What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Books similar to The Secret History

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message 1: by Melissa (last edited Nov 17, 2013 08:29PM) (new)

Melissa | 11 comments I just finished reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and it immediately went into my top 3 books ever. It's probably impossible to find other books out there that are able to create the same tone but I thought I'd try asking.

It can be similar plot wise, it can be similar mood wise, doesn't matter. I just want to find something else that will make me feel that sense of longing to be part of the mystery, the intrigue.


message 2: by Feliks (last edited Nov 17, 2013 09:13PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Listen...I'm glad you enjoyed this book so immensely but to assume that it will be 'probably impossible' --to ever find another that matches it? What a strange notion. There's no book written today which stands alone in any kind of class-by-itself. They all have shared dependencies and precedents. We're not living in the era of Dickens or Melville or Poe; this is a timeperiod where books have to fight for even a faint sheen of originality.

If you explain what you feel makes this book so special I bet we can all can name a dozen others which can inspire feelings just like it. You can't down-rate American/English lit so lightly as this...what one writer has done, there's bound to be others. No one writes in a vacuum. If 'The Secret History' is something to be raved about, trust me there's been lots of others which paved the way for it and about which readers raved just as excitedly. You just have to discover them!


message 3: by Tompopaageo (new)

Tompopaageo | 29 comments The Poison Tree. I read this earlier this year and it reminded me a little of The Secret History.


message 4: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1088 comments You might try The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith.


message 5: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 1039 comments You might also like "The Rule of Four".


message 6: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
Esh Melissa--listen to Feliks, he knows whereof he speaks. For instance--there's an old book (1980's I think) called Ghost Story that sounds similar. Even made into a movie, this one.

Then, there are YA, the Peachville Demons series has a somewhat similar premise. . . And that's just one series that I thought of off the top of my (migraine savaged right now) brain.

Harlequin has similar stories to what the synopsis is, for heavens sake. So it's not that unusual.

Altho, I will admit, that whenever one finds a book that has a story line that you haven't seen before, it can affect you like that.


message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna | 207 comments Three you might like, which are similar to the Secret History in that they're literary novels about close-knit groups of university students with an 'outsider' character and an air of tension and/or mystery:

The Lessons by Naomi Alderman
The Night Climbers: A Novel by Ivo Stourton
The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood


message 8: by Joyce (last edited Dec 01, 2013 08:14AM) (new)

Joyce | 6 comments The Secret History is one of my all-time favorites. The book I find most similar to it is Marisha Pessl's debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Same feeling of insularity: a group of bright students forms a clique around their charismatic professor. Self-contained universe, jealousies and lusts. Real-world conflicts and crimes. Fabulously sui generis.
You might look at Blair's shelf, 'secret-history-esque': https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 9: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Zacc | 5 comments The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova-fantastic!!


Susan (the other Susan) (theothersusan) | 61 comments Funny, I was just talking to someone about a book that reminded me a bit of The Secret History, for a very specific reason. Tana French's detective thriller "The Likeness" takes place in an old mansion that's shared by a group of students, intellectuals who are very close to each other while snubbing outsiders. As another poster said, it depends on what you loved about Tartt's novel that you're hoping to revisit with another author. Tana French is a very different writer, and The Likeness is a murder mystery, unlike Secret History where we know about the murder right from the start. But if you're drawn as I was to that insular, intimate group of misfit intellectuals and romantics, and the tension that develops when they begin to question their trust in each other, you'll enjoy this.


message 11: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Melissa wrote: "I just finished reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and it immediately went into my top 3 books ever. It's probably impossible to find other books out there that are able to create the same ..."

I know just how you feel :) This book is currently our group read over at Literary Darkness, and someone there said, "The Secret History is the kind of book with the kind of ending that leaves you extremely thirsty for more. You fidget, hem and haw, then finally pick up another book. You begin reading something new and find that you really don't want to read something new, you want to read more of the book you just finished."

I agree that it's rare to find the combination of characteristics that this book has all in one place: a highly original plot, unusually intense and fully realized characters, a whodunit where you know whodunit on the first page but you're enthralled anyway, and a high level of intellectual content. The last is what's often missing.

You might try The Drowning People or The Lake of Dead Languages.


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