The Secret History

  • by Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by Donna Tartt
  • 22 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The smartest murder-mystery you will ever hear.
A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return.
Penguin Audiobooks presents Donna Tartt's cult thriller The Secret History, complete, unabridged, and read by the author.

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What the Critics Say

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Author, yes. Narrator, NO!

What would have made The Secret History better?

I think a male narrator would have been more appropriate for this story, as nearly all the characters are men.


How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It could have done with being about half the length. Cut quite a few hours out and I think it would improve the story, which is diluted, over-long and too full of self importance.


Would you be willing to try another one of Donna Tartt’s performances?

Absolutely not. This was the worst performance I have yet heard on Audible. My husband actually thought it was a text to speech output! Monotonous, droning, with terrible accent and pronunciation. Also some badly edited sections where the book suddenly stops and restarts.


What character would you cut from The Secret History?

Any number of extraneous characters could (and should?) be removed from the book to help it maintain focus on the main characters and plot. In the end all the characters became loathsome and of little consequence.


Any additional comments?

The basic plot and main characters are interesting, but way too much rambling insignificant detail served only to irritate rather than ingratiate them to the reader. Deeply disappointed and couldn't be more different from the excellent "The Goldfinch".

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- kisag_queen

fine book & fine narration

This is a very fine and enjoyable book. The author shows great skill in creating a tense, claustrophobic and paranoid atmosphere and in hooking to reader into wanting to know what happens to the fairly unlikeable, self-obsessed group of dysfunctional students.

Unlike some other reviewers, I was pleasantly surprised at how good Donna Tartt was at reading her own book. I too am way about authors reading their own books: writing and narrating are different skills not often found in the same person. Donna Tartt is however an exception. I too have listened to the Adam Sims version, and whilst it is undoubtedly better, I think the author in an odd sort of way better gets under the skin of the main characters - not surprisingly perhaps as she wrote the book! She doesn't maintain the tension and the narrative flow in the same way, possibly because the recording is a bit disjonted - breaks are fairly obvious - but I wouldn't let that put you off. but have a listen to the sample first to make sure you're happy as it is quite a long book.
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- Tom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-09-2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd