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.
FROM THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF THE GOLDFINCH
Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt’s bestseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement – both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.
‘What we did was terrible, but still I don’t think any of us were bad, exactly; chalk it up to weakness on my part, hubris on Henry’s, too much Greek prose composition – whatever you like.’
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 morality, their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.
The Secret History is a story of two parts; the chain of events that led to the death of a classmate – and what happened next.
‘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
‘A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction . . . Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture’ The 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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