Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Secret History - Donna Tartt

About 2 weeks ago I was at a book store and came across this title by Donna Tartt.
Known across the world for her success behind the Goldfinch I was obliged to at least flick through the book. I'm not sure it if was the book cover with its touch of renaissance art or the tittle itself Secret History that really intrigued me but I ended up taking it home with me..the synopsis helped too. When I arrived home, I found out that this is Tartt's first book to write as it was my first one of hers to read. Normally I prefer reading books in their original language, being bilingual I decided to give this Polish translation a try.

Couple days later I was already on the last pages, the book really took control of my life and I couldn't put it down. This was my first Tartt book and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. 

The book follows the lives of 5 closely knit university students between whom a murder takes place. Alone, each one is just your average student but together they manage to create an elite as well as an ideology. We see the story through the eyes of Richard Papin who is a newcomer in a way into their specific social circle. Without revelling too much - This book is not a classic "whodunnit" but a why do it. Furthermore it continues to explore various themes and engages the reader in a diversified way of thinking about ideologies brought up in the story. I would love to explore those themes and mention something more about them but I think that would spoil the narrative for you. Hence I'll stick to a general review and you just have to trust me. Every descriptive derail in the book brings the history alive and Tartt successfully manages to make you feel like you're part of the discussions and situations that take place between the characters. Tartt really has a gift of revealing all and nothing at the same time, whilst still keeping the narrative engaging as well as secretive in its nature. 

For me, it's a straight 10/10. I enjoyed the explored themes and loved the natural way in which the author installed a sense of suspense and mystery. However I just want to note that the overly descriptive nature of the written text may not suit every type of reader.
Seeing as how much I loved this book I just started reading the infamous Goldfinch. The book for which Tartt gained the Pulitzer prize in 2014..let's see if it will live up to my expectations, as after this lecture those are inevitably very high.


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