The Secret History (Tartt)

With all of the glowing reviews about her newest book, The Goldfinch, I decided to give her first book, The Secret History, a try. There are only certain authors that I buy in hardback – Danticat, Lahiri, Ondaatje, Kingsolver, etc.. The Secret History is a hypnotic book. I wanted to gulp it in, and often did, pages at a time. As I was turning page after page after page (there are 559 of them), I had this nagging sense that there was something familiar about it – kind of a combination of Dead Poets SocietyLord of the Flies (did Bunny remind anyone else of Piggy?) and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Still, as good authors do, Tartt makes this story of an elite few under the spell of a charismatic teacher all her own. As I said, it’s hypnotic, but, like Chinese food, it left me hungry shortly after finishing it.

So I’ll wait on The Goldfinch. The summary of The Little Friend looks pretty good. Any thoughts on it?

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3 Replies to “The Secret History (Tartt)”

  1. i’m hesitant to read the Goldfinch to be honest. I absolutely loved her first novel, was utterly disappointed by her second (and wished i hadn’t read it), so no clue what to do about the new one now. still debating with myself whether to read or not.

  2. I loved Secret History, was disappointed by Little Friend and adored Goldfinch, so Hanne, give it a go. I loved it so much I’m thinking I was mistaken about Little Friend and so, despite donating it to the op shop a while ago, have re-ordered it online.

    Her writing is amazing I think, but there are many opposing views. Quite a few people don’t like Goldfinch and are critical of the writing and density of it. I have no problems with the writing and love the density.

    I vote you read it Hanne, and Charles, read the Goldfinch. Why not?

  3. Agree with both comments. Loved Secret History. Hated Little Friend (gave up halfway through–a rarity for me). LOVED The Goldfinch. Waiting for your review Charles 🙂

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