The Secret History - Donna Tartt

I have to admit it: I liked this book. I also have to admit another fact: I'm not a fan of Donna Tartt. Last summer I read The Goldfinch and I was able to finish it, just because I listened the audio book version while I was working on my collection. I was curious about all the fuss around that book and, to be totally honest, I still don't know why it was such a huge best seller. But today I'm not here to talk about that book. After I read The Goldfinch, I started to hear great things about The Secret History, the second novel by Donna Tartt, published in the 1992; so I started to be curious about this one too. I read the synopsis and I felt that there was the possibility I would like this book, more then the previous one for sure. If I can, I prefer to read most of the books from the library or second hand. This isn't always so simple because I live in Italy, and I prefer to read in English when the book was written in this language (here I usually start with a very long and boring disquisition about translation and all its pro and co). So it wasn't so simple to track down this book, and I wasn't in a rush to find it also, but in the end I found a used copy in a little cute English library in Berlin, The Curious Fox, and I thought "it's now or never". I took it at home with me and I started to read it. It's 600 pages long and for the first 100 was a bit slow, I wasn't sure where the story was going. Then, at one point, everything changed and I was hooked. I thought how to describe this book and I'm still not too sure: it's that kind of story where you already know the central fact, the important one, the one that will lead the story to the end, until you find out that that piece of information was only the classical tip of the iceberg. When I was around page 500 I thought again: well, at this point of the story what could still happen? This is it, this is how the book ends and Donna Tartt plainly has an evidently problem with where to stop her story. But I was wrong, the story ends with the very last page. I will not spoil the story for you and there are quite a few chances that you have already read this book, it was published in 1992 and I, as many other times, always catch the last train on certain things. But, if you are one of the few people out there who didn't like The Goldfinch and you still, as me, haven't read this book, I would give it a chance if I were you. A little note: I read the epilogue listening to The War on Drugs and it was a perfect match.

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