Friday, May 2, 2008

The Secret History

On my website, I use to have a page for this blog, and a separate page for all of my insightful movie, music, and book reviews. But I decided to combine it into one big happy blog...Movies, music and books are such a big interest and influence in my life, it seems only fitting.

So today, readers, I wanted to tell you about a book I just read by Donna Tartt called The Secret History.

My friend, Diablo, saw it at the bookstore a few weeks ago, and remembered reading it and loving it when it first came out, so he bought it to read again. And due to our mutual love of a good story, and the fact that he was currently reading another, he sweetly loaned it to me first. As he gave me his brief synopsis of the book, and compared it to one of my favorite true crime books, Bully. I then grabbed the book from him and ran home to devour it.

Let me say, this book was no Bully. But it did share the common element of a group of young adults killing one of their friends. Usually truth is stranger than fiction, but not in the case of this book.

There is a strange click of friends, all in class together at a small college, and they are all way too into Greek classics. They interact only with each other, this odd group of 5 friends. In the beginning of the story, 4 of the friends tell the fifth friend of how they accidentally killed a man. Oops. They aren't really sure how it all happened. (WHAT?) But they fear their story might leak out. The guy in the group that seems most likely to spill the beans they then murder so as not to leak the story about the first murder. There isn't one character in the book that's a "good guy". No one seems to feel bad about the murder. It's more about not getting caught in the aftermath.

The book is very long. 592 pages! And parts of it never make much sense. But somehow, I kept reading. The best parts of the books come after the murder- I'd say the last quarter of the book. When I finally got to the last page, I was just as baffled as ever.

So I asked my other avid-reader friend, Glitzy, if she had read the book. She had, when it first came out, and she, like Diablo, also loved it. So although I read it,and was sort of enthralled by it, I never loved it. I didn't even like it. But I feel like I was supposed to, and I feel guilty to admit that. Did I just not get it? Hm.

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