Customer Reviews for

The Goldfinch

Average Rating 3.5
( 708 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(309)

4 Star

(116)

3 Star

(97)

2 Star

(65)

1 Star

(121)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

95 out of 109 people found this review helpful.

Any book of Donna Tartt's is like a miracle of reading. She is

Any book of Donna Tartt's is like a miracle of reading. She is the closest thing to reading a Dickens sort of novel today with its density of characters and storyline, mysteries and details of the most minute and miracles of writing. To read one of her books is to exp...
Any book of Donna Tartt's is like a miracle of reading. She is the closest thing to reading a Dickens sort of novel today with its density of characters and storyline, mysteries and details of the most minute and miracles of writing. To read one of her books is to experience a travel that's like no other. Reading "The Goldfinch" is like that. It's her best effort thus far, I think. It's simply the most amazing. And, that doesn't mean I don't think you should read her other two books!





I found myself jumping up several times in glee and forcing my husband just to listen to small descriptions of the otherwise mundane in this novel. She writes so beautifully that the union suit of a miner hanging on a bathroom shower curtain becomes iconic and gorgeous! It actually is so real, it lives and breathes!! Amazing stuff...so you can imagine how the rest of her story comes to life. The repair and care of antique furniture becomes so precious and such an act of love, it reaches your soul.





Tartt's characters are to love, hate, to sympathize with, to disparage, to want to reach out for. They are pitiful, disgusting, harmful, harmless and worthy of your most tender feelings. She runs the gamut. You become fully engaged...it's impossible not to. They are so alive.



This is a story about relationships of all kinds: parenting, friendship, love. There's fear and selfishness and other emotions from basic relationships. It's a story of redemption and finding ones place in the world. It's an exploration of the world from many sides of life.



I will admit there is so much to take in in this novel that I couldn't just sit down and read it fast like some books. I had to take it in parcels. I wanted to savor the words and the journey of its characters, particularly the primary one, Theo. I've always felt that way about Tartt's books. They are the kind you don't want to finish quickly because when you do, they'll be all gone! I hate to turn the last page.



I would welcome you on this journey of a special read. It's unusual. It's one that will charm you and touch your heart. It will cause you to stop and smile, laugh, cry out in surprise, feel hurt and even offended for the characters. I'd be very surprised if you don't love it as much as I have.



Donna Tartt is a genius author of our times. Not to read her is like not reading Joyce Carol Oates.



posted by Humbee on October 31, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

59 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

A miserable read.

This is the story of who boy who suffers a tragedy that sets his life off into a downhill spiral of self destructive behavior. This self destructive behavior goes on, in tedious detail, for 700 pages. Then in the last 50 pages he "sort of" redeems himself. But in the...
This is the story of who boy who suffers a tragedy that sets his life off into a downhill spiral of self destructive behavior. This self destructive behavior goes on, in tedious detail, for 700 pages. Then in the last 50 pages he "sort of" redeems himself. But in the end he's still a miserable soul.
I hate to quit a book in the middle so i just kept plugging alond, hoping it would get better but it never did. I read all the way to the end. What a waste of time! This miserable story could have been told in half as many pages.

posted by Anonymous on December 4, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    A miserable read.

    This is the story of who boy who suffers a tragedy that sets his life off into a downhill spiral of self destructive behavior. This self destructive behavior goes on, in tedious detail, for 700 pages. Then in the last 50 pages he "sort of" redeems himself. But in the end he's still a miserable soul.
    I hate to quit a book in the middle so i just kept plugging alond, hoping it would get better but it never did. I read all the way to the end. What a waste of time! This miserable story could have been told in half as many pages.

    59 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Reasonably interesting story ponderously told.

    I've purchase 174 books since buying my NOOK. Thi is the first time I've felt compelled to add a comment about one of my purchases.

    If “brevity is the soul of wit,” as Shakespeare wrote, then Donna Tartt is unfamiliar with the concept. At times, it was excruciating to slog through this drivel; I stopped reading it three times out of sheer frustration and boredom. While certainly well written, the book is at least 300 pages too long. It reminded me of a person in love with their own speaking voice. Noteworthy only for its banal details and the unlikeable main character, I can not recommend this book.

    43 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Very disappointing and pointless. Should have been 200 pages shorter.

    I loved her first book but this was a victim of self indulgence and terrible editing

    29 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Dont. It made me give a star. Terrible

    If I could give a lower rating this book deserves it. Sunday comics have more plot and character development.

    18 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    500 Pages too long

    I liked the concept of this book. I was drawn in to the story quickly, but by 250 pages I was longing for the pace to pick up. The interaction between characters was interesting, but the long, drawn out and very redundant self reflections got old very quick. After hearing such good things about this novel, I was determined to finish. Unfortunately, it never really got better for me. The last ten pages were like torture, and I confess I barely skimmed them.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    Ms.Tartt should read Hemingway.

