Spring break with a good book

I’m back from spring break at Pawleys Island, S.C., where besides long walks on the nearly deserted beach I read a very good novel: The Secret History, by Donna Tartt.

The novel, some 600 pages, was longer than it needed to be, and parts of it, sometimes long parts, could have been (and should have been)  trimmed. But Ms. Tartt may be forgiven because she writes beautifully and tells an absorbing tale of dissolution and madness among students at a college in Vermont that sounds very much like the one she attended, Bennington. In fact, one of her main characters sounds very much like novelist Bret Easton Ellis, who attended Bennington at about the same time and who befriended Ms. Tartt. 

I highly recommend The Secret History to the uninitiated — and I’d like to hear from readers as to what they thought of the novel. Me, I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Tartt’s writing. Indeed, I’m heading to the library tomorrow to see if her novel The Little Friend is available.

P.S.: I’ll have more to say about this later in continuing my discussion of the Western Literary Canon, but I consider Ellis’s Less Than Zero to be a small masterpiece. (I also consider his novel Lunar Park to be a large disaster, but, hey, nobody bats a thousand.)      

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