The Secret History

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | September 5, 1992 | Hardcover

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Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.

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 their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.54 × 5.88 × 1.62 in

Published: September 5, 1992

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679410325

ISBN - 13: 9780679410324

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– More About This Product –

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.54 × 5.88 × 1.62 in

Published: September 5, 1992

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679410325

ISBN - 13: 9780679410324

From the Publisher

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.

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 their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Jacket

Storytelling in the grand manner, The Secret History is a debut remarkable for its hypnotic erudition and acute psychological suspense, and for the richness of its emotions, ideas, and language. These are the confessions, years afterward, of a young man who found at a small Vermont college the life of privilege and intellect he''d long coveted - and rarely has the glorious experience of youth infatuated with knowledge and with itself been so achingly realized. Then, amazed, Richard Papen is drawn into the ultimate inner circle: five students, worldly and self-assured, selected by a charismatic classics professor to participate in the search for truth and beauty. Together they study the mysteries of ancient Greek culture and spend long weekends at an old country house, reading, boating, basking in an Indian summer that stretches late into autumn. Mesmerized by his new comrades, Richard is unaware of the crime which they have committed in his dreamy, unwitting presence. But once taken into their confidence, he and the others slowly and inevitably begin to believe in the necessity of murdering the one classmate and friend who might betray both their secret and their future. Hugely ambitious and compulsively readable, this is a chronicle of deception and complicity, of Dionysian abandon, of innocence corrupted by self-love and moral arrogance; and, finally, it is a story of guilt and responsibility. An astonishing achievement by any standard, The Secret History immediately establishes Donna Tartt as a supremely gifted novelist.

About the Author

Donna Tartt won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Novel. The Goldfinch Her novelsl The Secret History and The Little Friend were also international bestsellers. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Bennington College.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Our Editors

A transfer student from a small town in California, Richard Papen is determined to affect the ways of his Hampden College peers, and he begins his intense studies under the tutelage of eccentric Julian Morrow. BOMC & QPB Alt. Tour.

Editorial Reviews

"A beautifully written story, well-told, funny, sad, scary, and impossible to leave alone until I finished. . . . What a debut!" --John Grisham "Powerful . . . Enthralling . . . A ferociously well-paced entertainment." -- The New York Times "An accomplished psychological thriller . . . Absolutely chilling . . . Tartt has a stunning command of the lyrical." -- The Village Voice "A smart, craftsman-like, viscerally compelling novel." -- Time "A thinking-person''s thriller . . . Think Lord of the Flies , then The Rules of Attraction . . . . The Secret History combines a bit of both--the unmistakable whiff of evil from William Golding''s classic and the mad recklessness of priviledged youth from Bret Easton Ellis''s novel of the ''80s. . . . As stony and chilling as any Greek tragedian ever plumbed." -- New York Newsday "Tartt''s voice is unlike that of any of her contemporaries. Her beautiful language, intricate plotting, fascinating characters, and intellectual energy make her debut by far the most interesting work yet from her generation." -- The Boston Globe "A long tale of friendship, arrogance, and murder knit together with the finesse that many writers will never have . . . Her writing bewitches us . . . The Secret History is a wonderfully beguiling book, a journey backward to the fierce and heady friendships of our school days, when all of us believed in our power to conjure up divinity and to be forgiven an
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