Monday, 10 August 2009

Northern Gothic

Finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt yesterday.

I said in my previous post that I had really enjoyed her second novel and was looking forward to reading this one (her debut)...and I was not disappointed.

An amazing of those "unputdownable" ones. I had to forcibly separate myself from the book to do other things...but I really wanted to read it all in one sitting.

Suspenseful, lyrical, haunting, funny, harrowing, wistful, enchanting - all of these words can be used to describe the story that takes place in this novel. The characters are drawn with such clarity and beauty (beauty being a major theme running throughout the novel...the main characters are students and teachers of Greek and its literature, art, mythology, etc.)

Tartt uses the students' education as a backdrop to the mystery that is what and how these characters learn that make them who they are and how they behave.

As a former liberal arts major, I can feel the pull of the intimacy of the classes in this novel, but can see also how this intimacy breeds isolation and alienation...another facet to the intriguing mystery that unfolds.

Highly recommended. I love this mystery stuff!

Up next: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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