Customer Reviews for

The Secret History

Average Rating 4
( 147 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(82)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

An Outstanding Literary Work

What makes 'The Secret History' such a compelling book is its daring to examine the consequences of the arrogance of intellectual superiority, something I struggled with in my youth, something which I sometimes find myself struggling with today. Those of us who...
What makes 'The Secret History' such a compelling book is its daring to examine the consequences of the arrogance of intellectual superiority, something I struggled with in my youth, something which I sometimes find myself struggling with today. Those of us who were products of accelerated academic programs, who fell under the auspicious acronmym AP (for Advanced Placement) often felt removed from our peers and masked our underlying feelings of inferiority as erudite superiority. It is a defence mechanism many of us used when young,and sometimes continue to use as a means we tell ourselves of making us feel better about who we are. The students in TSH, even the sympathetic narrator Richard Papen, exemplify these ideas and the impulses these feelings cause them to act out are shown as having the direst of moral consequences to which they as a group and individually must answer for. The pleasures of intellectual stimulation coupled with the psychological underpinings of the deed done and how it is played out give TSH its literary resonance. In addition the book provides a builti in mystery of its own--namely the literary future, or if there is to be one, of its author, Donna Tartt. Upon a first reading nearly ten years ago, I embraced TSH and Donna Tartt as a voice I wanted to hear more of--a voice which has been noticeably and mysteriously silent, which has only served to build up the legend, and rumors of an impending second novel sometime next year. This remains to be seen but TSH continues to remain a book I turn to time and again for its exploration of moral arrogance and the destruction such attitudes can incur.

posted by Anonymous on May 7, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A Reader from Minneapolis

Much ado about nothing. Competent writer but this book doesn't imho live up to the hype.

posted by Anonymous on December 31, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2002

    A Reader from Minneapolis

    Much ado about nothing. Competent writer but this book doesn't imho live up to the hype.

    7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    So So

    Slow going, almost gave up on it. Read it because of a review of the sequel that interested me but now not sure about trying to read that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Sux

    Easily 150 pages longer than necessary. This could have been a good book IF there had been a good editor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Read and forgotten and then remembered

    In reading the blurb for this book, I remembered I had read it, but had forgotten it. This is not a review really but a statement that as a book I read, I must not have been wowed, for if I had, I wouldn't have noted the title and thought, "sounds like something I might like..." continued reading about it, then... "I have already read this"...then felt sad because it was a blip on the radar only, and not a big blip. A weeny one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    No one told me this was meant to be a classic. My friend gave it

    No one told me this was meant to be a classic. My friend gave it to me to read. She obviously thought I would be impressed because she knows I hate wasting time reading rubbish. I read the whole thing but thought  it was rubbish. Now, reading all these positive reviews, I assume its because of the lack of plot. Therefore its simply boring. Its a book you'll forget immediately and move on. Maybe it is well written. Maybe it does explore the human psyche. But so do millions of other books. This is just one of them. The great books all have good plots. Also, maybe the character development is good, but not nearly as good as someone like Dickens does it. Or maybe you've just got to be a pretentious nob to understand...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    pretentious

    I resented spending time with these insufferable self absorbed miscreants

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    Not worth the hype

    This story was assigned to my book club, and I must say it was a very disappointing read. I kept thinking, "ok, it's going to wrap up soon, there WILL be a meaning to all of this incessant detail!!" But, no.....I came to realize this book has absolutely no meaning whatsoever but to frustrate the reader to death. Don't waste your time or money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2007

    WHAT?

    I was lost, do not waste your time, the best part of the book was the last 50 pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    Dark and Dreary...

    If it's a tale of morality you're after then don't waste your time. I don't know whenever I've read a darker story. It was downright shocking to my senses to read of people who lived in a constant drunken or drug-crazed stupor. And all that Greek mythology was simply over my head. At times I felt as though my eyes would glaze over just trying to muddle through it. I came within a hair of putting the book down during the first chapter, but I forced myself to keep reading hoping the book would improve. It didn't. Although Donna Tartt herself is a good writer, the 'darkness' of the story didn't appeal to me in the least. In fact, I wondered what sort of mind could concoct such a tale? I would never recommend this book to anyone and I certainly won't be reading her other one either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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