Can it be true? Have I really finally read it?
Yes I have finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt after all these years of staring at it, starting it, stopping it, taking it on holiday, dumping it in Las Ramblas and then rueing the day ever therafter as all and sundry made sure to tell me it was "the best book I've EVER read"...or..."oh yes, my favourite book of ALL time".
It was only the arrival of Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl that forced my hand
"Donna Tartt 2 + Alfred Hitchcock x Nuclear Energy = the most unformulaic debut of this or any other year" said the blurb on a rather fetching sash-like band around the very eye-catching book jacket. As you know by now I'm a sucker for nice presentation, add a book band around the middle and of course I'm really interested, in fact I know I'll love it.But I felt duty bound to sort out this Tartt problem first.
Things got off to a racing start with the Tartt and continued in much the same vein for the whole 658 pages worth so I have no idea what put me off first time around beyond the Barcelona sunshine.
No point in covering the plot or really saying anything much at all about The Secret History because after 14 years I think just about everything that could ever be said about it has been said several times over.
I was gripped just as you all were when you read your "the best book I've ever read" and despite knowing most of the plot details by p 200 it was a roller coaster ride to read the gradual psychological demise of the preppy perps in the aftermath of classmate Bunny's plunge.No point in even worrying about spoilers because you all know the book well and I'm just amazed that you all managed to keep it all from me for this long.
Perhaps in the end it was a little bit of an anti-climax and the "horrific secret" promised in the blurb had built up over the years to such epic and gruesome proportions in my mind that with mentions of "heart of darkness" in the blurb I could only assume that Bunny was somehow to be served up as an ingredient in a casserole.
On reflection perhaps you haven't actually read The Secret History either so I'd better not spoil it any more, but while we're on the subject head to Madame Arcati's wondrous blog for some links to more suggestions about cooking that rabbit.