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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

'The Secret History' is the PERFECT winter...or fall/spring/summer book. It's creepy and chilly and you won't be able to put it down. It will make you glad you're not in college anymore and maybe make you wan to go back. It's sick that way.

— Tyler

I have so many emotions about this book. First, Donna Tartt has an amazing writing style that is beautiful and twisty and reminiscent of classics that you will feel like you're in a trance while you read. Second, never before have I been horrified, immersed, and unsure of which character my loyalties lie with while reading. Tartt is a mastermind and you will be scared of how well she is able to manipulate your feelings.

— Kristen

I made the mistake of starting this on a short trip to NYC, where I lost two days of museum going, people watching, and bookstore shopping because I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN. Why is it so good? I’m not sure. Like much Tartt, it’s full of questionable characters who do horrible things. 


— Barbette Houser

This book feels like an impossible balancing act, exploring the moral calculations involved in the planning and aftermath of a murder, yet simultaneoulsy reveling in and sending up the excesses of life on a wealthy college campus and among a coterie of eccentric Classics students. It's amazing how little happens in this book and how enthralling it remains in spite of it.

— David


Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.

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.

About the Author

Donna Tartt won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Novel. The Goldfinch Her novelsl The Secret History and The Little Friend were also international bestsellers. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Bennington College.

Praise For…

The Secret History succeeds magnificently. . . . A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment. . . . Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.” --The New York Times

“An accomplished psychological thriller. . . . Absolutely chilling. . . . Tartt has a stunning command of the lyrical.” --The Village Voice

“Beautifully written, suspenseful from start to finish.” --Vogue

“A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction. . . . Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth.” --The Times (London)

“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

“Enthralling. . . . A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously wll-paced entertainment. . . . Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.” --The New York Times Book Review

“A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read, pleasurably devoured. . . . .Gorgeously written, relentlessly erudite.” –Vanity Fair

Product Details
ISBN: 9781400031702
ISBN-10: 1400031702
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: April 13th, 2004
Pages: 576
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries