Talk

Advanced search

AIBU in thinking The Secret History was a pile of crap?

(32 Posts)
KerryMumbles Mon 29-Jun-09 10:18:49

Haven't read it in eons but when I did I said wtf is all the fuss about? I keep reading accolades about how it's one of the best books of all time.

vomit.

FAQinglovely Mon 29-Jun-09 10:20:42

I enjoyed it blush but that was about 15yrs ago - it's still sat on my shelf (well in a box actually as I haven't started unpacking yet) so could have changed my views.

Hassled Mon 29-Jun-09 10:21:08

YABVU. It's a brilliant book. So there.

But life would be very dull if we all agreed with each other, so on that basis YANBU, you can think what you like. You'll still be wrong, though.

Hassled Mon 29-Jun-09 10:21:09

YABVU. It's a brilliant book. So there.

But life would be very dull if we all agreed with each other, so on that basis YANBU, you can think what you like. You'll still be wrong, though.

francagoestohollywood Mon 29-Jun-09 10:22:02

I thought the first part was very good, then I started to get a bit bored. Then quite disappointed. But I really enjoyed the first part.

theyoungvisiter Mon 29-Jun-09 10:22:40

I loved it! It was well written, well plotted, well characterised and original.

What did you not like about it?

UnquietDad Mon 29-Jun-09 10:23:01

Well, I actually really enjoyed it, but I read it when it came out and I was in my early 20s, so maybe that was the best time to read it.

You have every right to feel this way - I can name any number of supposed "classic" modern novels which have had me flinging them against the wall in disgust/boredom:

The Time Traveller's Wife - a prime contender for an IDGAS award (I Don't Give A Shit);

Norwegian Wood, in which a boringly sexist narrator tells us what he has eaten and drunk and who he has shagged for four hundred pages, interspersed with cod philosophy;

and that bloody Ukrainian Tractor thing, which left me stony-faced despite being a "comedy".

KerryMumbles Mon 29-Jun-09 10:24:19

I think it was the HUGE build up when it was published (i read it when it fist came out) and here I was expecting, I don't know, the second coming.

I think it was trite, contrived and written about a class of people I find quite tedious,attempting to make them far more interesting than they could ever be.

theyoungvisiter Mon 29-Jun-09 10:25:09

"that bloody Ukrainian Tractor thing, which left me stony-faced despite being a "comedy"."

He he - unquietdad you remind me of my Dad's views on Jane Austen, which he read with growing impatience waiting for the "humour". Finally he demanded to know when he was going to come to the funny bit and my mum had to break it to him that it was all meant to be gently ironic.

At which point he said bitterly, "oh, so it's the kind of humour where you don't actually laugh then. Ha bloody Ha."

KerryMumbles Mon 29-Jun-09 10:25:35

makes note of Tractor thing and Wood thing...(to be avoided)

yappybluedog Mon 29-Jun-09 10:27:08

I read it a few weeks aga, finished it very quickly which is always a Sign Of A Good Book (for me anyway!)

unlike Mr Toppit which I am reading now, seems to be taking forever to finish

theyoungvisiter Mon 29-Jun-09 10:28:10

"I think it was trite, contrived and written about a class of people I find quite tedious,attempting to make them far more interesting than they could ever be."

Well, I think you're reading it wrong. These people aren't being held up for admiration, the point is that they are all so in love with themselves, they are fascinated by their own alleged brilliance, which is why they act in the way they do. It's like a Greek tragedy in that they are brought down inevitably by their own faults.

I think you are taking the characterisation at its first level without looking behind the narrator at what DT is actually trying to tell us about these people.

But there you go - that's just my reading of it so I accept it may be wrong grin

KerryMumbles Mon 29-Jun-09 10:30:08

ah it's been eons since I read it. but have been reading ABOUT it lately which prompted this post

UnquietDad Mon 29-Jun-09 10:30:35

youngvisiter - I think you'll find I can appreciate subtle ironic humour. But I didn't find it in that book.

chevre Mon 29-Jun-09 10:33:18

i loved it but the second half of the book is probably unneccessary.

theyoungvisiter Mon 29-Jun-09 10:39:18

I wasn't trying to imply that you don't appreciate irony UQD. FWIW my Dad has a pretty good appreciation of it too.

It was just the evident difference in people's senses of humour illustrated in your post, that reminded me of his reaction.

UnquietDad Mon 29-Jun-09 10:40:18

Fair enough. I do think you have to "click" with the tone of a book very early. I usually give it 50 pages.

bluejeans Mon 29-Jun-09 18:58:11

Kerry YANBU I bought it to read over Xmas/New Yr a few years back and did not like it at all - abandoned less than half way through. Coincidentally my sister was reading it at the same time and also couldn't finish - so knew it wasn't just me. I gave mine to a girl who loved it, luckily, as I hate the waste of not fnishing a book I've paid for!

Loved the Time Traveller's wife - why's the author not written anything else?

Tillyscoutsmum Mon 29-Jun-09 19:02:16

I agree - I read it and thought it was ok but certainly didn't live up to the hype imho

Agree with Time Traveller's Wife and the Ukranian Tractor thing (I only managed to finish it because it was so short and I assumed it must start being funny at some point)

Tidey Mon 29-Jun-09 19:06:56

It's one of my favourite books of all time, but I recommended and lent it to my MOL who found all of the characters so self-obsessed and loathsome that she couldn't finish it.

It's a Marmite book, I think.

theyoungvisiter Mon 29-Jun-09 19:48:34

By bluejeans on Mon 29-Jun-09 18:58:11
Loved the Time Traveller's wife - why's the author not written anything else?

She just has! here's her new book

BunnyLebowski Mon 29-Jun-09 19:54:47

Oh Kerry Kerry Kerry.....I usually find myself agreeing with you on mn but not on this one!

I bloody love The Secret History! It's beautifully written, fascinatingly mysterious and the characters are so well rounded.

Go on......have another go at reading it!

Babbity Mon 29-Jun-09 20:08:50

I am so glad you posted this. I was so disappointed with A Secret History. I saw her point but tbh I just didn't care. i even gave DT another chance by reading her follow up novel but that was even worse (though to be fair the critics didn't think much of that one either).

boogeek Mon 29-Jun-09 20:12:49

The Secret Hustory is my favourite ever book, it's been read and re-read and I just love it. So there, YAB utterly U.
(The Little Friend, same author, was a pile of shite.)

bluejeans Mon 29-Jun-09 20:25:13

Youngvisiter - thanks you just made my night! grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now