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The Secret History Kindle Edition
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A 'haunting, compelling, and brilliant'(The Times) novel about a group of students who, under the influence of their professor find their lives changed forever, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch
Truly deserving of the accolade 'modern classic', Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement - compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.
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 for ever as they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
'A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction ... Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth' -The Times
So irresistible and seductive it's almost a guilty pleasure ― Guardian
A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read ― Vanity Fair
Donna Tartt is an amazingly good writer. She's dense, she's allusive. She's a gorgeous storyteller -- Stephen King
Takes my breath away -- Ruth Rendell
Brilliant and compulsive ― Evening Standard
A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction ... Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth ― The Times --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00CEGTVGC
- Publisher : Little, Brown Book Group (2 May 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 970 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 519 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,348 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I am a classic scholar myself (rather been one 25 years ago) and the book has special appeal for me.
Tartt's books are not an easy read but they are why literature is such a marvelous art.
Her books make me wish I could read them again as for the first time...
Top reviews from other countries
It's not a bad book - but it's pretty anemic fare when you look closely. You'd think that ancient Greek would provide a charming and interesting motif. You'd be wrong. Like most of the book, it's thin set dressing for a medium-interesting melodrama that doesn't really go anywhere.
It's nicely written, but not so much as to ever make you stop and marvel.
The characters are strangely thin. The plot seems poised to set them up as being profound, but then fumbles it. I did wonder if this was a thematic point, but I don't really think so, on reflection. The characterisation is also somewhat....bloodless. Again, I don't really this was deliberate *enough*. Meaning: I think it was deliberate, but serves no overarching purpose, like you'd hope.
It's fine. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.
This book was published in 1992, but harks back to a time more reminiscent of the early 1900's in style. The language used by some of the characters, namely Bunny, is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby. The characters are proper, intelligent, well-spoken,well-dressed, apparently wealthy young people, yet their lives are fueled by drink, drugs, and cigarettes. The drug abuse in this book is merely an undertone of the main story and therefore not as striking, especially considering the characters go about their addictions as though they are of no importance at all. This however, creates an air of mystery - building a world that few of us could ever know. A secret world of intoxication and prose. Of fine restaurants and best suits.
The story is better described as a 'whydunnit' - opening with the death of a main character, with Book 1 of the story describing the events leading to the death, and Book 2 describing the events after the death. Our narrator, Richard, arrives at the fictional Hampden College with the intention of continuing his studies in Greek, and there has his first encounter with enigmatic tutor Julian, who eventually permits him to study in his small selective class of only six students. Previously fascinated with these students, Richard soon finds himself drawn into their world of bygone-time splendor. Richard struggles to open himself up to the group, especially as they are all of discernible wealth, and he has entered the school on Financial Aid to the horror of his Californian parents, but soon finds that they are keeping a far bigger secret from him.
The relationships between the main characters throughout the book are extremely interesting. At times it seems like everyone is sleeping with everyone, everyone hates everyone, everyone loves everyone. These friends are as family members, and move only together. As events unfold and some characters begin to lose themselves to either love, alcohol, murderous intentions, or drugs, the plot moves fantastically, with barely a dull paragraph. As previously mentioned, the use of such ornate and graceful language builds both atmosphere and suspense. It was a pleasure to read and I have even noticed Donna Tartt's use of language sneaking into my day to day writing and speech.
This book is a dark and classical masterpiece, the plot points of which you will never expect until they happen. I look forward to reading more of Tartt's work.
It doesn't. This book is extremely dull; very little actually happens, the characters are caricatures of either American college kids or Classics scholars, and the whole story could have been wrapped-up in about a third of the time it takes to read it.