166 of 183 people found the following review helpful
great book; God, I hope they don't ruin it with a movie,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret History (Paperback)There are a number of reasons that The Secret History has been one of my favorite leisure-reading selections for several years (and I have to admit that I re-read it periodically, typically devouring it in 2 or 3 nights). I think Donna Tartt's greatest gift lies in her ability to create a story that has the suspense and sales appeal of a mainstream bestseller AND a tremendous richness of texture, with a bit of philosophical and intellectual weight thrown in for good measure (granted, the book's not as deep as some people claim it is, but compared to the flimflam put out by authors like Robert Jordan or Tom Clancy or John Grisham, it's practically a college curriculum wrapped up into a single volume!). Ms. Tartt can create a mood and evoke a setting like no other popular writer I can think of, and I find her descriptive powers, her dialogue, and her attention to detail to be irresistible. I went to college in the late '80s, and I was a lower-middle-class kid from central Texas who wound up in an Ivy-league institution that, although it wasn't nearly as insular or uniformly snobbish as "Hampden"/Bennington College, had its fair share of decadent preppies. So to me, at least, a lot of Richard Papen's insecurities and anxieties ring true-to-life.
One last note: to readers who were bored or put off by the references to Greek, Latin, French, and English literature, I would suggest that, rather than condemn Ms. Tartt for being pretentious or pedantic, we be excited that someone has the daring and the ability to create a novel that has a high idea-to-page ratio AND supports an exciting, appealing story. If you don't understand an allusion, look it up and learn something new! [I'm a college instructor myself, so pardon a bit of pedantry on my part... :-) !]
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2008 12:51:09 AM PST
S. Antonio Arch says:
I couldn't agree more. Once upon a time I had hoped to see a filmed or at the very least a Masterpiece Theatre version of the book. Now I realise that it would be totally ruined by being adapted without any of the allusions to the Classics. Even the name would probably be changed...
Posted on Oct 29, 2010 5:27:24 PM PDT
J. T. Larcade says:
"There's a killer on the road...his brain is squirming like a toad..."
I can quote the classics.
Seriously though, a great movie of this story IS possible, as long as they don't try to incorporate a lot of Greek. No one understands Greek. That's why we call it Greek.
(I loved this book! Couldn't put it down. It uplifted me from an awful funk of reader-disgust right after I'd read "The Pillars of the Earth.")
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2010 11:10:45 AM PST
M. Roach says:
I love reading first novels and this one did not disappoint. It has become one of my favorite books, and I, too, have read it two or three times, each time finding something new to ponder. As I read it I felt that these are people I know ... people I know that make me extremely uncomfortable, yet they fascinate me in a weird creepy way. I would love to see this adapted to the screen, but only if it remains true to the story. But look what they did to The Scarlet Letter!
Posted on Aug 10, 2011 8:29:21 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 10, 2011 8:29:37 AM PDT]
Posted on Oct 16, 2011 3:03:33 PM PDT
William on Amazon says:
She generally paraphrases much of what is said in other languages, those few bits, in English after they are uttered by characters. Anything that's not explained is generally obvious through context. It should not be a problem for anyone who doesn't know Greek and Latin or the bits of French and Italian in the novel.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›