The Secret History
Mr B's review
A group of eccentric, privileged Classics students at a college in rural Vermont get carried away re-enacting a Roman Bacchic ritual and end up committing unspeakable crimes… As well as being a compelling psychological thriller, like all Donna Tartt’s writing, this novel is wonderfully erudite and boasts a larger-than-life cast of characters. It’s superbly paced and plotted, the narrative unfolding with a masterful level of suspense that’s just enough to keep the reader guessing, and peppered with enough suggestions of the supernatural to make you unsure what to believe. It’s haunting and brilliant, and one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
THE BESTSELLER THAT DEFINED AN AGE
‘Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together—my future, my past, the whole of my life—and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!’
Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries. But their search for the transcendent leads them down a dangerous path, beyond human constructs of morality.
‘Haunting, compelling and brilliant’ The Times
‘Irresistible and seductive’ Guardian
‘Enthralling… Forceful, cerebral and impeccably controlled’ New York Times
A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction … Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth * The Times * Brilliant and compulsive * Evening Standard * Takes my breath away — Ruth Rendell Donna Tartt is an amazingly good writer. She’s dense, she’s allusive. She’s a gorgeous storyteller — Stephen King A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read * Vanity Fair * So irresistible and seductive it’s almost a guilty pleasure * Guardian * The Secret History succeeds magnificently … A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment … Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled * New York Times *
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