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  • The Secret History

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: Donna Tartt
  • Length: 22 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (591 ratings)

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The Secret History

By: Donna Tartt
Narrated by: Donna Tartt
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

THE BESTSELLER THAT DEFINED AN AGE

Penguin presents the audio edition of The Secret History, read by the author.

'Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together---my future, my past, the whole of my life---and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!'

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries. But their search for the transcendent leads them down a dangerous path, beyond human constructs of morality.

©1992 Donna Tartt (P)2010 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Haunting, compelling, brilliant." (The Times)

"Irresistible and seductive." (Guardian)

"Enthralling... Forceful, cerebral and impeccably controlled." (New York Times)

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What listeners say about The Secret History

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Donna Tartt narrates

I love Donna Tartt's writing. The Secret History did not disappoint. However I did not enjoy the voice of Donna in this audiobook. Her male characters are completely believable as she writes them but as a female narrator, it just doesn't work as well as it could. The Goldfinch with male narrator was so much more immersive

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Painfully dull

I listened to this book for 8 hours waiting for something interesting to happen - it didn't. I couldn't face the prospect of another 13 hours of listless meandering prose, so I returned it.

Maybe this is an injustice and the 2nd half of the book is really exciting...but I have my doubts.

Also it doesn't help that the book is read by a woman (the author) yet the main protagonist is a man - her voice really doesn't gel with the narrative.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating.

I have read this book many times over the years and it remains a firm favourite. The narration by Donna Tartt was captivating and really brought the story and each character to life. I didn't want it to end!

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

I had read the book years before joining audible and thought it was good; upon listening to this narration it has become my favourite novel. I was shocked to find negative reviews of Donna's narration is (although I am a huge proponent of author narration.) I think it is exquisite.

It allowed me to delve in, almost like a meditative state, to the point that I experienced the prose and characters better than my first reading and it became my absolute favourite piece of writing. I have listened to it again since then and sometimes just go back to a chapter here or there.

This book is not to everyone's taste; it is long, at times meandering, certainly much more character and prose focused than plot, but if you're open to the mindset of Richard Papen and the idealisation of those around him... well I can get lost in it for days.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dreadful narration

The narration of this book was so bad - had a tinny sound and very poor quality - so much so that it was distracting fdrom the book.

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3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

14 chapters too long!

Got to Ch 12 & I couldn't bare it any longer when I realised I wasn't even half way through. I had loved the Gold Finch & presumed I'd enjoy this book too, but it was just one long tedious & obnoxious tale that seemed not too to go anywhere, not in the first 12 chapters anyhow.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Literary baroque

An ornate folly. A story of deluded youth and the mystique of college adventures resonate through life. Wonderful. Exceptional. Lush and detailed narration.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story terrible narration

Loved the story but found the narration did not do it justice. I would not purchase another story narrated Donna Tartt.

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • F
  • 18-10-2016

The author is not the ideal narrator.

I tried to get into the story but I just found it dull with little clear narrative. The authors voice was hard to follow.

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2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Grossly overrated

The start of this book is incredibly promising. The characters are interesting, and the plot enticing.

The rest of the book is utterly devoid of anything resembling a plot.

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1 person found this helpful

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