M - The long hot spell's Reviews > The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
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bookshelves: mystery-thriller

Upfront I want to say I think this was a great book that simply wasn't quite my cup of tea.

This book had murder, incest, classics references, drunkenness, intrigue, lies and doubts. All sorts of exciting, and awful stuff. The Secret History was beautifully written, Tartt has a good command of language. But for me personally, it was rambling with some long-winded description that I could have done without. Also, too many dream sequences for my liking.

The book started slowly but then quickly announced a murder. I loved that! I read on, keen to know the details. There was a timeless feeling to the story (or the writing) that I also enjoyed. At the halfway mark I wrote this in an update on Goodreads: “The only way I can fault this book is on a personal level - that I prefer average sized books. The language, writing, storytelling, character development are all fabulous. I'm past halfway now and the story has turned...disturbing. To say the least. I can't wait to read more.”

By the end, I was disappointed in certain aspects of the novel. The characters, while they held my interest, had only fleeting likability. There was a crazy amount of drinking in this book. How did any of the main characters get anything else done? Also, you would hope in over 650 pages there would be several anxious moments or jaw-drops, but for me there was only one: (view spoiler). In the end I felt I had heated a pot on low and to be honest…did it ever really boil? Strings were tied up, yes, but it didn’t boil.

I am giving this 3.5 stars because it wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t for me.
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Quotes M Liked

Donna Tartt
“If he had his wits about him Bunny would surely keep his mouth shut; but now, with his subconscious mind knocked loose from its perch and flapping in the hollow corridors of his skull as erratically as a bat, there was no way to be sure of anything he might do.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Donna Tartt
“There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty - unless she is wed to something more meaningful - is always superficial.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Donna Tartt
“Love doesn't conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History


Reading Progress

October 5, 2019 – Started Reading
October 5, 2019 – Shelved
October 6, 2019 –
page 120
18.24%
October 7, 2019 –
page 253
38.45%
October 9, 2019 –
page 356
54.1% "The only way I can fault this book is on a personal level - that I prefer average sized books. The language, writing, storytelling, character development are all fabulous. I'm past halfway now and the story has turned...disturbing. To say the least. I can't wait to read more."
October 10, 2019 –
page 496
75.38%
October 12, 2019 – Finished Reading

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