The Secret History

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The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | September 5, 1992 | Hardcover

The Secret History is rated 4.3333 out of 5 by 6.
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, 3.76 × 2.31 × 0.64 in

Published: September 5, 1992

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679410325

ISBN - 13: 9780679410324

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A stunning read I started reading this book on the advisement of reviewers from this website. The story itself is dark and disturbingly arousing because it takes you to a place that is so removed from stagnant, middle class life. Part Gatsby, part Dead Poet's Society and reprehensible narcissism all woven together with exquisite composition.
Date published: 2014-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An original, fantastical story Tartt is such a clever writer, I can't say enough about her skill. This book, which mirrors the story-telling styles of Greek tragedy, is full of deeply disturbed, yet somehow likeable, characters. The reader is so gradually brought into their Secret History, that by the time you realize how abhorrant they are, you have developed a real true liking for them. The beauty of this, of course, is that the reader is told of their crime in the first few pages ... Compelling reading, excellent writing, and suspenseful storytelling make this an excellent novel.
Date published: 2009-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Psychological Read I wasn't sure what to expect from this book...but i ended up loving it. The darkness of it, the slightly British tinge to it, the eloquent way the words flowed...all made for fast reading. Richard, the narrator, tells the tale of how he and five others "reinvent" themselves to be these dark and foreboding characters, as though they stepped right out of some dry, British novel, filled with Irish whiskey, smokey rooms, and nights spent studying the meaning of all things Greek. This was a strong psychological read that kept me up late at night.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing! Donna Tartt's first book. She is a very good writer and leads up to revelations slowly. It began kind of slow but the details of the characters made them very real. The character, Henry, has to be one of the most intereting characters I have read of. I am looking forward to reading Donna's next book when it costs about $5.
Date published: 2008-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy Thriller This is a thriller that creeps up on you before you know it. It's got atmosphere, a camaraderie of amoral characters, some pretty good descriptions of a Vermont setting and reckless fun and games that end in more than tears. The premise is very simple though a little outlandish. However, Tartt does a good job weaving a spell that traps the reader just as the main character is trapped. Not for those who like their gore heavy handed but for those who like a room full of shadows and their mysteries dark around the edges. It is a bit long, though--it feels like the author could go on and on and on, and she sometimes does, but I recommend this book as summer page turner and suspenseful psychological thriller. It's also creepy how Tartt gets the reader to go along with a story this bizarre. And yet. And yet.
Date published: 2006-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It Becomes Your History This book has been shared, experienced and absorbed by countless students, professionals and intellectuals I have known. It professes a great depth of the author's psyche; her reflection, her understanding and her inspiration in creating a meaningful and capturing story of young adults. On behalf of Donna's fans, we regret that she has not written another.
Date published: 1999-11-13

– More About This Product –

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 3.76 × 2.31 × 0.64 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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