Literary Fiction

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Quick take

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.

Why I love it

Writers, against all reason (and whatever we pretend), are competitive creatures. And so when Vanity Fair assigned me, in the spring of 1992, to profile the author of that fall's big, hot novel, a first novel that had fetched an advance of close to a million dollars, my initial reaction, as a recent first-novelist myself who had garnered some moderately good reviews and sold a couple of thousand b...

Member thoughts

59% Love
28% Like
10% Dislike
  • Maria H.

    Jersey City, NJ

    "Love, love, love this book and got me hooked on Tartt's work. The writing is super exquisite with characters both interesting and repulsive at the same time. It drew me in and I didn't want it to end."

  • Karin N.

    Chicago, IL

    "You know who did it, but this gets you to the why, and the emotional fallout after the fact. Donna Tartt is a master world builder!"

  • Teddy G.

    Cincinnati, OH

    "An exquisite luxurious novel. Tartt's prose is rich and captivating and I am still haunted in the best way by this novel."

  • Jordan S.

    San Francisco, CA

    "This book is long, but I enjoyed every page. Have a pencil handy to underline and notate as you admire the sound of each sentence. This novel does heavy lifting without breaking a sweat. "

  • Jessica A.

    Woodstock, GA

    "Modern day Greek tragedy! Strong, well written characters who were fascinating and awful. They did terrible things in the name of learning and in order to protect themselves. "

  • Courtney M.

    Wauwatosa, WI

    "It was slow, but it was thought provoking. I was entertained while I read, although I wasn't sure where the story was taking me. This was a great read for a long weekend. "

  • Letitia C.

    Centreville, VA

    "Well written and engaging. The characters are a bit unlikable, the story a bit unsettling, but I think that is the point. I could not stop thinking about this when I was not reading it."

  • Lindsay K.

    Marietta, GA

    "A very long, very pleasureable, very thought prevoking read. Oh, what we may do when young, dumb, and coerced."

  • Miguel R.

    elmont, NY

    "It's as expected of Donna Tartt, well defined characters and details that makes each chapter as vivid and memorable as her Golden Finch."

  • Sarah B.

    New York, NY

    "Best book I've read this year! Such complex and compelling characters; they do terrible things but you can't help but love them. Great story, beautifully written. I could live in this book"

  • Emily T.

    Indianapolis, IN

    "The characters and story are intriguing. The story sucks you in. I found myself rooting for things to work for all of them, no matter what they got themselves into. Great read!"