The Secret History

February 28, 2020 - Comment

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

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Comments

Anonymous says:

Highly recommended, but Kindle edition problem The best 19th century novels encompassed the mess of the universe – think Anna Karenina’s chapters on harvesting wheat and Moby Dick’s encyclopedic details of whale physiology. The 20th century specialized in taut plots where nothing is wasted – Gatsby, Old Man and the Sea, the classic crime novels. Tartt falls in the middle. Is their a tight through line about the murder and its aftermath and the intricacies of young relationships? Yup. Are there digressions into the nuances of ancient Greek…

Anonymous says:

Tedious and somewhat repulsive and confusing. I will start by saying I loved The Goldfinch. Loved it. So, it was interesting to see how Tartt’s brilliant writing was shaped and honed during the intervening years. But that writing could not redeem such tedious and pretentious characters. None of them were genuinely interesting, or remotely believable. I went to college during the years this seems to have been set, and almost none of it rang true. NO ONE wore fancy suits around campus, even for dramatic effect or as a pretentious…

Anonymous says:

Weak Opening with a Strong Ending This won’t be one of my typical 3-star reviews. To start, the writing is gorgeous and so dreamy. None of the scenes seem fully grounded, kind of as if Tartt is guiding the reader through the confusing haze Richard remembers of his college years. A California boy with dreams of studying ancient Greek, Richard goes to Hampden College in New England and it’s all Greek to him until his entire friend group slowly starts unraveling.I love that the book opens with a murder because Richard…

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