The Secret History Paperback – 1 Jul 1993
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A haunting, compelling and brilliant piece of fiction (The Times)
So irresistible and seductive it's almost a guilty pleasure (Guardian)
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 huge, mesmerizing, galloping read (Vanity Fair)
A page-turner in the true sense (Independent)
Brilliant (Sunday Times)
The phenomenal bestseller that has become a contemporary classic, now available for the first time in ebook in the UK. Under the influence of their professor, a group of clever students at an elite New England college find their lives changed for ever.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Originally I bought it only because a friend of mine had recommended it to me about a dozen times and kept asking me whether I had finally read it myself. Well. I was into 19th century classics at the time and really really really didn't feel like reading a novel by an unknown contemporary author. And an American one as well! So I bought and started reading it only to avoid further awkward quesions.
What can I say? I truly love books and have read hundreds. But none, literally NONE, ever made me feel the way The Secret History did and still does. It's the most fascinating and gripping book I've ever had the honour to read. The characters are fascinatingly mysterious; the plot the most interesting one I can think of; the setting great; and the language simply wonderful.
The bad thing about having read The Secret History (10 times? 11?) is that now I will always be longing for another one like it. The Secret History is THE book.
I know that other readers have experienced the same. Many of them keep asking about a new novel by Donna Tartt. I don't. I don't really want her to write another one, and I don't think she will. Every serious author wants their new novel to be just a little bit better than the last one. And let's face it: Donna Tartt will never achieve that because she's already written the perfect novel.
The book is a study in psychological horror, as the inevitable events flow like a Greek tragedy of their own. We are brought face-to-face with psychopathic behaviour, obesession, addiction, paranoia and deep dark fear, and are forced to ask ourselves the question: how would we respond? What would we do?
The book has an excellent pace, and is beautifully balanced and structured, with suspense and mystery at every turn. It's one that you want to keep reading, and is truly a pleasure. The writing is excellent and the classical references are thrown in with apparent authenticity and without condescension, in just the right measure. At the same time, there is an underlying, very dark humour, that perfectly offsets the pathos that would otherwise be almost unbearable.
This first rate work deserves the highest commendation. Read it.
I have owned eight copies of this book. Anyone I loan it to either keeps it or passes it on to someone who does! And I have re-read it over a dozen times, just to feel again the inexorable passage through the plot, the feeling of inevitability about it all, and the edge-of-your-seat suspense which permeates the whole novel.
I hear Ms Tartt has just completed her second novel, nine years after this one was released. It has a lot to live up to. If you have never read The Secret History, do so right now, before someone makes a terrible movie out of it!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't find anything really enjoyable about this book. It was so long winded in the beginning that I found it hard to keep going with it but I love the goldfinch so thought I would... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Kiley
Well written, gripping in its dark, descent into an otherworldly landscape, populated by young, rich intellectual elite whose social separation leads them on to a horrific,... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Surfworm
Great story, love the way she builds the plot. The characters are eccentric but believable. Great author.Published 20 days ago by Ivy Bell
The quality of this book as absolutely disgusting! Was only 2 pages in when it started falling apart! Very disappointed and frustrated!Published 21 days ago by Daniel
Came quickly, loved the book in the past, one of my favourite reads! Recommend to anyone!Published 28 days ago by Humblelulu
Great book , great story. I've been very disappointed by her subsequent books , they are dreadfully overwritten . Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Harvey