The Goldfinch Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audie Award Winner, Solo Narration - Male, 2014
Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction, 2014
The author of the classic best-sellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel.
Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.
It begins with a boy. 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 unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to 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 novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, 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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|Listening Length||32 hours and 24 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||October 22 2013|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #2,110 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#114 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#463 in Literary Fiction (Books)
Reviewed in Canada on September 28, 2019
Reviews with images
Top reviews from Canada
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Toward the end of the book, Joan Miro is quoted: " You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again". The author may have set out to prove that the same thing can be said of a book. To her credit, clearly there was a secondary aim to craft a replica of one of those deep, philosophical pillars of Russian literature: a protagonist named Theodore Dexter sounding like an Americanized version of Fyodor Dostoevsky, a chapter entitled "The Idiot" and a Russian character that is a disaster waiting to happen. But whereas the tale of a man like Raskolnikov is absolutely gripping, this book's central character never succeeds at capturing the reader's interest.
At one point Theodore has to endure a series of psychiatric sessions: "I dreaded my session with Dave, a twice-weekly ordeal not incomparable to dental surgery." Another concise summary of my experience with The Goldfinch.
By dnata on September 28, 2019
The author clearly has a gift for prose. The beauty of her words alone makes the book worth reading. In the beginning, I only reluctantly put the book down when I had other things pressing, and looked forward to picking it up again. Unfortunately, at some point the story began to drag, and did so for a very long time. Nothing of any real significance happens for a good portion of the book, and there is a great deal of extraneous information that, while relevant, is far and above what is necessary for the reader to know.
The story does pick up and spirals into a delightfully disturbing climax, and then settles right back into its draggy pace. At this point, the author becomes rather heavy handed in sharing philosophical opinions.
The characters are beautifully drawn, even if they aren't always likeable. In fact, the majority of the characters, including Theo himself, are not very likeable. Many of the situations are disturbing, as are Theo's consistently poor choices. That may sound like a criticism - it's not. I prefer a book that takes me away from my comfort zone.
There are sections of the book that are outstanding; however, I think condensing it by at least 25% (maybe as much as 50%) would have resulted in a far superior story.
Recommended for those who want something to chew on, and chew on, and chew on…. just don't choke on it.
Top reviews from other countries
To paraphrase Kingsley Amis on his son's writing style, there need to be more sentences like, "They finished their drinks and left the room." In this case, "I took the lift to the seventh floor" would (more than) suffice. This overly writerly prose is just too much for me, and it felt as if the book were being padded for length. So I finish my drink and leave the room.
A modern story which starts minutely detailed and vividly seen by the author, so we see it too, the nuances of the Barbour family life, parents and four children, of whom Andy is Theo’s friend, a “white mouse” with a “wan, irritating voice” who has a hilarious line of repartee with his father who is eternally trying to interest his indifferent children in sailing.
Other stand-out characters are Hobie who befriends Theo, and Boris, Theo’s wild, unpredictable friend who runs wild with him in Las Vegas. A few sentences and we have them, a real person, fixed, Mr Silver the debt collector, the doormen.
If only the book had been a quarter or even a third shorter. After the words “eight years later” things change, as if the author is tired of her creations and gallops through the rest, impossibly convoluted and contrived plot and all the Dickensian/J K Rowling characters we have come to love becoming caricatures, less true and solid. Pippa, always vague, slips away completely, and even Boris’s English, so funny to start with, become cartoon-like.
There are themes and metaphors bursting out all over, meandering, fathers and sons, abandonment, the pointlessness or otherwise of life struggles etc etc, and of course acres about ART and the meaning of the painting of the goldfinch, which is, after all, a painting of a bird chained up.