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Extended Audio Sample The Secret History: A Novel Audiobook, by Donna Tartt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.99995672282175 out of 53.99995672282175 out of 53.99995672282175 out of 53.99995672282175 out of 53.99995672282175 out of 5 4.00 (53,839 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donna Tartt Narrator: Donna Tartt Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9780060786472
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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.”

    Vogue

  • “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 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 Rene Schlegel | 2/14/2014

    " fun & absorbing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Illuminati8 | 1/23/2014

    " Uncontrolled effusion of pretentious drivel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/13/2014

    " This book was very engaging. The characters stuck with me, long after I finished. I don't have much of a background in Greek, but I found that the author took her time and didn't assume that her audience was at the same education level on the subject as the characters. This was a thoughtful and intelligent read that surrounded a suspenseful story with relatable characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dimitris | 1/4/2014

    " Awesome book, loved the pace, great finale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Burns | 1/4/2014

    " Brilliantly written. Claustrophobic, insular, riveting and depressing. Like a Clint Eastwood movie (with his cynicism and craft). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Sentance | 11/11/2013

    " One of the best fiction books I have ever read, hands down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alaina | 10/29/2013

    " The most boring book I ever loved. But really boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dylan | 10/11/2013

    " new favorite book hands down. bittersweet ending but still very good "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 10/4/2013

    " This novel was about a group of elite college students that belong in an exclusive Greek class... who find themselves immersed in their own Greek tragedy!!! Very eloquently written... 3.5 stars!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Upton | 6/15/2013

    " If I had to name a favourite, it would be this one. Happy to lend to good borrowers. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nina | 1/4/2013

    " Didn't even finish this one. One word: BORING! Enough said. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Cameron | 12/19/2012

    " My favourite novel ever! A wonderfully nail-biting mystery, unique, witty and learned story with a superbly drawn cast of incredible characters. Wonderfully written and pitch perfect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 12/6/2012

    " Still waiting for Donna Tartt's next book!!!!!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laila | 11/2/2012

    " Self-indulgent, selfish, mostly unsympathetic college kids do awful things. And still I really liked this book. Donna Tartt can write! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina Pettitt | 9/5/2012

    " I've re-read this intellectual novel several times now. I find myself addicted to the author's ability to create empathy in me for all characters. The detail, whilst thorough, does not at all detract from the fact that it is indeed a fast paced book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Matthews | 7/4/2012

    " Enjoyable but the characters were annoying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eryne | 6/15/2012

    " One of my favorite novels of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Waggoner | 5/4/2012

    " This book was given to me by my friend Betsy years ago. It stays on my bookshelf and comes out to visit me every few years. A delicious mystery about the struggle of conscience. I think it might be time for another visit! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie Peterson | 11/29/2011

    " Pretentious, but interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 9/21/2011

    " Another book I've read numerous times. One of the most well-crafted stories I've ever read. Great! This one would certainly be in my Top 10. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrysostom | 7/1/2011

    " A comic novel. Mostly not too funny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie | 5/22/2011

    " It was ok, sort of a name dropping book, somewhat predictable, but mildly intriguing just the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 5/21/2011

    " It's been awhile since I read it. I remember thinking is was so creative and unlike anything I had ever read before. My 17 year old daughter read it and loved it and now her boyfriend is reading it too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maia | 5/13/2011

    " Weird and creepy. Sick characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willeke | 5/12/2011

    " Temptation to keep on reading and re-reading this book... very intelligently written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martharago | 5/11/2011

    " Surprising, well paced and intriguing, and in spite of some creepiness, I had a hard time putting this down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merlijn | 5/11/2011

    " OMG AWESOME, thanks Isabel ik zag dat je deze had gelezen en toen bedacht ik me dat ik deze ook thuis had liggen! Hij is echt geweldig! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eve | 5/9/2011

    " I so hated this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 5/9/2011

    " Again, a minority. didn't understand why people love this so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 5/8/2011

    " Hands down my most favourite book ever. I can't describe how this book makes me feel, but I read it when I was about 16 or 17 and it was just... amazing. Part of me is always in that leafy New England world with Richard and the twins, Henry, Francis and Bunny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 5/7/2011

    " I haven't loved a book like this in at least a year. I could hardly put it down. Absolutely beautiful. "

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About the Author
Author Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt is the author of The Goldfinch, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, as well as other major awards. Her novels The Secret History and The Little Friend have been translated into thirty languages. She was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a graduate of Bennington College.