Review: The Secret History – Donna Tartt

I picked this up in a 2 for £7 in Tesco, something I hate doing now as I do prefer my local bookshop, but when it’s a book that I’m a little unsure as to whether I’m going to like I try look for it a bit cheaper. Seeing this at what was effectively £3.50 I nabbed it up in an instant. It’s been recommended to me from various people; several friends on goodreads have read it and given it 4+ stars so I consider that a book that is highly recommended, especially as it comes from various people who don’t often have similar tastes.

This book was a bit of a mixed one for me. I hated it, then I loved it, then I hated it again. I plodded through the first 200 pages, whizzed through the second 200, then struggled a little bit with the final 200 or so (of course this is estimating). The prologue had me gripped; opening with the knowledge Bunny being dead, we know who did it and in the first 200-300 pages we begin to understand why it was done. It’s a passive book initially and is very slow to get going, but it picks up pace to work in with the urgency that comes with the situation. Damn as it picks up it’s good!

The characters are intensely dislikeable but somehow, you can’t help but actually like them. All of them are horrible people, if you knew them in the real world, you’d hate them. The situation, the characters, it’s all crazy but for some reason it’s believable. It’s compelling, in some ways it’s addictive. There is just something brilliant about this book and something that is going to stick with me; what it is exactly is unknown but there is just something.

I will definitely be reading more of Donna Tartt’s work; this for me is a solid 4/5!

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