    Also, check the manual for the functions of the "delete" key. How can you smell J&B Scotch on someone? I didn't make it past page 22.

    8 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    I do not know how this book ever won the Pulitzer prize for fict

    I do not know how this book ever won the Pulitzer prize for fiction. I am an avid reader and have read hundreds of books, and this was the worst book ever.
    Too long at 784 pages,(half that might have been okay), repetitive, and no likeable characters, except for the young girl and her uncle. I read the entire book hoping it would get better, or have a redeeming lesson, but it never did. Wasted hours that I shall never get back in my life.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    Long, slow, depressing, boring.

    Long, slow, depressing, boring.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Boring

    This book isnt that entertaining it could use some more
    Its kind of confusing

    5 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Gas Bag

    Hey, Tartt, ever hear of an editor? Blah, blah, blah, blah. Jesus, get on with the plot. Horrible writing. NO STARS.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Started out well then went downhill. I ended up not liking the b

    Started out well then went downhill. I ended up not liking the boy or anyone in the book.  She is a good writer so I'm not sure what happened.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    I wish I read the reviews before I bought the book. The story

    I wish I read the reviews before I bought the book. The story could have been told in about 300 pages. It was way to long. Why could Boris never get to the point? It took several pages of conversation between him and Theo, before he said anything. The further the story went, the more I disliked Theo. Very Miserable read. Wish I hadn't wasted my tine

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2014

    Very disappointing book.

    So much for the NY Times Bestseller list... how this book stayed on the list for so long is a mystery to me. The author spends so much time describing things (ad nauseum) that I wanted to say "Just get on with the action and the story". The main character is very unlikable and annoying. If he said "I don't know" or "But" one more time, I was going to throw the book against the wall. I realize modern authors seem adverse to writing sympathetic and "heroic" characters, so I guess this book is right "in" with the times.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    I don't know what the Pulitzer people were thinking. I really d

    I don't know what the Pulitzer people were thinking. I really did not like this book. The characters are all so self destructive. There is nothing redeeming here. And it is WAY TOO LONG. I like descriptive writing but this take things to a whole new level. She goes on and on and on about the most mundane thing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    It is not often that I will be reading a book and cannot bring m

    It is not often that I will be reading a book and cannot bring myself to finish, unfortunately this is one of those times. I wanted very much to like and enjoy this book but 300 pages in (out of nearly 800 pages) there is nothing occurring but self-destructive behavior on the part of the main character. No development is being made in regards to the reference of the title ("The Goldfinch"). For the book being named after this work of art it has played next to no importance so far in the plot and as of the last 100 pages or so hasn't been referenced at all...

    You want to feel bad for Theo, but 300 pages in and still focusing on his depressing, drinking, smoking, unmotivated life gets old very fast. There was a point after young Theo met Hobie and Pippa that things start to look like they are falling into place again and maybe the story will progress in a decent way, yet it all disappears in a flurry of unneeded drama that gives the impression that Tartt was just trying to show off her immense vocabulary (which really just gives the air of an incredibly pompous book).

    I also was getting rather tired of the blatant homosexual references... to make a point, I am gay myself and I appreciate Tartt trying to incorporate hints of the growth of equality in the world. But so many of these moments are forced and unnatural, where she may be referencing a couple on the street walking hand in hand, but then must make sure that her readers understand it is two men, not just simply a couple. It becomes rather irksome after a while.

    In the long run I can understand why this novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, but Pulitzer Prize and international bestseller or not I cannot feign enough interest in this book to complete it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Don't read this if you're depressed

    I love mysteries. I love art history. New York Times Best Seller List. I looked forward to reading this book. The initial chapters were quite enticing. The characters were interesting. The writer's style was very good. Then came approximately 600 pages of self-absorbed, self-destructive, boredom. Perhaps my middle-class morality interfered with the pseudo-hipster sophistication necessary to enjoy this novel but I did persevere and finish the book because I wanted to find out what happened to the painting. The best thing about the book is that it ended. New York Times Best Seller List? WHY?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    There was not a SINGLE pop up page.

    There was not a SINGLE pop up page.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    Big disappointment after ALL the hype from New York Times and va

    Big disappointment after ALL the hype from New York Times and various "best seller" lists.

    As another reviewer stated, I hated to quit aftwer slogging through half the book and did finish it.
    It was a depressing, tedious, sad work of complete drivel.
    My only praise is that the author had all the characters be kind to the dog, Popper, and he was THE only cheery character in this story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    disappointing

    An incredible beginning. Ms. Tartt had me hooked for the first two thirds of the book. The final segment lost me completely. The story line took a turn for towards the ridiculous. I felt cheated.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    This book was frustrating to read and yet I kept waiting for the

    This book was frustrating to read and yet I kept waiting for the main character to come to life. It never happened. I kept hoping he would just throw the stolen (very small) wooden painting in a city mail box and be done with it. Why he let this theft ruin his life on so many levels is never made clear. Sorry I took the time to read this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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