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The Secret History

The Secret History

Book Club Kit - 1992 | Book club ed
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Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life -- in particular by an elite group of five students, Greek scholars, worldly, self-assured, and at first glance, highly unapproachable.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Contemporaries, 1992
Edition: Book club ed
ISBN: 9781400031702
1400031702
Branch Call Number: F TARTT-D
Characteristics: 10 books (559 pages ; 21 cm.) + 1 binder, in bin (27 x 42 x 28 cm.)

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SolvayGirl
Apr 24, 2021

Having read The Goldfinch before reading this one, I was less impressed than I might have been if I'd read this first. Does that make sense?

The protagonists of both books have too much in common—middle-class young man thrown into an upper-class peer group, obsession with a high-brow subject (Greek vs. art), crime, drug use, etc.

With that said, it was still an interesting read, and Tartt's prose is exceptional. Unfortunately, I never cared very much about any of the characters and found the basic plot a bit too unbelievable.

m
MrsRedbeard
Mar 20, 2021

All consuming. This book will leave you exhausted and fulfilled. Characters that you feel you know. Epic novel. Must read Donna Tartt.

s
sauerkraut81
Feb 21, 2021

this has been my favorite book for over 20 years: my desert island book.
every time I read it, through many stages of life, it's kept revealing fresh insights and reflections.

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_alishabari
Feb 21, 2021

The Secret History had a lot of hype and I was intrigued to get into it. It is, by no means, a small book. It took me longer then usual to finish and is packed with Greek references and vocabulary that I certainly was not familiar with.

The book is a thriller, mystery novel, and Donna Tartt so perfectly describes a pretentious, elite group who edge the line of eccentric and evil. The book is written very romantically, and while many dark themes such as drug/alcohol abuse, murder and incest are present, the book almost sidelines them and focuses on candlelit dinners, weekend getaways to gorgeous country home and intellectual discussions regarding Greek and Roman themes. And I loved it.

I think despite it not being a fantasy, it definitely felt like a fantasy which was very cool.

[*spoilers*]
I see many people argue that the characters are impossible to relate with and that is very true. All the characters are really bad people. But that makes it that much more interesting and exciting to read, because I found myself almost sympathizing with these awful, self-absorbed characters.

I think the best realization I had during this book was that Richard wasn’t at all a reliable narrator and that these characters being discussed were so much more worse then we expected.

Arguably, it’s not a perfect book and I realize that, but I enjoy the depth and I think I could reread this book a few more times and end on completely new conclusions about the characters and the story.

a
Anita_Dickey
Feb 15, 2021

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a dark achedemia book. It was kindof creepy in a non scary way. I still don't completely understand it, but that's a good thing i think. it was entertaining. (it is also on the list of 300 books everyone should read once list featured on listopia.

t
TheHayleySociety
Jan 27, 2021

I thought this book was going to be hard to get through. From the first page I was hooked, the characters and the story are so complex and beautiful. Henry is my favorite character, :D. {Don't read this book because your trying to be dark academia, because being dark academia is not something you create within yourself. Being dark academia is something you are at birth} - from a fellow academian :)

h
heights91
Jan 19, 2021

My favorite book of 2020. Suspenseful, intelligent. quirky. Lord of the Flies with college students without the dread and bullying. A period piece from the eighties.

l
LindNor11
Jan 19, 2021

I loved this book and their characters. Have a good read.

l
luckaye
Jan 13, 2021

I thought that the narrator was the wrong choice for this audiobook and I found it so distracting that I decided to abandon it and read the book instead.

k
Kinesisca
Dec 25, 2020

Boring. I didn't much care for the writing style, and couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters, so I abandoned it early.

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whataread
Sep 27, 2019

I felt transported into a world that was not overtly familiar to me but covertly, it hit the spot. It was like a 5 course meal that you savor, looking forward to tasting more depth of all sorts. Fantastic emotional studies.

g
gold1fishes
Aug 04, 2017

actually they're studying ancient Greek, and their social bond is a sense of superiority over the other students as well as local working-class people, and they do horrible things over the course of 1 school year, told from point of view of an incoming freshman who pretends to be rich like them because he admires their inhumane snobbery and is bored and ashamed of his own background.

b
booksophie
Jun 01, 2016

Six college friends become more closely connected through their secluded study of Latin, but all they believed to be true about one another and their intentions crumbles when a series of unpredictable events spirals out of control.

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_alishabari
Feb 21, 2021

Forgive me, for all the things I did but mostly for the ones that I did not.

r
rebmartin31
Jun 02, 2016

"Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation."

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VV12
Aug 19, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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VV12
Aug 18, 2015

Other: incest

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