I bought this book about 2 years ago at a bookstore in Greenwood, MS when I saw that there were newly autographed copies (Tartt is a Mississippi native like myself). It had been sitting on my shelf up until last week. I hate that I waited so long to crack this one open. From the first page you have a general idea of what's going to happen in this novel. There will be a murder. You know who the victim is. But you have no idea why. I'm normally pretty good at figuring out classic whodunits. So this was a fresh change for me. Never have I read a book that I have such conflicting feelings about characters page to page. One minute I'll despise a character, and then they'll do something that makes me think "Well, maybe they're not so
bad." Then I usually ended up despising them once again. Parts of the book did drag, and it seemed to run a little too
long. There's only so many paragraphs I can take about snorting lines and eating in the Commons. But I can overlook these minor flaws for the overall plot, which was wonderful. In my theatre class we had recently discussed bacchanalia, so it was a pleasant surprise to have this incorporated into the book. Like another reviewer commented, I do wish Tartt had shown a little more. A majority of the book was telling. And while I understand that the main character was left out of a lot of the prominent action, it still would have been nice to see things first hand.
Overall, The Secret History
was a joy to read. It's definitely been added to my favorites list.