Secret History

Secret History

Book - 1992
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Knopf : 1992
ISBN: 9781400031702
Branch Call Number: FIC Tart
Characteristics: 523p


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List - Steph's Best Books - 2016
smc_1 Dec 17, 2016

I loved Tartt's recent Goldfinch and also really enjoyed Secret History - her first book. Part-suspense, part-character study, part-coming-of-age story about murder in a Vermont college town.

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SPPL_Violet Mar 17, 2018

Donna Tartt's debut novel is hailed as modern masterpiece. This work of literary fiction may not be suitable for some, though. The story follows a group of young aesthetes studying classical Greek in a small New Hampshire college in the 90's. Their social bond consists of feelings of superiority over their peers, Greek literature, and wild romps in the country that lead to tragedy. None of the main characters are likable, but their story is compelling. Languidly paced, beautifully written. Lovers of language rejoice! This is a book for you. If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, I wouldn't recommend this one.

Oct 23, 2017

Contrary to many others, I didn't find this book ponderous in the least. Instead, I enjoyed the realistic pace at which events steadily unfolded in retrograde and through recollection, and was completely glued to it. Richard as narrator is our counterpart as the reader: passive at first - more of a voyeur to the group whose relationships with each other and their professor cannot be known prior to our introduction - but soon enough a confidante in the circle left wrestling with what's been revealed. My rating was knocked down a bit because I was disappointed that Julian remains distant for the most part, like we can't really know him (although this does figure in later). I want to know about the students' experience with him up to that point and how his teaching set everything in motion. I just wanted MORE backstory and to know their relationships with the ancient Greek literature and culture that made up the core of their study... To speak to the connection between this work and The Goldfinch, I see it in Richard and Theo, in that they are kind of sophists moving in their adopted worlds; for Richard it is that of his well-off friends, and for Theo it is the world in general following the traumatic event that defined his life from that point.

CRRL_MegRaymond Sep 25, 2017

Six students at an elite New England University for a tight-knit circle. But they have more in common than studying Greek.

Aug 04, 2017

I admit I could not stop turning pages and read this book in about 2 days, staying up until 2 AM both times. And, it's kinda a joke, I had to stop and laugh at a lot of parts just because of how absurd these snobby children's sense of superiority is. It's a bit sensational... The characters, suspense, and slow indirect plot revelations are really well done.

Aug 04, 2017

I gave her a high rating because this woman writes better than anyone else I can think of, but the book will not appeal to everyone. It is a story about unusual, amoral characters who exist in an amoral setting and who eventually do evil things. I didn't find any of the characters appealing and kept wondering throughout whether Tartt spent a year in research before she started writing, or whether she is just a strange Geek. I googled her and discovered she is the latter.

EvaELPL Jun 28, 2017

A dark, twisting story about murder, Greco-Roman classicism, and boarding school, this story is elevated to a sum greater than its parts by Donna Tartt's impeccable writing. None of the characters here are especially likable, but Tartt writes them so brilliantly you'll be instantly drawn in by them anyway.

multcolib_susannel May 06, 2017

The question is not who killed Bunny, but why.

Jan 08, 2017

This book makes you examine the persuasive ability of someone's peers. At one point I wanted Bunny dead too!

Jan 05, 2017

This book was too dark, but more than that, I found no one to like.

VaughanPLAlyssia Jan 03, 2017

First I loved this book, then I hated it, then I loved it again. And now a week after I finished it, I can’t stop thinking about it. Stories about preppy college students with self-induced problems are my jam, for some reason. I am having such a hard time finding similar books to appease my withdrawal. I might just read this one all over again.

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Aug 04, 2017

actually they're studying ancient Greek, and their social bond is a sense of superiority over the other students as well as local working-class people, and they do horrible things over the course of 1 school year, told from point of view of an incoming freshman who pretends to be rich like them because he admires their inhumane snobbery and is bored and ashamed of his own background.

Jun 01, 2016

Six college friends become more closely connected through their secluded study of Latin, but all they believed to be true about one another and their intentions crumbles when a series of unpredictable events spirals out of control.

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Aug 19, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Aug 18, 2015

Other: incest


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Jun 02, 2016

"Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation."

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