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The Secret History

The Secret History 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 hu

  • Title: The Secret History
  • Author: Donna Tartt
  • ISBN: 9781400031702
  • Page: 390
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last 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 normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last inexorably into evil.

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    About Author

    1. Donna Tartt says:
      Donna Tartt is an American writer who received critical acclaim for her first two novels, The Secret History and The Little Friend, which have been translated into thirty languages Tartt was the 2003 winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend Her novel The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 The daughter of Don and Taylor Tartt, she was born in Greenwood, Mississippi but raised 32 miles away in Grenada, Mississippi At age five, she wrote her first poem, and she first saw publication in a Mississippi literary review at age 13.Enrolling in the University of Mississippi in 1981, she pledged to the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma Her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris while she was a freshman Following a recommendation from Morris, Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss Writer in Residence, admitted Tartt into his graduate short story course where, stated Hannah, she ranked higher than the graduate students Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982, where she was friends with fellow students Bret Easton Ellis, Jill Eisenstadt, and Jonathan Lethem At Bennington she studied classics with Claude Fredericks She divides her time between Virginia and New York City.

    Comment 565 on “The Secret History

    1. Rebecca says:
      This novel, like so many other first novels, is full of everything that the author wants to show off about herself Like a freshman who annoys everyone with her overbearing sense of importance and unfathomable potential, Donna Tartt wrote this book as though the world couldn t wait to read about all of the bottled up personal beliefs, literary references, and colorfully apt metaphors that she had been storing up since the age of 17.The most fundamentally unlikable thing about this book is that al [...]

    2. Maggie Stiefvater says:
      Five Things About The Secret History This is going to be a difficult book for me to talk about I finished it days ago but I find myself a little verklempt, I ll admit It s been a long time since a book has stuck with me so completely as this one, and I say that having had a quite remarkable year for memorable reading So, the summary is straightforward and completely unhelpful a Californian boy arrives at a private New England college where he falls in with a bunch of snooty but delightful Classi [...]

    3. Martine says:
      The first paragraph of The Secret History roughly sums up the mood of the book In it, the narrator, Richard Papen, says that he thinks his fatal flaw is a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs If you can relate to these words, chances are you ll love The Secret History If not, you ll probably wonder what the fuss is all about Personally, I can totally relate to these words, so I love the book I ve read it over half a dozen times, and while I do think it has its problems, I never fail t [...]

    4. Paquita Maria Sanchez says:
      First of all, if you are one of those people who dismiss a book as inherently bad simply because you just couldn t relaaa yeeete to aunnny of the charaaactaaaars gum smack smack smack then do not read this book If you can relate to anyone in this novel, then I dismiss you as inherently bad In fact, I fucking hate you Yes, you, because my guess is that, as a modern day example of all the characters in this novel, you probably have a account, and read nothing but tome suh and write snide, condesce [...]

    5. Melanie says:
      Beauty is terror Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it I have never read anything like this book in my entire life I laid in bed for over an hour last night upon finishing this book, just tossing and turning and thinking about everything I just consumed I still don t think I can put my feelings into words, but I can honestly say this book was a cathartic experience for me, and the irony of the word catharsis being a Greek rooted word is not lost on me, because if this book is anything [...]

    6. Jamie says:
      Okay, this book This book was a lot of fun, partially, I think, because it was written in this fashion which made determining whether this was past, present or future virtually impossible It was very romantically written and I tend to go for that sort of thing simple meals of tomato soup and skim milk, five college aged students who drink tea as well as burbon, scotch and on occasion whiskey but not with anything as muddled and middle class as coke mixed in no, they drink it on ice, in thick lea [...]

    7. Paul Bryant says:
      Apparently the New York Times described The Secret History as PowerfulEnthrallingA ferociously well paced entertainment and Time said A smart, craftsman like, viscerally compelling novel Very funny, guys, ha ha and all that They re such jolly jokesters They ll have you believing anything The Secret History is complete tripe no, that s harsh, let me put it another way it s COMPLETE TRIPE oh dear, this keyboard has a mind of its own and is very firm about its opinions too but this book is also the [...]

    8. Arah-Lynda says:
      And after we stood whispering in the underbrush one last look at the body and a last look round, no dropped keys, lost glasses, everybody got everything and then started single file through the woods, I took one glance back through the saplings that leapt to close the path behind me Though I remember the walk back and the first lonely flakes of snow that came drifting through the pines, remember piling gratefully into the car and starting down the road like a family on vacation, with Henry drivi [...]

