The Secret History : Book Review

This book is a blessing and a curse. A curse mostly because it’s the kind of book that makes you have trouble to immerse in the next book you’re going to read. The fear that no book will ever top this one.

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Such a ferocious well-paced entertainment but also a true accolade of a modern classic. It has the all time academia on the campus worldbuilding, a slowly built suspense around an elite group of Ancient Greeks students.

I’ve been trying to find the Secret itself to this book, what makes this book so good? So compelling that when I finish it, I just want Donna Tartt to continue the book. I didn’t want to leave the book alone. I want to reread it all over again. The plot by itself is a masterpiece, the narrative choice carrying the whole book between quarelling in Ancient Greek to a subtle humor.

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There are way too many themes to be discussed on this blog post alone, but I want to mention my favourite theme of all : self-destruction but all for the sake of intellect. And that’s what’s interesting, finally a book that follows through as a criticism of the rationale, the intellectual and what would it takes and how much one wants to destroy oneself. The loss of control, a Greek concept that is both beauty and terror: A Bacchanal, Dionysian rite.

The journey of reading The Secret History, I couldn’t help but wish to be part of their conversations, arguing about philosophy and the classics. It’s a longing feeling that like Richard, we feel like Outsiders.

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RATING: 5/5

2 comments

  • I loved this book when I first read it as a college student, as I could connect with the characters and found it moody and atmospheric. A more recent reading was a let-down as I found everyone so decadent and selfish. But nevertheless, I enjoy Tartt’s writing and wish she put out more than one novel a decade.

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