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The Goldfinch

On sale

22nd October 2013

Price: £25

Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, 2014

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405529525

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Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

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Books of the Year, Daily Mail
Really does grip from the first page... a noirish thriller and epic love story rolled into one
Jane Shilling, New Statesman
Without doubt a beguiling novel. It is smart - in both the British and American senses of that word - brilliantly readable, thrilling and touching
Books of the Year, Sunday Telegraph
Runs the gamut from thriller to meditation on loss, and runs it magnificently
Tina Jackson, Metro
Written with precision and thoughtfulness, it's at once a slow-burner, with Tartt lingering over scenes and descriptions and building the story in detail, and an attention-grabber... The Goldfinch is built up in careful brushstrokes into an absorbing, epic tale of deepening shadows
Books of the Year, Sunday Times
Another rich slice of gothic drama
USA Today
A massively entertaining, darkly funny book that goes a long way toward explaining why its author is finally securing her place alongside the greatest American novelists of the past half century, including John Updike, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, and that other latter-day Dickensian, John Irving... Required reading for anyone who loves great literature from this or any other century
David Gilbert, Vanity Fair
The Goldfinch is a book about art in all its forms, and right from the start we remember why we enjoy Donna Tartt so much: the humming plot and elegant prose; the living, breathing characters; the perfectly captured settings.... Joy and sorrow exist in the same breath, and by the end The Goldfinch hangs in our stolen heart
Stephen King
The Goldfinch is a triumph... Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
Lavish and lush in décor and span... The novel lets us see, and feel, the real bird beyond the brush, or rather, the grief, and addictive yearning, behind its cabinet of curiosities. For those who want to share the double vision, to slip attentively between luxurious illusion and overt craftiness, a deeper layer of pleasure awaits in The Goldfinch. In every sense, this is quite a piece of work
David Sexton, Evening Standard
A novel of the highest literary ambition and dedication
A large-canvas, small-brush picaresque that's both heart-rending and irresistibly wicked
Emily Stokes, Financial Times
Like a Dutch painting, every scene is described in glittering detail and framed with retrospective melancholy. A modern-day David Copperfield... The Goldfinch is impressive - lavish, gripping, exciting
Marie Claire
This book is so beautifully written, you'll want to simultaneously read it at top speed to find out what happens, and savour it
Viv Groskop, Red
From the opening pages it grabs you by the scruff of the neck and does not let you go . . . It has layer upon layer of psychological detail and emotion
James Kidd, Independent on Sunday
A gripping page-turner and a challenging, beautifully written account of modern life. Moving but unsentimental, funny without being trite, all human life is here. It will doubtless be a contender for one of 2013's best novels
Victoria Moore, Daily Mail
It is the extraordinary depth of detail and wholeness of her imagining that makes it such an impressive work... Utterly absorbing, a superb novel
Kirkus (starred review)
A long-awaited, elegant meditation on love, memory, and the haunting power of art... Eloquent and assured, with memorable characters... A standout and well-worth the wait
Sunday Telegraph
Donna Tartt engineers a recklessly impressive plot... The precocious talent that fired up her cult debut The Secret History is on full display here
Books of the Year, The Times
Sublimely written, with elegant touches of the gothic
Ron Charles, Washington Post
A soaring masterpiece
Kamila Shamsie, Guardian
An astonishing achievement. If anyone has lost their love of storytelling, The Goldfinch will most certainly return it to them. The last few pages of the novel take all the serious, big, complicated ideas beneath the surface and hold them up to the light. Not for Tartt the kind of clever riffs which are too commonly found in contemporary fiction. Instead, when plot comes to an end, she leads us to a place just beyond it - a place of meaning
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Dazzling. A glorious, Dickensian novel that pulls together all Tartt's remarkable storytelling talents into a rapturous, symphonic whole and reminds the reader of the immersive, stay-up-all-night pleasures of reading
Alex O'Connell, The Times
A modern epic and an old-fashioned pilgrimage, a nimble thrill-seek and heavyweight masterpiece. And if it doesn't gain Tartt entry to the mostly boys' club that is The Great American Novel, to drink with life-members John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth et al, then we should close down the joint and open up another for the Great Global Novel - for that is what this is
Books of the Year, Guardian
Combines narrative grandeur with dazzling detail
Sarah Jessica Parker
Where to begin? Simply put, I'm indescribably jealous of any reader picking up this masterpiece for the first time. And once they do, they will long remember the heartrending character of Theo Decker and his unthinkable journey
Anthony Quinn, Mail on Sunday
Mysterious and mercurial, The Goldfinch finally reveals itself as a rare bird - a highbrow fable and a page-turner
Books of the Year, Independent
Sumptuous, generous and entirely captivating
Elaine Showalter, Prospect
In the epic range of its concerns with grief, loss, loneliness, fate, and the nature of good and evil, its rich cast of characters, and its broad social canvas, it bears comparison with Proust, Dickens, Dostoevsky and Nabokov. It is meticulously structured and paced, and reading it is an enthralling experience of total immersion in Tartt's vision and voice. A beautiful and important book