, despite it being highly recommended. Meh.

Dec 18, 2018

Someone recently said to me that the goldfinch is complete garbage, I think that is far from the truth. I could see how aspects of this book could be boring to some readers but I was all in from start to finish

Oct 21, 2018

The beginning, ending and a lot in the middle is a major snoozefest. The editor really dropped the ball on this one. The book is simply too long, for no reason, but hey it won a Pulitzer so what do I know. It took forever to finish and I was unsatisfied from the ending and generally disappointed that I wasted my time.

Sep 17, 2018

Three people recommended this book to me. I was extremely disappointed. The basic storyline was somewhat interesting, however it was about 200 pages too long. I don't mind reading lengthy books, but half of the words in this one added absolutely nothing to the story. There were so many passages that were redundant, unnecessary, and extremely boring. I kept reading with high hopes that it would get better. It didn't. Interestingly enough, AFTER I finished it and talked to various reader friends, I found no one else who liked it, other than the original three who recommended it. I definitely do not recommend this book.

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Apr 17, 2017

“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”

Jun 16, 2015

“Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”

KateyC Jun 26, 2014

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

Apr 13, 2014

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

"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 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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siammarino Sep 22, 2014

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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