The Secret History

559 pages

English language

Published March 28, 2004 by Vintage Contemporaries.

ISBN:
978-1-4000-3170-2
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
55139472

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (69 reviews)

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.

15 editions

Cold, calculating fiction.

5 stars

Everything about this book is perfect, the writing flows beautifully and the plot is abhorrently complex. Donna Tarte pays perfect attention to events in the story, you can look back after all is revealed and see when these events happened, and what's most pleasant, is that it is hard to figure out why exactly the Murder takes place but you can still piece the story together just before all is revealed. The extensive reference to classical literature was a delight for me. Overall a thrilling read which I would recommend to anyone.

Review of 'The Secret History' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

a fun read, this one. themes include false appearances, power, corruption (of the moral variety), privilege and aesthetic value amongst others. my only criticism is that the plot could have unfolded in a more tactful manner. you've probably read the kind. they usually make you think "ah, so that's why so and so happened" or "oh my god so and so was happening behind the scenes" or "the puzzle has been complete..." and the like. generally, the kind of storytelling that makes a reader appreciative of the order and amount of information revealed to them. it would have made henry's revelation (or confirmation of richard's suspicion) of their crimes at the bacchanal much more entertaining. additionally, henry's whole transformation into a tragic criminal mastermind would have been a little more satisfyingly jarring rather than badly executed.


i think the only good reference to a seemingly arbitrary past event (rather than …

Review of 'The secret history' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Somehow I'd thought I'd read this already but it turns out I hadn't. I'd probably started it and gotten distracted, which, with such a long book, is easy to do (at least for me) but fresh from The Goldfinch, I thought I'd (re)read only to discover . . . well, enough about me. I'm beginning to sound as self involved as the characters in this anti-mystery.

People in the other reviews were angered at this book for reasons which make no sense to me, or, maybe I just disagree with them. Maybe those readers were too self-involved to spend time with people who would have reminded them of themselves (if they dared let them), for the self-involvement in the book is that of youth and is a stage I imagine we all have to pass through (though some are stalled in the midst of it.) Like college kids everywhere, they …

Review of 'The Secret History' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Donna Tartt's debut 1992 novel, The Secret History, opens with a prologue that lets the reader know, straight away, that Bunny will be murdered by his closest friends, and that this story will be told in the first person by one of them.

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.

This is Richard Papen's story, and he starts out by telling us the truth about his rather boring and poor childhood in Northern California, which he quickly replaces for a much more satisfying--and fictional--life when he manages to acquire the financial aide he needs to attend an expensive, tiny college in Vermont, which is about as far away from his dreaded home as he can get. Once there, he discovers that one of …

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Subjects

  • Teacher-student relationships -- Fiction.
  • College students -- Fiction.
  • Classicists -- Fiction.
  • Murderers -- Fiction.
  • Vermont -- Fiction.

Places

  • Vermont

Lists