    9. Joe Hill says:
      Someone just brought up Nietzsche s Apollonian vs Dionysian theory, which is described at the link below, if you are as unfamiliar as I was geocities danielmacryaApparently Donna Tartt was well versed in this theme, as it is prevalent in The Secret History The gist of Nietzsche s theory is that the ancient Greeks attained such a high level of culture mainly due to their personal struggle between the opposing philosophies of Apollo and Dionysus Apollo being the god of art, and thus, stagnation, w [...]

    10. Abby says:
      The Secret History by Donna Tartt is like drinking the scotch the characters drink in the book smooth, sweet, smoky and scalding You keep drinking, having no idea how drunk your getting Then you try to stand up and the world falls out from under your feet The Secret History captured me from the first page with the introduction of the narrator, Richard, and his memories of Hampden College in Vermont He falls in with a group of Intellectuals studying the Classics under the tutelage of an eccentric [...]

    11. Zweegas says:
      Okay, so let me see if I understand what s going on in this book These college kids accidentally murder someone while participating in some ancient ritual which involves some form of alternate consciousness Then, they re shockingly ho hum about the entire thing because after all it was just some random farmhand or something who just accidentally happened to be around They never ever discuss this murder They don t even really feel bad about it until someone threatens to expose them Plus, instead [...]

    12. Dan Schwent says:
      When Richard Papen joins an exclusive group of Classics students, he has no idea of the secret world of drugs, alcohol, and violence he s about to be thrust into When one of the students winds up dead, can the rest cope or destroy themselves Yeah, it sounds like the crime books I usually read but it s a whole lot deeper than that This is one of those Big Important Books, full of things like themes and literary references Like Jim Thompson getting the sauce under control and writing about college [...]

    13. destini mia says:
      I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other This is the only story I will ever be able to tell I m still in limbo after finishing this book Honestly, I don t know what I was expecting from The Secret History This is one of those books were you finish the last page, put it down, and don t know what to do with yourself.But walking through it all was one thing walking away, unfortunately, has proved to be quite another, and though once I though [...]

    14. Alex says:
      Shortly after starting this book I d Donna Tartt, to see if I was dealing with some sort of reverse George Eliot I had been under the impression that only men got as smugly pretentious as Tartt does But no, she s a real lady Ask Bret Easton Ellis, whom she was banging at U Miss while in a grad writing course that also included Jonathan Lethem and Jill Eisenstadt, so that is a whopping lot of talent in one course, and also Bret Easton Ellis.And you sortof start to wonder, did he start a competiti [...]

    15. Adina says:
      DNF at 70% If you love one book by a certain author it does not automatically mean you will enjoy all the author s work Me, while reading The Secret History.Before I begin my review I have to inform you that Goldfinch is one of my favorite novels If you want, you can see my short review here Based on that fact, there should be no doubt in anyone s mind of how much I love Donna Tartt s writing I thought it was perfect in the first novel I read by her, it kept me coming back for each day, even th [...]

    16. ✨jamieson ✨ says:
      A month or two before, I would have been appalled at the idea of any murder at all But that Sunday afternoon, as I actually stood watching one, it seemed the easiest thing in the world this book starts and it s like hello bitches, welcome to murder club Here is Bunny, he is dead, he got murdered strap the fuck in.This book is actually not funny at all It s about murder, lots of it In the first page we find out a group of friends killed one of their own we know the who dunnit, this is a book abou [...]

    17. Sam says:
      I understand why The Secret History is loathed as much as it is loved If I remove myself a bit from what I just read, I note implausible dialogue and somewhat unbelievable plot elements, horrifically selfish and nasty main characters, overflowing with evil, sure, but mostly with ennui and snobbery and drunkenness and poor little rich people and an air of erudition that s smokescreen than substance.I can admit to all of that objectively Subjectively, I feverishly read this in a day and found it [...]

    18. Samadrita says:
      UPDATE 18 02 2014 Given how often I think of this book and the conspicuous prickle at the back of my neck every time I remember the characters and their cold complicity in one ignoble act after another, I guess it won t be an exaggeration to state that the memories of reading this book are potent than the experience of actually reading it was I am not disowning my earlier review but I believe the only way to be fair to Donna Tartt will be to concede another star.Now begins my earlier review.__ [...]

