Kendra's Reviews > The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
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's review
Oct 02, 2007

really liked it
Read in October, 2007

Despite its pretentiousness, I really enjoyed this book. While reading it, my biggest criticism was that you won't actually find college students -- no matter how rich or strange -- who talk or dress or act like these students (at tiny, fictional Hampden College in Vermont) do. Wearing suits on a daily basis? Wearing pince-nez, for god's sake?? After seeing the author's picture and reading her interview at the back of the book, I have to revise that criticism a bit and concede that, just perhaps, she is really and truly every bit as condescending and aloof and strange as the characters she created. And she started writing the book while in college, so...

Anyway, you'll want to read this book in the fall or winter. Early spring at the absolute latest. It's not a light summer read, by any means. There's a crime (or several), a cover-up (or two), and a sense that perhaps the author (and her characters) ought to have lived in a different century. I'll tell you what you'll learn on the first page: They killed Bunny! Now don't you want to know why? If you can get past pages 36-42 (a nerdy excerpt from the students' Greek lessons which nearly caused me to stop reading), I think you might find yourself wrapped up in a quilt on the couch and reading till your eyes hurt.
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Jane I love reading this book on summer because reading about the winter break that Richard spends alone on campus will give you literal chills.

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