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Extended Audio Sample The Secret History: A Novel, by Donna Tartt Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (53,838 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donna Tartt Narrator: Donna Tartt Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

In this brilliant debut novel, Donna Tartt gives us a richly textured and hypnotic story of golden youth corrupted by its own moral arrogance.

Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life -- in particular by an elite group of five students, Greek scholars, worldly, self-assured, and at first glance, highly unapproachable.

Yet as Richard was accepted and drawn into their inner circle, he learned a terrifying secret that bound them to one another ... a secret about an incident in the woods in the dead of night where an ancient rite was brough to brutal life ... and lead to a gruesome death. And that was just the beginning ...

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Secret History succeeds magnificently…A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment…Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.”

    New York Times

  • “Powerful . . . Enthralling . . . A ferociously well-paced entertainment.” New York Times
  • “Beautifully written, suspenseful from start to finish.”


  • “A huge, mesmerizing, galloping read, pleasurably devoured…Gorgeously written, relentlessly erudite.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “A haunting, compelling, and brilliant piece of fiction…Packed with literary allusion and told with a sophistication and texture that owes much more to the nineteenth century than to the twentieth.”

    Times (London)

  • “An accomplished psychological thriller…Absolutely chilling…Tartt has a stunning command of the lyrical.”

    Village Voice

  • “Her writing bewitches us…The Secret History is a wonderfully beguiling book, a journey backward to the fierce and heady friendships of our school days, when all of us believed in our power to conjure up divinity and to be forgiven any sin.”

    Philadelphia Enquirer

  • “Highly entertaining…[Tartt’s] writing is powerful and evocative…A mysterious, richly detailed story told by a talented writer.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] well-written first novel.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kate Givan | 2/20/2014

    " An amazing, riveting book. I read all (close to 500 pages) of this book in three days. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it if you likely thriller and uncovering mysteries as you go along. It is truly a unique story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rene Schlegel | 2/14/2014

    " fun & absorbing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Emily Webster | 1/25/2014

    " God I love this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brian Hunt | 1/23/2014

    " Tartt's writing style is both seductive and addictive... loved the systematic unraveling of each character as they process the guilt of that fateful night. Through Richard, we find ourselves at an Ivy League college in Vermont, where we meet an elite group of five Greek scholars... all wealthy, beautiful and highly unapproachable. Richard is seduced into their incestious inner circle, and eventually he learns their dark secret. By the light of the full moon, deep in the woods, an ancient Pagan rite was brought to brutal life, which led to a gruesome death. Years later Richard reflects on the lengths they were all willing to go to keep their secret, eventually leading to their epic downfall. "

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