Genre: American Novel - Bildungsroman & Thriller

Published: 2013 - Read: c2019

The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt (1963 - )

Pages: 912

Reader: CMBC

A daunting prospect! So many pages...

It would be hard to think up a more explosive opening (literally) for a novel! The terrorist bomb which goes off in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and indirectly enables Theodore Decker to make off with Carel Fabritius's painting of The Goldfinch is on a par with McEwan's horrific ballooning accident at the start of Enduring Love. Both really good examples of a 'hook' to grab your attention.

Perhaps my favourite character is Hobie, the kindly antiques dealer.

Boris Pavlikovsky is a character who injects tension into the novel; he is a dangerous and unpredictable foil to Theo. Their relationship is intriguing. Pippa is strangely allusive as Theo's romantic interest. She too is fascinating, but never really allowed to be centre stage.

From the Waterstones website:

A profound meditation on loss and belonging that doubles as a compelling psychological thriller, Tartt’s monolithic bildungsroman shimmers with insight and incident on every page. From urban metropolis to parched desert and dusty antiques store to Manhattan high society, The Goldfinch is an endlessly enjoyable novel that speaks eloquently to our times. 

So much to admire and appreciate in the spawling saga. Marked down a little because it was over long. Quite a few reviewers have made the comment that it flags a little in the middle...


The Goldfinch was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014.

Amazon selected the novel as the 2013 Best Book of the Year.

It was shortlisted for 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

It was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for 2014.

The book was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review.

The Goldfinch - Extras

Released 2019. I bought the DVD. Not watched it yet!
The inspiration - Carel Fabritius's 1654 painting
R4 Front Row on this novel
R4 Front Row on this painting