A review by biblio_
The Secret History by Donna Tartt


The cover of my edition states that this novel is "Enthralling..." which I would say is correct, assuming you find watching paint dry to be enthralling.

I was fascinated by the premise of The Secret History. A group of 5 pretentious Classics students at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast who find themself entangled in a murder scandal. I'd been wanting to pick this book up for quite some time but unfortunately, the disappointment set in early on.

The pace of this book is incredibly, incredibly, innnncredddiblllyyyy slow. The plot is well, nonexistent. The book was 559 pages and about 400 of them were the students drinking alcohol, doing drugs, traveling from one location to another, drinking coffee around the table while eating breakfast, and occasionally, studying and speaking in Ancient Greek. Once a combination of these events had occurred bits of the story would peak through and you as a reader could start putting the pieces together. Whether or not something actually happened was never directly stated, but merely insinuated.

For those who don't mind slower plots and enjoy lyrical prose, this book might be for you. Furthermore, Richard Papen, the protagonist, reminds me a lot of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye so if you enjoyed that novel, you may also enjoy The Secret History.

The book, unfortunately, was far too slow for my tastes and you can only read the same sort of scene over and over again before you start becoming very bored.