Autodidact: self-taught


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

by V. L. Craven

I feel that’s there’s not nearly enough time to read as many books as I’d like–when I die there will still be whole libraries of books I will have wished I could have got to–so I don’t usually re-read books. However, I’d heard from several people that one of my favourite books (The Secret History by Donna Tartt) only read well if one was at university while reading it. That made sense, since it’s about a group of classics students at a small New England college. Many people who’d read it in college and then read it later said it lost something on the second go.

I had to know for myself, though. I didn’t want a book I’d loved so much to fall apart, but I’d rather know the truth.

Happily, I liked it quite well–it held up fine for me. The only thing different this time was that I knew what happened (though I didn’t recall everything that had transpired so some of it was a surprise all over again). The first time I was reading so fast, because I was so enamoured, that the characters blended together somewhat. This time around I got to know the characters better. Henry was by far the most interesting and complex to me, although all were well-drawn.

The story is about a murder, which takes place in the first few pages. Then the book is about why several friends planned to kill one of their group and the aftermath.

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