- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Sale Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Other titles in the Vintage Contemporaries series:
The Secret Historyby Donna Tartt
Special Powells.com Offer!
There's no living writer like Donna Tartt. Not since reading the Greek and Russian greats in college have I encountered a writer so gifted in weaving the melodramatic, even the supernatural, into the everyday; nor have I read prose so finely calibrated and opulent that the story's atmosphere quickly supplants my own. All of Tartt's novels — each a decade in the making — involve eccentric characters who find themselves in increasingly outlandish, dangerous situations. Her excellent debut novel, the literary thriller The Secret History, follows a cult-like group of classics students at a prestigious college who begin committing murders, possibly under the direction of Dionysus, Greek god of ritual madness. A spellbinding and darkly humorous drama of privilege and desire, The Secret History is the type of book you read through the night and think about long after you've finished.
Synopses & Reviews
Truly deserving of the accolade a modern classic, Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement — both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
"Enthralling....A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment....Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled." The New York Times Book Review
"Her writing bewitches us....The Secret History is a wonderfully beguiling book, a journey backward to the fierce and heady friendships of our school days, when all of us believed in our power to conjure up divinity and to be forgiven any sin." The Philadephia Inquirer
"A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read, pleasurably devoured.....Gorgeously written, relentlessly erudite." Vanity Fair
"A smart, craftsman-like, viscerally compelling novel." Time
"The Secret History implicates the reader in a conspiracy which begins in bucolic enchantment and ends exactly where it must — though a less gifted or fearless writer would never have been able to imagine such a rich skein of consequence. Donna Tartt has written a mesmerizing and powerful novel." Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City
"Donna Tartt has a real shot at becoming her generation's Edgar Allan Poe....The Secret History pulses like a telltale heart on steroids." Glamour
"[W]ell-written....The book's many allusions, both literary and classical...fail to provide the deeper resonance of such works as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Ultimately, it works best as a psychological thriller." Library Journal
"Beautifully written, suspenseful from start to finish." Vogue
"One of the best American college novels to come along since John Knowles's A Seperate Peace....Immensely entertaining." Houston Chronicle
"Entertaining, evocative first novel." Publishers Weekly
"[A]n elaborately conceived and artistically ambitious thriller....Tartt records the aftereffects of unpunished crime with great skill. But her efforts to transform a chronicle of suspense into a study in sensibility are less successful....Tartt offers the aroma of decadence, not its anatomy; stylish intimations of misbehavior, not visions of hell." The New Republic
"Donna Tartt is clearly a gifted writer....She has the ability to leave her literary contemporaries standing in the road." The Miami Herald
"A great, dense, disturbing story, wonderfully told." Cosmopolitan
"[P]recious, way-too-long, and utterly unsuspenseful....By telegraphing the murders, Tartt wants us to be continually horrified at these kids — while inviting us to semi-enjoy their manneristic fetishes and refined tastes. This ersatz-Fitzgerald mix of moralizing and mirror-looking...is very 80's — and in Tartt's strenuous version already seems dated, formulaic." Kirkus Reviews
"An accomplished psychological thriller....Absolutely chilling....Tartt has a stunning command of the lyrical." The Village Voice
"A thinking-person's thriller....Think Lord of the Flies, then The Rules of Attraction....The Secret History combines a bit of both — the unmistakable whiff of evil from William Golding's classic and the mad recklessness of priviledged youth from Bret Easton Ellis's novel of the '80s....As stony and chilling as any Greek tragedian ever plumbed." New York Newsday
About the Author
Donna Tartt is a novelist, essayist, and critic. The Secret History has been translated into twenty-four languages.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Featured Titles » 25 Women to Read Before You Die
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Genre
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z