Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 13 - A book you lent out once, never got back and miss

I'm one of those people who have a hard time lending out their books in fear they're never returned, and for good reason. I've lent out both books and dvds to friends and never received them back, the borrower having misplaced them, or downright lying and telling me they'd already given it back (they went onto the blacklist!).

Donna Tartt

 I lent this one to a friend from high school and never saw it again. I'd only just finished it and had eagerly discussed with him how much I loved it. Such a talk up left him desperate to read it so I submitted and handed it over. This was just before I left home to move to Brisbane, and about 2 weeks before I was due to leave I asked him for it back, he said he'd lent it to his mum, but he'd get it back to me before I left. Two days before I was meant to leave I called him to ask when I could pick it up, turns out his mum had finished it and passed it on to his aunt, who passed it on to a friend, who passed it on to another friend, on and on until the trail went cold. At that stage I couldn't even be mad, half a dozen people had managed to get through the one copy within about 4 weeks, I think that marks a good book don't you?

It is a shame because I'd love to read it again because my memory of the plot is growing fuzzy (well it was four and a half years ago that I read it!) so I'm going to borrow from Goodreads the plot summary for anyone reading this who has never read The Secret History.
"Richard Papen arrived at Hampden College in New England and was quickly seduced by an elite group of five students, all Greek scholars, all worldly, self-assured, and, at first glance, all highly unapproachable. As Richard is drawn into their inner circle, he learns a terrifying secret that binds them to one another...a secret about an incident in the woods in the dead of night where an ancient rite was brought to brutal life...and led to a gruesome death. And that was just the beginning...."

I found myself completely caught up in the mystery of this story, even if the secret was given away straight away. I thought it was very well-written, thought-provoking and interesting. I'd have to read it again to give anything more substantial, but this was a book that I remembered for a very long time. It is long, I think it gets close to about 700 pages, but I never found it a chore, it held my attention well. Perhaps I'll have to borrow a copy of this off a friend to re-read and fill the gap it once held in my bookcase!


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