Customer Reviews for

The Goldfinch

Average Rating 3.5
( 906 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(376)

4 Star

(157)

3 Star

(123)

2 Star

(90)

1 Star

(160)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

108 out of 123 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

78 out of 117 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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  • Posted November 11, 2013

    I could not stand this book. I found it so long...drawn out....

    I could not stand this book. I found it so long...drawn out....depressing...I love mysteries and action....John Sandford.....Nelson DeMille...Linda Firstein....Richard North Patterson...Vince Flynn.....I guess I thought I would enjoy a change but I was so disappointed. I guess I am the only one but just had to let the readers know...sorry. I know a lot of people love her. Sallie Gutman

    45 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2013

    2.5 stars Having truly enjoyed The Secret History and The Littl

    2.5 stars

    Having truly enjoyed The Secret History and The Little Friend, I was really looking forward to The Goldfinch. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

    There's no denying that Tartt writes beautifully. However, there's an old saying that I think is particularly apt here: "She was talking just to hear herself talk." This sums up how I felt about The Goldfinch; Tartt was talking, but there was no real substance. With the exception of the opening scene in the museum, nothing that happened to Theo drew me in, and, as the book progressed, I found myself disliking him more and more. I would have liked to see more of Pippa, but even she seemed to be just a prop on which Theo could hang his unrequited love. The painting also played very little role in the story, making it seem as though it was just scaffolding meant to hold the whole mess together. By the end, when Tartt sank into maudlin sentiment, all I could do was wish for the end to come quickly.

    I would have given The Goldfinch 2 stars for its "plot"; only the quality of Tartt's writing earned it the additional half-star.

    38 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2013

    Came with such a glowing review ?  I just never got hooked .

    Came with such a glowing review ?
     I just never got hooked .

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Exceedingly long winded and pointless.

    Exceedingly long winded and pointless.

    17 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Someone should tell Ms. Tartt that not every sentence that pops

    Someone should tell Ms. Tartt that not every sentence that pops into her head needs to be put to paper. This moderately interesting story could have been told in half the pages. One of the biggest problems for me is that the narrator, aside from rambling through 775 pages, is not likable at all. He allows himself to become a victim of his situation and wallows through the rest of  his life. I finished it because I had to see if there was some redemption (for the narrator, the novel, etc.) somewhere. There isn't. I have no clue as to why this book has been so well reviewed. 

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    Depressing; Depressing.

    Depressing; Depressing. I am a college literature and writing professor; I read for a living, and reading is one of my great passions. I do not need (or always want) shiny/happy stories, likable characters, or happy endings. But I DO need characters/circumstances to engage me in some way: unfortunately, this did not do it. The novel is beautifully written in terms of style, but it is a 700+ page tome where, ultimately, I found myself caring about almost no one--including Theo, the main character. This is one of the coldest novels I have ever read--and that's how I felt when I managed to finish--and I admit I skimmed through entire sections. I wanted to like this novel and the first 200-250 pages or so of Theo's memories of his mother 'had' me at some moments, and the bombing sequence, while going on WAY too long, is fascinating at times for the surreal/jumbled way it plays out in Theo's memories as a child. But that is where it ended for me. From then on, the story is an exercise of frustration and depression: an orphaned child thrown out into a world where NO ONE steps up for him, no one speaks for him, a world of well-heeled New Yorkers who look on him as a bother more than anything? WHY does no one care about this child? WHY did his intelligent, sophisticated mother have no plans in place for his protection? WHY is every, single, member of his family an atrocity? When Theo finally finds ONE good, strong, parental, figure...well, I won't give anything anyway but it was one more instance of WHAT THE...? I am not naive--Lord knows these things happen, but the utter carelessness in which this child is thrown around...well, it just gets to be too much. I found no light here, no redemption. Like Dickens' novels, which this has been compared to, we are thrown into messy, unfeeling, dysfunctional families and environments, myriad/layered plot lines--and like reading Dickens, I felt hit over the head all the time gasping for air.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    To call this book "ponderous" would be tactful.  It's

    To call this book "ponderous" would be tactful.  It's like dinner with bad guests that just won't leave.  What two chapters could accomplish, Donna spends pages and pages detailing minutiae that has little to do with the plot.  Over and over again, we seem to live the main character's every waking moment.  in fact, at 3/4 of the way through, i still have no idea what the point of the book is.  I keep reading, thinking something will tie it all together, but it is not to be.  i am crying uncle and sending this one to the free book pile at work.  The editor of this book should be shunned.  

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    This book was a tedious read with far too many details included

    This book was a tedious read with far too many details included throughout the book.  I cannot recommend this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    Sorry, but I found this depressing

    It had the potential to be a good story, but the relentless tragedy, despair, and self-destructive behavior was ultimately too much for me. I kept hoping for something good to happen, but every light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train. The ending was a wordy mess that didn't resolve anything. I'm exhausted.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Not good

    This book started out strong nut fizzled.Too prosey and I never learned to care for the man charater. I neverfinished it,rare for me. A bore. Waste of money.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    I agree with the others that reviewed this book in that it is wa

    I agree with the others that reviewed this book in that it is way too long. It feels that the author is simply trying to fill pages.
    The story is interesting and educational, but much too long.
    I only continued readying it because I do not like to invest time in a book not to finish reading it. I did skim through, however, so as not to give up.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Good story but the length of the book spoils it.

    The author writes beautiful but sometime I have the feeling that she loves her words too much. The story is great and while some of the situations are completely engrossing there are others drag. and I find myself skipping paragraghs. The book would be more enjoyable to me if the editor had pursuaded her to cut a few hundred pages.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2013

    I had not read Donna Tartt's previous books and was looking forw

    I had not read Donna Tartt's previous books and was looking forward to this based on the reviews I read. 
    I was very disappointed; in fact, about one-third of the way through, I had to force myself to keep reading.
    The narrator became less and less likable as the book progressed. I grew weary of the constant drug and 
    drinking scenes and kept wondering how these characters were still functioning. Not very realistic in my 
    opinion. This book was way too long (how many pages and how many different ways were spent describing
    Theo's binges?) and by the end, I really didn't care about his philosophical musings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Could not wait until i was finished reading this

    750 pahes too many...boring beyond belief. I want to be engrossed by a book...eager to get back to it. This droned on for ever with unnecssary descriptions of boring details. It was especially sleep provoking.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2015

    Way too long to tell this story. Donna Tartt is a good writer, b

    Way too long to tell this story. Donna Tartt is a good writer, but it doesn't take 20 pages to describe events that could have been done in 2! I kept saying, "I get it, now let's move on" many times reading this book. If going on and on and on is your thing, this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2015

    I give up

    I tried and tried. Made it seventy five percent and gave up. First book i have given up on in fifteen years. I think half of it could have been edited out and the story would have worked. Just moved too slow.

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  • Posted December 11, 2014

    This book began great but turned out to be a boring unbelievable

    This book began great but turned out to be a boring unbelievable story.  I honestly do not understand how it received a Pulitzer. Seemed to get lost halfway through and never recovered. I honestly thought it would never end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2014

    Borrring

    Borrring

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    I really wanted to like this book

    I didn't like this book. I really wanted to like it but I did not. I had heard great things about this book & I was so excited to read it but I didn't like it. It drug on & on & on for 771 pages. I had to force myself to finish it. I'm very disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2014

    I thought this was a long, miserable book. Too wordy, it could

    I thought this was a long, miserable book. Too wordy, it could have been told in half the pages. The end was a total disappointment. I wish I would have followed my instinct and quit after I became bored. Life is too short to read bad books.

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