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The Secret History (1992)

de Donna Tartt

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
20,709552217 (4.06)1 / 740
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.… (més)
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(Mira totes les recomanacions 37)

To Read (18)
1990s (54)
Crime (9)
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» Mira també 740 mencions

Anglès (521)  Neerlandès (8)  Francès (7)  Suec (6)  Italià (4)  Alemany (1)  Letó (1)  Castellà (1)  Noruec (1)  Portuguès (1)  Totes les llengües (551)
Es mostren 1-5 de 551 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Sometimes I hear books referred to as “popcorn”, maybe something easy to read or light. This was a full on three course meal. It was so dense, but the writing was so good. ( )
  yeffin | Jul 13, 2024 |
The Secret History is a murder non-mystery; in the novel's opening paragraph its first-person narrator, Richard Papen, confesses his role in the murder of another student of Hampden, a small liberal arts college in Vermont. The only facts left to discover after his admission are what led to the murder and what happened in its wake that leaves Richard—as he puts it—with no other stories to tell.

At Hampden, Richard is befriended by the only other students studying classics with Julian Morrow, a reclusive professor of some renown in the literary world. Henry Winter is the group's ringleader; it is his "modest plan" that results in the murder of the troublesome Edmund "Bunny" Corcoran by Henry and his three cohorts, the maternal twins Charles and Camilla Macaulay and the affable Francis Abernathy.

The novel is broken into two parts: the fatal consequences of Bunny's accidental discovery of a crime all his friends except Richard participated in, and the aftermath of Bunny's murder as the five remaining friends pretend it has no impact on their psyches. Impaired by drugs, alcohol, lust and incest, the group eventually collapses under the weight of its paranoia-induced mistrust of each other.

Some aspects of the story are hard to believe. The depth of Richard's knowledge of the habits and mannerisms of his friends is more in line with a lifelong acquaintance than an association of little more than a semester. The continual drunkenness exhibited by the group is shocking; its lack of impact on their studies is equally unconvincing. And Bunny's family is particularly cartoonish.

Despite these flaws, The Secret History is an engaging story of the detrimental effects of manipulation and deception among well-educated young people isolated in a remote college town with too much free time and money. ( )
  skavlanj | Jun 25, 2024 |
“They understood not only evil, it seemed, but the extravagance of tricks with which evil presents itself as good. I felt they cut right to the heart of the matter, to the essential rottenness of the world” (547).

I love a good dark academia book, and this backlist book about a group of cultish scholars who spend their days studying esoteric literature and their nights trying to recreate bacchanal rituals—which as you can imagine, doesn’t end well—enraptured me from the beginning. This dark, twisty story is told entirely through Richard’s point of view, an older Richard reflecting on a fateful year at Hampden College in remote Vermont. Richard, an only child of working-class parents, never felt like he fit in in his California childhood, and after spending two years in a college close to home where he stumbled upon Ancient Greek studies, he transfers to Hampden in hopes to escape the misery of his home life by studying ancient literature in a bucolic setting. This decision of chance sets in motion Richard’s involvement in a murder that first year at Hampden, and it’s his telling of those events unfolding that is utterly hypnotic.

This is a story to get lost in.

Atmospheric: Like any good dark academia, this mostly takes place in small, elite liberal arts college. This one is tucked away in a remote part of Vermont and includes shrouded woods, isolating winters, gothic estates, and austere academic corners.

Anachronistic Characters: While I was aware that this small group of students is in a mostly modern time period, the book—maybe because of the insular nature of the students—seems to take place outside of time, this niche academic group who studies a dead language.

Psychologically Thrilling: Each of the characters—Richard, Charles and Camilla, Francis, Bunny, and, most especially, Henry—is someone to examine from psychological lens with their dark eccentricities and questionable morals.

Atmospheric, anachronistic characters, and psychologically thrilling, this is a perfect Fall read. ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
Donna Tartt really knows how to evoke a mood and create a story that sticks with you. While the central characters of The Secret History aren't exactly what you'd call likable, they all feel so very real that I suspect I'll be thinking about them for quite sometime and that's a mark of good writing. Some reviews seemed to indicate that the book ran long, but this isn't so much a book about plot, although that is an important part of it. What it is is a book about mood and character and it helps to have the space to sit with those things in order to reach the pay offs. ( )
  rknickme | Mar 31, 2024 |
Ordinary guy is overwhelmed by acceptance into a strange clique of students studying Classics under an eccentric professor. He continues uncertain of his status until a confession by one member draws him into the groups dark secret. Madness segues into even darker logic.
  ritaer | Mar 20, 2024 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 551 (següent | mostra-les totes)
As a ferociously well-paced entertainment, ... "The Secret History" succeeds magnificently. Forceful, cerebral and impeccably controlled, "The Secret History" achieves just what Ms. Tartt seems to have set out to do: it marches with cool, classical inevitability toward its terrible conclusion.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Tartt, Donnaautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
de Wilde, BarbaraDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kidd, ChipDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Landolfi, IdolinaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lange, Barbara deTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Larsen, IdaLouTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Siikarla, EvaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.
— PLATO,
Republic, Book II
I enquire now as to the genesis of a philologist and assert the following:
1. A young man cannot possibly know what Greeks and Romans are.
2. He does not know whether he is suited for finding out about them.
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For Bret Easton Ellis,
whose generosity will never cease to warm my heart;
and for Paul Edward McGloin,
muse and Maecenas,
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The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. He'd been dead for ten days before they found him, you know. It was one of the biggest manhunts in Vermont history - state troopers, the FBI, even an army helicopter; the college closed, the dye factory in Hampden shut down, people caming from New Hampshire, upstate New York, as far away as Boston. -Prologue
Does such a thing as "the fatal flaw," that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs. -Chapter 1
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...how I longed to be an orphan when I was a child!
[They were] sitting at a table that was spread with papers and pens and bottles of ink. The bottles of ink I remember particularly, because I was very charmed by them, and by the long black straight pens, which looked incredibly archaic and troublesome.
[The tutor] reached for a pen in a cup on his desk; amazingly, it was full of Montblanc fountain pens, Meisterstucks, at least a dozen of them.
"Guess what," said Bunny, "Henry bought himself a Montblanc pen." ... He nodded at the cup of sleek black pens that sat on Julian's desk. "How much are those things worth? ... Three hundred bucks a pop? ... I remember when you used to say how ugly they were. You used to say you'd never write with a thing in your life but a straight pen." ... Bunny picked [the pen] up and turned it back and forth in his fingers. "It's like the fat pencil I used to use in first grade," he said. ... "Now, what kind of pens do we all use here? Francois, you're a nib-and-bottle man like myself, no? ... and you, Robert? What sort of pens did they teach you to use in California?" "Ball points," I said.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

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Mitjana: (4.06)
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