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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Tartt
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18,325 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $30.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
You Save: $23.01 (77%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

"The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."--Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

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 longing for his mother, he clings to the 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 mesmerizing, 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.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: It's hard to articulate just how much--and why--The Goldfinch held such power for me as a reader.  Always a sucker for a good boy-and-his-mom story, I probably was taken in at first by the cruelly beautiful passages in which 13-year-old Theo Decker tells of the accident that killed his beloved mother and set his fate. But even when the scene shifts--first Theo goes to live with his schoolmate’s picture-perfect (except it isn’t) family on Park Avenue, then to Las Vegas with his father and his trashy wife, then back to a New York antiques shop--I remained mesmerized. Along with Boris, Theo’s Ukrainian high school sidekick, and Hobie, one of the most wonderfully eccentric characters in modern literature, Theo--strange, grieving, effete, alcoholic and often not close to honorable Theo--had taken root in my heart.  Still, The Goldfinch is more than a 700-plus page turner about a tragic loss: it’s also a globe-spanning mystery about a painting that has gone missing, an examination of friendship, and a rumination on the nature of art and appearances. Most of all, it is a sometimes operatic, often unnerving and always moving chronicle of a certain kind of life. “Things would have turned out better if she had lived,” Theo said of his mother, fourteen years after she died. An understatement if ever there was one, but one that makes the selfish reader cry out: Oh, but then we wouldn’t have had this brilliant book! --Sara Nelson

From Publishers Weekly

Donna Tartt's latest novel clocks in at an unwieldy 784 pages. The story begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum that kills narrator Theo Decker's beloved mother and results in his unlikely possession of a Dutch masterwork called The Goldfinch. Shootouts, gangsters, pillowcases, storage lockers, and the black market for art all play parts in the ensuing life of the painting in Theo's care. With the same flair for suspense that made The Secret History (1992) such a masterpiece, The Goldfinch features the pulp of a typical bildungsroman—Theo's dissolution into teenage delinquency and climb back out, his passionate friendship with the very funny Boris, his obsession with Pippa (a girl he first encounters minutes before the explosion)—but the painting is the novel's secret heart. Theo's fate hinges on the painting, and both take on depth as it steers Theo's life. Some sentences are clunky (suddenly and meanwhile abound), metaphors are repetitive (Theo's mother is compared to birds three times in 10 pages), and plot points are overly coincidental (as if inspired by TV), but there's a bewitching urgency to the narration that's impossible to resist. Theo is magnetic, perhaps because of his well-meaning criminality. The Goldfinch is a pleasure to read; with more economy to the brushstrokes, it might have been great. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Oct. 22)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2739 KB
  • Print Length: 755 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 22, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BAXFECK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,683 of 1,822 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Several GREAT novellas in one very long book! October 22, 2013
Format:Hardcover
I won't go into the plot since everyone will know it. My concern whenever I'm given or purchase a very long book is, "Will it keep me engaged?" and is it worth the weeks it will take me to finish it?"

The answer with THE GOLDFINCH is "Yes!" and "Sorta!"

To me, the book is divided into sections or novellas--the explosion, living with the wealthy family, moving to Vegas, etc.

The brilliant opening section immediately kept me engaged--I think the explosion and Theo's experience and recovery is some of the best writing I've read in years.

The family he moves in with may remind you of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS or Salinger's Glass family. They are funny, a bit tragic and sort of odd. The father especially--something about his behavior seemed a bit "off" as did his wild dialogue; it didn't seem at all "real" in a novel that's very grounded in reality. (It's revealed later why he behaves this way.)

The next--and for me, strongest novella--takes place in Las Vegas where we "live" with Theo's father and girlfriend. The writing is vivid, the characters and plot really move along and it's all terrific.

And then, for me, THE GOLDFINCH seems to stall a bit and slightly loses its way. This painting that Theo carries with him seems to be forgotten about and then every 100 pages or so is mentioned again (not that we care.)

There's a novella about dealing in art (collection and deception) and our hero takes a downward turn, but I found myself losing interest and by page 600 was growing impatient for it to end...or for the plot to kick in again as it did in the first few sections.
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1,260 of 1,405 people found the following review helpful
Format:Preloaded Digital Audio Player
I passed the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day and was struck with a powerful and initially inexplicable melancholy. I had been affected by the experience of reading The Goldfinch, in the opening chapters of which a great tragedy happens there. The book is compelling and moving. Tartt is a master of foreshadowing, letting us know just enough of what is to come that we feel helpless to put down the book. I found myself staying up late for several nights, turning page after page to connect the dots. This book is every bit the equal of The Secret History in this regard. And it exceeds that earlier book in its great emotional depth. The opening section, in New York City, is terribly sad and in the hands of a lesser author this material would be difficult to get past. However, Tartt has signaled us well enough about the future of our protagonist, Theodore Dekker, that we stick with him. And from the second section of the book, while we have no shortage of continuing misery, it is tempered by hope or humor.

