87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
Page turner! Couldn't put it down! and other cliches as well.,
This review is from: The Secret History (Paperback)
I found myself trying to sell the story of The Secret History to a friend of mine in an effort to get him to read it. It went something like this.
ME: Its reeeeeeeally good. Its about this close knit group of college kids who do something really shocking and then do something more shocking to cover the first thing up!
ME: Um....... that's about it really.
I resorted to reading the cover notes to him and they weren't much better. Y'see, there are only a few shocking moments within the book but they are essential building blocks for later parts of the novel. To tell you, nay even hint as to what the shocking moments are would ruin vast swathes of this novel for you, and shame shame shame shame on other reviewers on these pages for doing so. SHAME!
This novel is beautiful and claustrophobic. Donna Tartt's writing style elegantly and effortlessly guides you through this bizarre world of academia. Her characters are fully rounded and complete and, as you expect from any good novel, you find yourself totally believing in them.
Underneath the subtle cover, bland title and nondescript blurb on the back is a doozer of a story. I recommend this title to anyone.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Apr 2009 11:29:43 BDT
Ms. A. E. Irving says:
My names Angela, and I am in requirement of people to complete two questionnaires which I have put together to aid me in designing a new book cover for 'The Secret History'.
I am a Graphic Design Student at Staffordshire university, and I have been provided a competition brief by Penguin Books to re-design the cover of 'The Secret History' , and in doing so I need to derive some information about it's reading audience. None of the questions asked require any amount of personal information, just simple questions about taste's etc.
If you would be willing to complete these two brief questionnaires it would be of great help to me! I would e-mail the questionnaires to you, to whichever e-mail address you would so prefer, and i would thereafter get rid of your e-mail address from my computer.
If you would be willing to complete these questionnaires for me please contact me at:
Hope to hear from you soon,
Posted on 30 Nov 2011 12:52:29 GMT
LOL to G Lloyd... I had exactly the same conversation! Just how do you explain??
Posted on 19 Jan 2014 15:39:55 GMT
To anyone who hasn't read the book yet, and found out the story from other reviews, don't be put off!
You learn very early on in the novel - the first few pages in fact - the 'something really shocking.' To reveal this in the reviews is hardly more than the author does herself. The interest and enjoyment of this novel is not in the 'surprise' of the shocking moments, but in the exploration of the characters' relationships with each other and what has led them to commit such an atrocious act. Donna Tartt has said herself that, in keeping with the Classical references, it's more akin to a Greek tragedy than a murder mystery - the audience is fully aware, and the tension comes from the fateful inevitability of knowing what's coming - the dramatic irony that the only person who doesn't know is the victim.
If you're going to watch Hamlet or Othello or any other Shakespearean tragedy, chances are you already know who dies. Yet people still flock to see them enacted - because watching a good story unfold doesn't rely on your ignorance of the plot for its success. If knowing what was going to happen 'ruined vast swathes of the novel,' why are there people here saying they've re-read it so many times...
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