Friday, September 2, 2011

The Secret History

Of course, you already read The Rejectionist. But on the slight chance you missed the post with the Epic Gchat concerning books like The Secret History, I am directing your attention to it. Is it full of spoilers? Why, yes. If you have not yet read TSH, read it anyway.

By now, I expect -- as inevitably happens, even when I casually drop mention of TSH -- that people will come out of the woodwork to say things like "OMG, TSH, DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT BOOK FUCKED ME UP." They usually love it more than I do. Here is my emotional process upon finishing said book:

Me: *slaps book down* *makes noises of disgust* *goes off to write angry email to person who recommended book and sent a copy of it for one to read*
Me, two days later: *grumbles* That fucking book.
Me, two weeks later: JFC. THAT BOOK HAS FUCKED ME UP. *grudging admiration*

And now, two years on, can I say how utterly profound and fucked up this book is? I'm not sure I'm ready for a re-read. It is that wrenching of a read. But it sits in a place of honor -- er, top shelf of one of the many book cases in the house -- and I do heartily, verily believe that everyone should read it. But goeth thou and read Le R's literary chat with Cherie first. Because it shall certainly make one want to read TSH more than this post.

Also, stock up on the gin and tonic and limes. Good sipping while reading TSH.


  1. I read this last year, as part of putting closure on my forte into the 80's literary brat back. (Ellis, McInerny, Tartt) Enjoyeed it very much. Was disappointed with Ellis' follow up to Less Than Zero, Imperial Bedrooms, but I'll still read anything he puts out. May I humbly suggest THE LIARS CLUB by Mary Karr, if you have not already read that. It is excellent.

  2. I've read The Liars Club, and it is, indeed, excellent. I think it may have put me on the path to reading memoirs obsessively for a few years, though few can match it. You probably won't enjoy -- just a hunch -- A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel, but it my all-time favorite memoir. Rather more gentle and whimsical than The Liars Club, with no edge at all, but a heart-pleaser.

    Ellis confounds me, Sean. He's clearly a genius, but it's that scary kind of genius. And "the 80s literary brat pack" is exactly what they were. :)

  3. Hey, I just might give AGNZ a shot. Going to do some recon on it. Most of what I read is based on recommendations from respected sources, of which, you are one. So, don't be suprised if I end up thanking you for the tip.