The smartest murder-mystery you will ever hear.
A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return.
Penguin Audiobooks presents Donna Tartt's cult thriller The Secret History, complete, unabridged, and read by the author.
©1992 Donna Tartt (P)2010 Penguin Books Ltd
"Haunting, compelling, brilliant." (The Times)
ok - she only does one every ten years, but well worth the wait!
detail and characterisation brilliant - she has a knack of creating a dangling suspense. as in 'the little friend' we are made aware of the murder, the story's focus, at the very beginning. it's the shifting psychological sands that make it so gripping. please stock the little friend in unabridged too please!
You will either love this book or hate it. The crime is revealed in the prologue and the remaining narrative is devoted to the build up to and aftermath of the inevitable.It is unbelievably slow, I had to struggle to continue to listen at times. The female voice for the main male character I could overcome, but the almost overwhelming detail was offputting and added little. However I became gripped by the claustrophobic relationships and isolated life on an American college campus and did stick with it to the end. Perhaps reserve this one for a long road trip,a flight to Australia or when you have a long rainy weekend's home decorating and many hours to fill.
I loved this book and really enjoyed it's twists and turns but when it came to the audiobook it was a big disappointment.
I found her reading flat and uninteresting and the different characters voices did not come across well. Additionally is it always a good idea for an author to read their own stories as they may be too close to the material and give it their own nuance rather than let the reader make up their own mind ?
In my opinion I would prefer a professional actor or broadcaster to do the reading.
Donna Tartt is a fabulous writer. She is a poor reader though, although she adopts the flat monotone favoured by US narrators (particularly authors) convincingly enough. It isn't inspiring though, just boring - and, as mentioned in other reviews here, not a patch on the wonderful Adam Sims version, which you should try to get hold of if you can.
Why oh, oh why do authors feel they can narrate their own books. Here in The Secret History is an excellent example of how bad it can be. Particularly with the main character being male narrated by a woman. With all the hype of this book and I was hugely disappointed and could only make it half way, and even then it was a struggle.
I had read the book years ago and had forgotten just what a detailed and multi-layered story it is. The six main characters are so well written, and subtle differences in their personalities come together so well. Donna Tartt's reading of her book verges on a monotone at times, but somehow this adds to the atmosphere, as the extraordinary events come from quite ordinary beginnings. I listened to this on the way to and from work every morning, and I just couldn't switch off my mp3. It really is riveting.
Would 100% recommend this book. I read it when it first came out and when I saw it was available on Audible jumped at the chance to listen to it.
Fantastic murder-mystery story, but with a really surprising twist.
The only thing that slightly bothered me was Donna Tartts narration, as the main character in the book is male.
But other than that: do give this a go, I doubt you'll regret it - I for one am terribly upset that I have come to the end and know I will not find anything as engaging again for a while. And where is Donna Tartts second novel?
Wonderfully original constructed story of a plot to commit the perfect murder. A group of four highly priveledged University students are influenced by their studies of ancient Greek. Seen through eyes of the one member of the group who is the disadvantaged outsider. Riveting. An absolute page turner.
Trully great book, holding your attention completely - but it shouldn't have been read by the author: her voice is too flat, the pace of reading too quick at moments, sometimes really hard to understand.
I thought this book would have been improved if it had been reduced by a third. Seemed to go into too much fundamentally unimportant detail which added nothing. The reading was a bit of a 'drone'
If I could give half stars, I would rate this as two and a half but since I have to go for whole numbers, I would give it three rather than two
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