    19. mathilde maire says:
      i think the fact that i ve just read 600 pages in a day is indication enough that this book is everything to me

    20. Helene Jeppesen says:
      This is such an amazing book that combines crime and Greek language and mythology with Donna Tartt s beautiful writing style It is a story about guilt, admiration and repercussions and it blew me away I also gave The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 5 stars, but these 5 stars are a little bit different The story in itself was very interesting, but it did have its dull moments BUT the mood that Donna Tartt succeeds in creating and the relationship we get with the 5 characters and their lives at universit [...]

    21. mark monday says:
      The Secret History is about as convincing as Less Than Zero how has this book stayed so popular well, Less Than Zero also remains popular i ll take lev grossman s The Magicians over both of them, and that one is aggravating too 1 i m so tired of people who are so tired of everything 1b ennui is so very boring, almost as boring as 2 pretentious know it alls this book manages to combine all three i learned nothing except a new way to be irritated oh, donna tartt as if

    22. Robin says:
      A classical story becomes twisted in modern timesHow much do I love and admire Donna Tartt This is a rhetorical question I love and admire her very, very, very much I read this compulsively, single mindedly, with the pure joy of reading sparked by the same excitement I remember having when reading The Goldfinch She may have focussed on dark subject matter, she may have penned a story filled to the brim with selfish, unimpressed, spoiled brats, but GD can she WRITE She s just so good She tells a [...]

    23. Oriana says:
      You guys, I am really scared that The Goldfinch was so fucking good that it has ruined me for all other books Everything I ve read since has just felt like stupid bullshit well, with the exception of You Deserve Nothing, which did manage to rule Anyway, using the hair of the dog theory, I m turning back to this for a re read Maybe once I come out the other side I ll be recalibrated and ready for normal reading life again Great good gracious I am honestly a bit tongue tied, delirious with delight [...]

    24. Madeline says:
      The best word I can think of to describe this book is mesmerizing You know from the very first page that the narrator and his friends will kill someone during the course of the story you even know who the victim is and how he dies But that didn t stop me from reading this book as fast as I could, trying to absorb every word A truly gifted author can create the most unappealing character possible and still draw the audience to his her side Donna Tartt does exactly this with her main character, Ri [...]

    25. Manny says:
      I remember that I liked it when I read it But I don t recall that much of the book, and in general my system is that the less I remember, the I mark it down Of course, that could say about me than about the book.I do recall being just a little skeptical about how good the author s knowledge of classics was It s not like I know anything about the subject I did a couple of years of Latin at school, which I hated, and I only just passed my exams But there were a couple of funny moments Like, I re [...]

    26. ☙ percy ❧ says:
      ok real talk i didn t know what tf Classics was until i read this and then i thought hey this is canny interesting so i signed up for a classics summer school at oxford and it turned out half the people there also ended up there bc of this mcfucking book and then the professors were all like this is a better turn out than usual and we were all just sitting there trying to pretend that we didn t end up there because of a book about a Classics Murder Club and tl dr this is the impact this book has [...]

    27. Fabian says:
      This was one of those books that formed my everingrained inclinations toward the masterful dominions of novel writing I uphold the notion that it is above all other are forms Yes, let me begin and say that I did not think this a masterpiece now, before c.a 2001 I did This was once, like, in my top ten Tartt writes like any writer wanting to sell copies masterfully concisely, with a full rounded voice and interesting historical insight along the way There is something about reading this AFTER col [...]

    28. Eryn☘ says:
      4.5 5 Stars EDIT I read this about two months ago, but I m still thinking about it Therefore, I bumped it up half a star, and changed my overall rating to 5 stars This is seriously such an amazing novelVIEW THIS WAS AMAZING I swear, I took forever to read this thank you, college , however, every time I picked it up, I could not get enough of it The writing and characters were just superb, and I m honestly quite upset to have finished this Cause what else is going to hold my attention as well as [...]

    29. Perry says:
      Hooked On Classics Amor Vincit Omnia 4.5 stars Gustav Klimt, Alter of Dionysus, 1886This incredibly intriguing and suspenseful story is told from the point of view of a middle class California outsider among a group of sheltered, secretive, elitist snots at a college in Vermont who study the Classics and, for a night, worship at the alter of Dionysus to attain the ecstasy of the Immortals A Greek ritual to these college kids is a good deal serious than getting soused with your frat buddies in t [...]

    30. James says:
      I believe I chose this book The Secret History as it was on my friend Paul s read list It sounded like a great novel, and I hadn t heard of it before despite it being published for many years.I took the chanceIt was a difficult read at first I started it in March figuring I d keep on trekking with this year s Reading Challenge after a good start in January and a failed continuation in February zero read books that month Somehow, it sat on my night table throughout April with nothing read again M [...]

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