The Secret History review Æ 103

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D the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal and at last inexorably into evil. read my recollections of my time in the classics department at a college in New England full review of this book here is the problem with reviewing every book I read Sometimes I throw around terms before I really need them and then once I read THE book The Story that reuires and deserves that descriptor I have nothing to give itRight now I have this problem Because I have used the word “immersive” before and immediately upon my completion of this book it became clear that I should have saved it for right nowI felt like I lived inside these pages I felt like I began to think in the beautiful and sharp prose that fills them I felt like I knew the characters ate decadent lunches and walked the snowy campus and whispered with them I felt an aching emptiness a genuine longing when I read the final wordsI miss living hereThis was very very slow to the point that about halfway through I said inexplicably aloud “I don’t know what they’ll even do for the rest of the book” and yet I was gripped by itIt’s genuinely masterfulI love Richard and I LOVE Camilla and I love Francis and I fine okay at least like Charles and Henry and even Bunny and JulianAnd I miss them allThis is an incredible work but maybe the most incredible thing is how the reader is Richard I too miss my bygone days at my prestigious New England college with my whip smart group of eccentric friends and like him I am too uickly forced to realize the fallacy of such a feelingAfter all it was all a fictionBottom line I’m raising this to a five star rating you'll have to excuse me i'd love to actually write something here but my brain is broken and i am incapable of thoughtalso seems absurd to try to use words when donna tartt took all the good onesreview to come 45 stars me is slightly behind on my reading challengealso me starts a 600 page book

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The Secret HistoryUnder the influence of their charismatic classics professor a group of clever eccentric misfits at an elite New England college di. 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 uite 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 Classics majors who happen to have accidentally killed someone during a Bacchian rite they just happened to be conducting in their spare time That is a totally truthful depiction of some of the events in the book but it is not what the book is ABOUT I will do my best to convince you to pick it up in other ways Without further ado here are five things about THE SECRET HISTORY1 This is not a new book All of your friends have already read it You probably already have a copy of it actually that you picked up at some point in the last decade and now it molders in a box in your master bedroom closet the one that you never unpacked last time you moved Right next to your college alarm clock and two boxes of 9 volt batteries and that shirt you can’t throw out because it was a gift The reason why I’m pointing out that it’s not a new book is because since reading it I’ve been told by several people that it is their Favorite Book Ever It is one thing for you to read a book six months before and maintain it as a Favorite Book It is something remarkable when a book can elicit a passionate response from readers twenty years after its publication 2 This book is full of terrible people Pretty much the lot of the people that our narrator Richard meets are awful in some way Self centered or elitist or potheads or sociopathic or just people with really loud voices in uiet places Even Richard is not exactly a great guy But the magic of this novel is that somehow you find these terrible people deeply sympathetic I need to go back and reread it to understand this strange enchantment How do I find them so charming Why do I want them to like Richard GIVE ME YOUR SECRETS BOOK3 This is not a whodunit You are told pretty much the Bad Thing That Happens in the prologue and you can see it coming like a comet for much of the book The effect of this however is to create a lovely unbearable tension and anticipation And when the moment comes — in a line that involves ferns — it is so deliciously awful I actually exhaled gloriously and put the book down for a moment because I was so delighted by the actual pay off 4 It’s long It’s over 200000 words long I think and 600 pages in my edition It took me five days to read it And it’s not just long it’s dense One of the blurbs on the inside of the jacket said that it read like a 19th century novel and I don’t think that’s at all unearned It takes its time developing atmosphere and character uirks and some of the days in the novel take dozens of pages to unfold It is not a novel to speed through It’s a novel to get stuck in I put it down when I got too tired when I felt like I was starting to skim 5 WHAT ELSE CAN I SAY I adore the characters so much I adore the hint —the breath — of the supernatural I adore the slow building tension and the sense that I as a reader was being skillfully manipulated Yes that That last one I think that is what I love the most about this novel I get the idea that Donna Tartt was completely in control of this novel Everything is measured and deliberate and just perfectly done and I trust her entirely Fifty pages in I knew that she was going to tell me a story I was going to enjoy even if I had no idea what it was going to be Man I just am going to flail about some Go read it

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The Secret History review Æ 103 ☆ 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 Scover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries But when they go beyon. ‘beauty is rarely soft or consolatory uite the contrary genuine beauty is always uite alarming’ and oh how alarmingly beautiful this story is as all the best greek tragedies tend to be; full of sorrow and struggle but often accompanied by pure loyalty and divine inspiration gosh i just i cant even right now on the surface this book is great but donna tartt is an absolute goddess of writing for the sheer depth of this book its a work of absolute brilliance i was never a classics student but as someone who has taken an interest in the subject over the years i cant even express my geeky joy for how multifaceted and layered this story is by exemplifying fatal flaws dissecting the apollonian vs dionysian philosophical theory personalising the mask of death understanding the action and stagnation of life and realising the lifelong uest for the picturesue this story is a modern greek tragedy and a classic in its own right wow i will be thinking about this book for uite some time↠ 45 stars