The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Book - 2013
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Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316055437
Branch Call Number: TARTT D
Characteristics: 771 pages ; 25 cm


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A 784 page tome chronicling the misadventures of a young man who gains possession of a famous Dutch masterpiece, a painting by the same name as the novel. Donna Tartt has a penchant for detail that - though leads to a lengthy story - often times provides a perfect visual for the setting.

From the critics

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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.

Jun 03, 2018

Another bleak World War II story. Also a long book - over 750 pages.

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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


Add a Summary
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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