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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 6 April 2017
In my top ten ever best books. A must-read-and I've read it twice. I then went on to read all her others but this for me is her absolute best
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on 15 August 2017
No Stars. . pulitzer prize! - That award has gone right down in my estimation!
Long,long drawn out chapters padded with tangential irrelevancies. A silly plot, such as I discerned one in the five chapters I could stomach.
One dimensional stock characters with such lack of depth they betray an author whose dearth of imagination( and effort) would shame Dame Barbara Cartland(pbuh)
And the dialogue: Oh the stilted, painful, grinding awful dialogue! I'd add confusing too as half the time it wasn't clear who was half-speaking but frankly by then I'd given up caring.
Hours of my life I will never get back.
Excruciatingly unpleasant experience.
Go to the dentist. Pull your nails out with pliers, watch Reeves & Mortimer repeats even. Anything but waste your life on this book!
Abandon hope all ye who read it. You have been forewarned.
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on 12 November 2015
I'm writing this review having not seen any others on Amazon. I chose this book, having read last years MBP winner, The Luminaries. This title, having been nominated for the same award, pales in comparison. The book is three, even four times longer than it needs to be, and the title is incredibly misleading. I am very disappointed having spent many hours ploughing through this hefty tome. The first half is by far the better, with some great scenes between Theo and his father/father's girlfriend in Arizona; the second half is meandering, anachronistic and dull, and despite its length, the text offers no real insight into any of the characters or their motivations. There are some really quite laughable analogies throughout, such as when time appears to skip like a DVD that has been scratched. I felt completely underwhelmed by the ending, and didn't really care what happened to Theo, even though perhaps this was the desired effect for the address to the reader at the novel's close.

A disappointing 4/10.
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on 18 March 2017
Not my usual read, but I was attracted by the description on the back and wanted a good long read. Overall the story was good, although I did think parts of it were a bit drawn out. I almost gave up at one point, but stuck with it. The ending was a little predictable, but if you want a decent length book it is worth a read.
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on 22 July 2017
I read this book because many friends raved about the Donna Tartt novels especially this one. Initially I found it very slow going, I didn't particularly warm to the main character. Once I got into it, it was a page turner and I was keen to see how the chaos would resolve itself. By the end though, although there was a nice tale of redemption, I found myself frustrated and still struggling to empathise with a main character who is weak and surrenders to his weakness.
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on 6 February 2014
The Secret History rates as one of my all time favourite books so I was eagerly awaiting this one. I love a good, long read, which utterly engrosses you and makes you want to stay up late at night reading, and it did all that and more. There was however too much focus on the drug/alcohol obsession (particularly in Theo's teenage years), but that was compensated for by how beautifully the book is written. There were quite a few sentences, and even paragraphs, that I just had to go back and read over again for their sheer elegance; Donna Tartt has a way of making even life's ugliest moments sound poetic - very clever indeed. Let's hope we don't have to wait so long for her next oeuvre...
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on 6 August 2017
A few people had recommended this book, but it felt a little bit 'emperor's new clothes' to me I'm afraid. There were some bits which I loved, but great chunks which I found drawn out, wordy and rather dull. I found the relentless drug-taking off-putting and I found it hard to warm to shy if the characters, with the exception of Hobie and Pippa. I couldn't work out whether we were supposed to like Theo or not.

I confess I lost interest by page 700 and it was a real slog to finish it. Another reviewer summed this book up by saying it was both 'fantastic and boring'.
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on 10 January 2017
The first half of this book was pretty good, in fact there were parts when I was gripped. The second half felt like it had been written by someone one drugs. It was so odd. and SO VERY LOOOONG. Give it a miss.
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on 12 December 2016
Much too long. I felt that it promised more than it actually gave. I stuck with it to the end but, for me, it was a collection of assorted stories with a chunk of moralising at the end. The book was well reviewed so I have obviously missed the point! However, it did take me to the painting when it was on tour and I loved it.
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on 28 January 2014
I very much enjoyed this novel. I prefer The Secret History and didn't much like The Little Friend. I did wonder how this was going to end and I deducted a start for the ending which was elegiac nonsense. But! It's over 700 pages and I read it eagerly every night so I it give it a try - highly recommended.
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