Olivia, January 7, 2009 (view all comments by Olivia)
I dove for this after tearing through Pessl's "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," eager for another literary suspense-cum-prep school confidential tome. The beginning was a bit denser than I'd anticipated, yet after slogging through the first 50 or 75 pages I soon began tearing through the book. Tartt's language is bleak and beautiful, evoking the solitude and splendor of college town Vermont. Clearly she has done her Greek homework, fashioning a tragedy worthy of Sophocles or Euripides around a rather motley group of students religiously devoting their studies to the culture and history that would ultimately determine their own fates. The story is utterly mind-nourishing and when it comes to a head in one felt crescendo, it's breathtaking.
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Erin Naillon, January 8, 2008 (view all comments by Erin Naillon)
What a stunning first novel! I read it when it was first published, and I was enthralled. This is not your run-of-the-mill murder mystery, nor are the characters your typical college students. Richard, the protagonist of the novel, comes to discover the dark secret his fellow students of ancient Greek are keeping from him, and is pulled into a conspiracy of silence and lies. The novel takes a deep look at the ugly underside of a beautiful surface, where nobody is innocent, nobody is perfect, and nobody is safe. Thoroughly engrossing.
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