Genre: Contemporary, Modern Classic, Thriller, Literary Fiction
“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
P.S. Lot’s of Tumblr like aesthetic coming your way
The story is unlike any mystery I have ever read, enticed by the idea of why the murder took place as opposed to who did it. The popularity of the book is almost similar to the plot, in that you feel left out if you haven’t read it and the obsession surrounding it will make you pick up the book so as to understand why everyone freaking loves it.
“Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.”
The story is narrated by Richard and the first line of the book you discover that he and his fellow students have killed one of their own (Bunny) and he jumps back in time to sort of explaining the events that took place. We follow him as he attends this prestigious college in New England, as he becomes obsessed with this elite group of five Greek scholars (Henry, Bunny, Francis, Charles & Camilla) and how his life is altered once he joins the group. We witness through his eyes how complex and disturbing the human psyche can be as this terrible incident shapes & tears them apart.
The book is seriously beautiful, a slow contemporary mystery that is sort of inspired by Greek mythology. The aesthetic of the school paired with the dark tones of the plot and the extraordinary writing was to die for but the book didn’t quite meet my hyped expectation and I will talk about that later. The way the characters slowly lost their
shit was really incredible and I loved how Donna Tartt sort of mimicked the self-destruction of the ancient Greek through them. She has this ability to form stories from art and mythologies in a modern setting that just work and I can definitely see some similarities between The Secret History and The Goldfinch. In the sense that both are narrated by an older character looking back at dark past, some form of art is pivotal to their lives, losing themselves in toxic relationships and so much more. The obsession of literature and the play on life imitates art is another reason I admire her plus she made me interested in Greek Classics which I had no interest prior to reading this 😄
“I suppose at one time in my life I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.”
I can definitely see why people would prefer this one to The Goldfinch (BOOK REVIEW HERE) not only are the characters interesting and the plot compelling but I still think The Goldfinch is superior in terms of characters’ study. So, my problem with the book was actually the 2nd person narration which as stated earlier is also in The Goldfinch but I preferred it there as opposed to here. I felt detached from the character and the unreliability of Richards character pulled me away from the story, yes, they were interesting but for the life of me, I couldn’t bring myself to care about them. Also, the secrecy aspect in some of the characters was drawn out for so long that when they revealed some part of themselves I just wasn’t as surprised. The only character I remotely had a strong feeling towards was Bunny and that was a pure hate.
“Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.”
That is the only flaw and I guess it kind of my fault for setting unrealistic expectations, the book is definitely a must read, it will test your moral compass, make you think and utterly shock you at the events that unfold. It is similar to the TV show How to Get Away with Murder but with all white really
fucked up the privileged cast.
I would really love to discuss it in detail because I still have so many things to address but due to spoilers I will refrain 🙂 but if you do want to discuss my social media are all linked down below 🙂
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So until next time stay Bookish 😉