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Den hemliga historien by Donna Tartt
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Den hemliga historien (original 1992; edition 2014)

by Donna Tartt, Nille Lindgren, Sofia Scheutz

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,642380260 (4.07)653
Member:popslan
Title:Den hemliga historien
Authors:Donna Tartt
Other authors:Nille Lindgren, Sofia Scheutz
Info:Albert Bonniers förlag 2014
Collections:2016
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992)

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    kraaivrouw: Dionysian events at college ...
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    The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (yokai)
  9. 40
    The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (zembla)
    zembla: A clique of elitist students' involvement in murder, told in foreboding prose. Tartt's writing is quietly eerie where Handler's is showily clever, reflecting the difference in their narrators' ages.
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    A Separate Peace by John Knowles (akblanchard)
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    Aquila: Though it's a much nicer book.
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(see all 32 recommendations)

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» See also 653 mentions

English (354)  Dutch (9)  Swedish (6)  French (5)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (380)
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
Richard Papen, a relatively impoverished student at a New England college, falls in with an exclusive clique of rich, worldly Greek scholars. "THE SECRET HISTORY tells the story of a group of classics students at an elite American college, who are cerebral, obsessive and finally murderous.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
This book was every bit as excellent as promised. I've actually put off reading it because I was underwhelmed by The Goldfinch and was in no hurry to try another Tartt book. Happily, I loved everything about The Secret History. Really good writing: so descriptive and intense, a well drawn and completely despicable cast of characters, and a fascinating story of murder and mystery. I was riveted from start to finish. ( )
  sprainedbrain | Dec 1, 2018 |
a long, slow, and ultimately elegant retelling of a Greek tragedy. I loved the language, characters, and eventual morals of this books. ( )
  inescapableabby | Nov 28, 2018 |
Richard Papen leaves California to attend Hampden College in Vermont. Little does he know how his life will change when he is able to enroll in classes taught by an eccentric professor to a very small and elite group of students. The lives of this group of students is rather outside the norm as they accidentally kill someone in a Bacchanalian orgy. The narrator, Richard, tells how this incident takes hold of the lives of these students and leads them to further tragedy.

This book is not a beach read. It is written with much attention to detail and to the psychology of the unique characters who live in a world that is far beyond normal.
( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
This was masterfully written and totally fucked up.

Tartt writes a modern version of Crime and Punishment (she even quotes it). Her protagonists are driven to murder by mad ideals like Raskolnikov, and like him, only afterwards they realize its evil nature, and that the guilt will tie them together forever.

I said "modern", but what struck me most about this book was its incredible datedness. It is 25 years old - old enough to depict a bygone world, one without cell phones and internet - but not old enough to have ripened into a classic era that few remember. I was mesmerized by the era of communication by phone where not answering meant you were completely cut off. Handwritten letters and postcards. Going to the library for a dictionary, calling directory service for information. Yes, I do remember (I am old enough), but it feels like a long forgotten world.

However, the most dated aspect is the Generation X Zeitgeist - a lost generation, trying to find escape from a hopeless world in different ways: drugs, alcohol, sex, or in the case of our über-intellectuals, living in the world of ancient Greek and Roman ideals. These college kids are looking for meaning in their lives, just like Polly, who wants a cracker in that Kurt Cobain song. Nirvana swept away the decadent ruins of the eighties just on the heels of this book - giving voice to an entire disillusioned, depressed generation who did not know what to do with their potential.

The characters are unlikeable, by design. The writing and story are superb, and this is a page-turner a la Dostoyevsky. It is depressing. But I think the staying power of this book is the time-capsule it represents - the superb capturing of the pain of the grunge generation. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
As a ferociously well-paced entertainment, ... "The Secret History" succeeds magnificently. Forceful, cerebral and impeccably controlled, "The Secret History" achieves just what Ms. Tartt seems to have set out to do: it marches with cool, classical inevitability toward its terrible conclusion.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tartt, Donnaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Wilde, BarbaraDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landolfi, IdolinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lange, Barbara deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsen, IdaLouTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siikarla, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.
-- PLATO,
Republic, Book II
I enquire now as to the genesis of a philologist and assert the following:
1. A young man cannot possibly know what Greeks and Romans are.
2. He does not know whether he is suited for finding out about them.
-- FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE,
Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen
Dedication
For Bret Easton Ellis,
whose generosity will never cease to warm my heart;
and for Paul Edward McGloin,
muse and Maecenas,
who is the dearest friend I will ever have in this world.
First words
The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. (Prologue)
Does such a thing as "the fatal flaw," that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature?
Quotations
...how I longed to be an orphan when I was a child!
[They were] sitting at a table that was spread with papers and pens and bottles of ink. The bottles of ink I remember particularly, because I was very charmed by them, and by the long black straight pens, which looked incredibly archaic and troublesome.
[The tutor] reached for a pen in a cup on his desk; amazingly, it was full of Montblanc fountain pens, Meisterstucks, at least a dozen of them.
"Guess what," said Bunny, "Henry bought himself a Montblanc pen." ... He nodded at the cup of sleek black pens that sat on Julian's desk. "How much are those things worth? ... Three hundred bucks a pop? ... I remember when you used to say how ugly they were. You used to say you'd never write with a thing in your life but a straight pen." ... Bunny picked [the pen] up and turned it back and forth in his fingers. "It's like the fat pencil I used to use in first grade," he said. ... "Now, what kind of pens do we all use here? Francois, you're a nib-and-bottle man like myself, no? ... and you, Robert? What sort of pens did they teach you to use in California?" "Ball points," I said.
Last words
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Richard Papen arrived at Hampden College in New England and was quickly seduced by an elite group of five students, all Greek scholars, all worldy, self-assured, and, first glance, all highly unapproachable. As Richard is drawn into their inner circle, he learns a terrifying secret that binds them to one another...a secret about an incident in the woods in the dead of night where an ancient rite was brought to brutal life...and led to a gruesome death., And that was just the beginning...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140167773, Paperback)

Truly deserving of the accolade "Modern Classic", Donna Tartt's novel "The Secret History" 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 for ever. "It takes my breath away". (Ruth Rendell). "Enthralling ...image the plot of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment crossed with the story of Euripides' "Bacchae" set against the backdrop of Bret Easton Ellis' "The Rules of Attraction"...forceful, cerebral and impeccably controlled...ferociously well-paced...remarkably powerful". ("The New York Times"). Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and educated at the University of Mississippi and Bennington College. She is a novelist, essayist, and critic and author of "The Little Friend". "The Secret History" has been translated into twenty-four languages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:56 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life -- in particular by an elite group of five students, Greek scholars, worldly, self-assured, and at first glance, highly unapproachable.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140167773, 0141037695

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