Book Review: The Secret History – Donna Tartt


The Secret History is tale of rich, self absorbed, college kids rampaging through life doing as they please and being utterly unphased by anything. Really anything. But it’s good, I promise! It’s long – nearly 700 pages, but it doesn’t seem that long when you’re reading it. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about a long book before.

The characters are all unsympathetic and unlikable, and yet you are drawn in. There are latin and ancient greek phrases all over it too, and I needed a dictionary for more words than I’m comfortable admitting to. One wasn’t even in my pocket Oxford English dictionary. This review’s not going so well… What I mean to say is I LOVED THIS BOOK!

It follows the college life of an unfocused student whose only aim seems to be to get as far away from his dire family as possible. He finds himself at a college and drawn to a strange, mysterious group of rich kids. They are the only students of the college Greek professor. He manages to infiltrate the group by persuading the professor to take him on.

For most of the book he is the outsider slowly getting drawn into events. He is not rich, doesn’t have a privileged life, and seems to have little in common with the group. I don’t want to say anymore and ruin the story if you’ve not read it yet.

It is well worth the time taken to read this book. Which you may have already done as it’s 24 years old! I read a fairly old and battered copy that was handed to me by a friend. He said I would like it and I really did. I would love to get more book recommendations like this.  🙂



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