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Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Literary psychological thriller 1980s New England college


This book is no for the faint-hearted! Nor for anyone who wants a light read.

You are taken into the depths of the confused soul of a misfit college student, who finds himself caught up in a clique of ancient civilization majors. Richard is just grateful for their acceptance, but all is not what it seems. As we wind our tortured way through Greek philosophy and Latin philology, we are given tantalising clues, but they often lead to dead ends. Literally.

Richard tries to cope with the burden of carrying his friends’ deep secrets, which unwittingly become his own secrets. Tartt is magnificent in exploring the thought processes of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal. It’s not a comfortable ride.

If you want to plunge into the intricacies of the human mind, sprinkled liberally with drink and drugs, this book is for you. You have been warned!

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