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01.05.2014
In the 20 years since the publication of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, following the obsessive, incestuous friendship of a small group of classics students at an elite New England college, the book has attracted a cultlike following of its own. The Basic Eight, by Daniel Handler. The Secret History in high school, this time from the author behind the Lemony Snicket books, and offering up the same sharp sense of fatalistic humor and an even darker edge. December 11, 2013 • Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. October 31, 2013 • Donna Tartt is a writer who takes her time a€” she's published just one novel per decade since her debut in 1992. October 21, 2013 • The author of The Secret History returns with a novel about art, love and loss that's drawn comparisons to Oliver Twist and the Harry Potter series. October 19, 2013 • Donna Tartt's new novel The Goldfinch follows a motherless boy and a priceless painting in the aftermath of a terror attack.
If you want to discuss particular chapters or post your own questions and comments, we have a dedicated place for that over on the Book Riot forums. An impressive debut novel from a new voice in fiction, The Secret History tells of a small circle of friends at an esteemed college in New England, whose studies in Classical Greek lead them to odd rituals, shocking behavior - and murder. REVIEWS and CRITICISM - for short reviews and longer critical pieces that analyze and comment upon specific works of art, performances, movies, broadcasts, products, and the like. I first read it ten years ago when it was first published, and haven't found a better book yet! It is a book I pick up quite often though I don't necessarily start at the beginning every time.


I wasn't particularly looking forward to reading this (I had to study this with reference to "The Bacchae") and it was amazing.
Like its narrator, Richard, who longs to be a part of the secretive group, readers are enraptured by the seductive delights of Tartt’s prose, which pulls you deep into a twisted world of emotional manipulation and addiction. Only her third novel in 20 years, The Goldfinch was published this fall to the delight of a legion of fans who have been salivating for more from her since the release of The Little Friend in 2002. If what you’re looking for is more obsession with Classical studies, consider this one.
In 1980, three friends discover an abandoned cottage in the English countryside and decide to drop out of their lives and stay there in isolation. Told in flashback, this novel unpacks what really happened among a group of ultra-popular elites (the titular Basic Eight) at an exclusive boarding school that, a year later, has one of them labeled a  murderess by the tabloid press. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery and more.
Reviewer Meg Wolitzer says The Goldfinch marks a departure from Tartt's previous work, but it's a rich, absorbing read a€” all 771 pages of it. Then he arrived at Hampden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life - in particular by an elite group of five students, Greek scholars, wordly, self-assured, and at first glance, highly unapproachable.
Dissatisfied "with the crass values of their fellow students, a small corps of undergraduates groups itself around a favored professor of classics, who nurtures both their sense of moral elevation and an insularity from conventional college life that ultimately proves fatal. You can choose from a multitude of writing games, gizmos, generators, writing prompts and exercises, tips, experiments and manifestos from infamous avant garde writers and how-to articles on fiction writing and poetry.


Six friends, first years at Oxford, get too caught up in what was (say it with me now) only supposed to be a joke, a psychological game of chicken that requires the players to submit to increasingly humiliating dares. What seems at first like a hidden paradise turns less idyllic as temperatures drop and tensions mount—then the sudden appearance of a stranger changes everything. The students and faculty at an elite boarding school are being threatened and blackmailed by the mysterious Prisom’s Party, a secret society that operated at the school decades earlier.
Bored New York rich kid Quentin has always longed for an escape, so when he stumbles across the existence of Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a school devoted to the study of real spells-and-stuff magic, he never looks back.
Tartt tells NPR's Scott Simon that she started thinking about art, money and fate after stumbling across an art exhibition in a Las Vegas casino. Cos we've got enough Podcast material to keep you occupied for roughly 2 years and 147 days.
The story picks up 30 years later, when a new inhabitant moves into the cottage and starts exploring its mysterious, er, secret history. It’s up to Iris Dupont, a budding investigative journalist who carries on conversations with the ghost of Edward R.
Fourteen years later, the players (some still haunted by the past) are meeting again to put an end to it all.



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