Audiobook Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

17333535Published: October 22nd, 2013 

By: Hachette Audio

Narrated By: David Pittu (32 hours, 29 minutes)

Genres: Literary-Fiction, Contemporary, Coming-of-Age

Format: Audio CD Source: Purchased 

My Rating: 4 Stars 

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Theo Decker, a thirteen-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 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.

My Thoughts


When I first purchased this CD set, back in 2013, I was really looking forward to listening to it. However, other books got in the way, and I really wasn’t feeling audio-anything for a while. I think after listening to A Game of Thrones, it wore me out and I couldn’t listen to another long audio book for months. It’s really funny, because I love music.

 The Goldfinch is one that I really love, yet I was annoyed for the last half of the story. Why? Because, this is a story where you have to pay attention to the time jumps. Back and forth, on and on it went. I’m pretty sure there was a mention of Blue Ivy – Beyonce’s daughter. If not, then some other celeb’s child with the name Blue. It took me 10 days to get all of this in. If I would have known ahead of time that the story would be sporadic, I would have listened to some of this in the car. I was too caught up with finishing the disk that I was currently listening to, instead of just grabbing the next one to take with me to work. If anything, I should have just gotten the hardcover, and been done with it in half the time.

The Goldfinch is about Theo Decker’s life – past and present. From his brush with death at a museum explosion – that killed his mother, we get to see where Theo’s life headed and, ultimately, where it began. The most interesting aspect of this story would have to be the art. Yes, it’s quite shocking to say because I’m no artist. Theo’s need to protect and preserve such a famous painting made me remember just what he’s been through. I hate it when someone goes through something horrific, and they turn around and still have a s****y life. We go through the highs and lows of his life with him, and one can’t help but feel his pain, loss, love, and fears.

I’m one to always remember my parents, especially my mother. But, I was sometimes thinking to myself that Theo should have taken that painting to another museum so that he wouldn’t have to relive that devastating moment when terror struck and took his mom from him. And then I’d rearrange my thoughts, because no matter if he had the painting or not, his memories of that day will always be there. He went through all the things that a lost person goes through. He even experimented with drugs. He loved, but was afraid to let it show. My heart broke for him. He got into trouble, but he was never truly alone. 

One of my main reasons for not listening to a lot of audiobooks, is because I have a problem with narrators. David Pittu, for the most part, rocked this story. I was really enjoying his narration, and the accents were spot on. Around the 60% mark, I started to get really irritated with his voice. Thinking back now, I really think that it’s the drawn out story that irked me, and not his voice. So, sorry Mr. Pittu, for doubting your mad skills with this monster book! 

I wouldn’t say that this is a young-adult nor adult book. I’m always a little lost when a protagonist starts off as a child, but the story ends with adulthood. I think this is one for the masses; like so many other literary coming-of-age stories. Highly recommend!

38 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

  1. I can see how Game of Thrones could wear you out. This one sounds interesting. I like coming of age stories and have heard a lot of good things about The Goldfinch. I might do what you did and listen to it on audio though. I find it easier to get through literary fiction books that way.


  2. I’ve heard so much about this book and it’s like I see it everywhere, but this is the first time a blogger I know has reviewed it. Do you think it would have worked even better if you read it? I know I struggle a lot with audiobooks that have time jumps in the story, but I find it less distracting and confusing when I’m actually reading it on a page.


  3. This is one of my favorite authors and I loved this book but I can definitely understand your annoyance! Not sure I could even do this one on audio since it’s so damn long!!


  4. Yay! I am glad you read this one. I basically loved reading this one because the character just sucked me in. He had such a hard childhood and we could see how much the event followed him all through his life and haunted him, in everything he did and turned to. Sometimes it was hard to determine whether people were good for him or not, because there weren’t always just “good” or “bad” characters. I thought the writing style was amazing and you can tell that this is a true piece of literature. On top of all that, like you, I found myself more intrigued with the art than I originally thought I would be. I do love my art pieces but am not a specialist or anything. The time jumps didn’t bother me in the slightest — but that might be because I read it and didn’t listen to it? Actually, unless you had mentioned the time jumps I would have basically forgotten there ever were any >.>


  5. Great review! This one looks pretty good. It’s been on my to read list since it came out, but I haven’t picked it up yet. I don’t think I would pick this one up on audiobook, although I’m not an audiobook person to begin with. The only ones I really like on audiobook is James Marsters doing the Dresden Files.


  6. I always though this sounded interesting but it’s not enough to grab me. I am NOT a fan of audiobooks the narration always throws me, the voices never work! At least, not for me. I’m glad you were able to enjoy this one, sounds like they may have gotten one right, finally. Nice review 🙂


  7. I just balked at how long this audiobook is! It usually takes me a really long time to go through audiobooks in the first place because I don’t have lots of free time where I can listen, so this would probably take me a month to finish.
    Anyways, I really like books that you make you feel as this one clearly did, but at the same time, the time jumps would bother me. I’ll have to think about this one!
    Lovely review though, Lekeisha! 🙂


  8. Well done Lekeisha for getting through this one, I’ve just recently started audiobooks and I’m the fussiest person ever when it comes to narrators voices, so I can understand how Pittu’s voice would get to you after a while. Although I do find the appeal of this book, I don’t think I’d be able to deal with 32 hours of it, but I think I will certainly be giving the physical copy a go, so thanks for putting it on my radar!


  9. Don’t you feel like you deserve a medal or something when you finish a long audiobook? I am at the end of a very long audiobook and I feel like I have been listening to it forever.

    Great review! I haven’t listened to this narrator before but that can make a huge difference. I bought this book several years ago but haven’t gotten around to it yet. It does sound like reading this one on paper may be the way to go since I don’t do well with audiobooks with lots of details. Glad that you enjoyed this one.


  10. Great review, Lekeisha! I can’t stand numerous time jumps myself so I totally get what you’re saying… Glad you enjoyed this one though!


  11. I’m not sure about this one for me. Certain things draw me in and others have me hesitate. Maybe if I’m in the right mood.

    Had to laugh about your thing with the audio. I’ve had to silently apologize to narrators, too, when a story annoyed me and yet it was the voice I got upset at. 🙂

    Engaging review, Lekeisha!


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