Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt's cult bestseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement - both 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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 640 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/07/1993
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140167771
Showing 1 - 5 of 21 reviews.
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Review by hippietrail
This book is good but it started off great. As it progresses I'm finding that bit by bit it sheds more of its literary pretensions and reveals itself as not much more than a gussied-up crime novel. I find the characters' names distractingly schlocky but also the styles and vocabularies used by the narrative, and the various characters tend to jar a little. I've had a tough time pinning down the era. The students mostly use outdated language which suits them, but that jarrs with eighties valley-talk from others, and constant mention of hippies. I also find it odd that when somebody quotes Ancient Greek, it might appear in the book translated into English, transliterated, or in Greek script.Another thing which annoyed me was some very female observations coming from what is supposed to be a male narrator/protagonist. How many blokes know a "clutch" is a type of handbag?These are all minor points to be sure and I'll certainly read more by this author when I have the chance. I think she has potential beyond what we see here.
Review by Clurb
I found this book thoroughly engaging and intelligent and wonderful to the point where I began to ration myself so that I could eke out the last few pages for just that little bit longer. The tortured characters completely captured my imagination and their plight was agonising and exciting in equal measure. Truly marvellous stuff.
Review by ehines
Depiction of prestigious-liberal-arts-college life is laughable, characters are generally pretty thin, just not so very good.
Review by gerrymcdonald
One of my very favourite novels in any genre. Quite stunning in any case, but the fact that it is a debut novel makes it's brilliance even more remarkable. I have read it three times, and I know I will read it again at some future date.
Review by bibliobeck
Dark and dazzling - on my 'read again' list for years but I'll get there eventually.
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