This is not to say that the book is necessarily realistic; it is structurally a Bildungsroman, and it constantly evokes earlier books rather than real life. In the opening section, when Theo is still living in New York City, I particularly detected The Catcher in the Rye. When he moves in with the family of a wealthy school friend, his hope of being adopted by them evokes elements of
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185 of 208 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as expected. January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Given all of the amazing reviews, and the NY Times rating, I had really high expectations. The story started off really strong and interesting, but became tedious, to the point that by the end I was skipping pages just to get through it.
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998 of 1,146 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A for effort November 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Let me start by saying Secret History is one of my favorite books. Having heard of this as a literary triumph better than History, I was really looking forward to reading it.

While a certain amount of hype has been bought and paid for, the rapturous reviews of this book leave me wondering how intellectually bankrupt this country must be to find this work brilliant.
It is brilliant only if you think Gone Girl was brilliant. Which is to say it is uneven, speech-y instead of profound, and badly in need of one of the editors of yore.

What I did like: the plot is creative, the work is ambitious, and the first 1/3 is engrossing and addictive.

What I didn't like: there are plot twists that are beyond absurd, there is far too much self-congratulatory philosophizing stuck in at the end in incredibly forced exposition. The end reads like student work. The characters are unlike able, and there are pages, pages and pages of drug addiction descriptions that begin to read like pornography. Characters are thinly drawn, and plot lines are left more unresolved than resolved (not for ambiguity's sake, because it seems she just forgot about them).

The brilliance of the Secret History was that Tartt was writing from her own world. Every detail, no matter how unlikely, rang true. History is engrossing at every turn. Goldfinch is so off from reality that it at points becomes unreadable and even laughable. Her notions of adoption, investigation, terrorism, male mindset, and the mental and intellectual capabilities of children, are naively imagined and poorly researched, as are all of the relationships between characters. Goldfinch reads as intellectual writerly masturbation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Highly Overrated
One of the most tedious books I have ever forced myself to finish. The writing was wonderful in places but way too many words in the end. It makes me not trust reviews. Read more
Published 51 minutes ago by Suzanne Leake
3.0 out of 5 stars maggiespearl1@aol.com
This was an epic novel of great depth, but I found it onerous reading. The basic story line was unique and interesting and many of the characters unforgettable, but oh the... Read more
Published 1 hour ago by MARGARET S. WELLS
5.0 out of 5 stars While reading this novel, I had to keep reminding ...
While reading this novel, I had to keep reminding myself: "This is not real! It did not happen! Relax! And breathe!"
Published 3 hours ago by Jacek
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time
Goldfinch is very long but worth the investment. Outstanding characters. The author doesn't throw the point of the book in your face. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Andrew
1.0 out of 5 stars DEPRESSING!!
DEPRESSING a! Very descriptive, almost too descriptive, I found myself skimming quite often to find the "meat" of the book. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exciting read.
Published 22 hours ago by Lucibella
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Very long and seemed to be written in the early 1900s. I wish it had been done about 200 pages earlier.
Published 23 hours ago by bowser
3.0 out of 5 stars Long read
Author is a great character developer but this book could have been 200 pages less. Storyline okay. Characters are good
Published 1 day ago by DM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful book! Couldn't put it down.
Published 1 day ago by L. Shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Areal page turner.
Had to keep reading,, I wanted a happier ending
Published 1 day ago by Evelyn Sasser
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More About the Author

Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Secret History and The Little Friend, which have been translated into thirty languages.

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Why is it not available for purchase at the Kindle store?
It is available now.
Apr 30, 2014 by sylvia silverman |  See all 3 posts
Get The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) for free!
Um, you come on here to post a link to a piracy site? No thanks, I'm not in favor of stealing from authors, as I'd like them to continue writing books.
Jun 1, 2014 by Schmuck w. Underwood |  See all 2 posts
Price difference
"A friend told me to come buy because it was $2.99... now I see it's over $7. Yeah whats the deal."

It's basic supply and demand. If demand increases but the supply remains unchanged, the price goes up. This novel is particularly popular lately. (By the way, $7 measly dollars is not... Read More
Dec 17, 2013 by MJN76 |  See all 8 posts
Price difference Be the first to reply
OMG She's finally published another novel Be the first to reply
Disappeared from my kindle books. Be the first to reply
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