Every Tuesday, Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph- Tuesday Intros and invites readers to post the beginning of books they are reading or about to read or would like to read.
I'm currently more than half way through The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. It's one of those books with a cultish following, and I can see why. It takes place in a small liberal arts college in Vermont and the first-person narrator is a 20-year old student from California who enrolls in a classics program that has only five other students. They take the study of Greek, history, language, culture and ethics very seriously.
Here's the opening of the Prologue:
The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. He'd been dead for ten days before they found him, you know. It was one of the biggest manhunts in Vermont history--state troopers, the FBI, even an army helicopter; the college closed, the dye factory in Hampden shut down, people coming from New Hampshire, upstate New York, as far away as Boston.
It is difficult to believe that Henry's modest plan could have worked so well despite these unforeseen events. We hadn't intended to hide the body where it couldn't be found. In fact, we hadn't hidden it at all but had simply left it where it fell in hopes that some luckless passer-by would stumble over it before anyone even noticed he was missing.
I'm hard pressed to think of another novel that starts by giving away the plot so completely at the outset, but then this story is not about whether the college kids kill their irksome friend, but whether they get away with it. And that I don't know.
I'm enjoying the book though thankfully I'm having a hard time relating to either the main character or his fellow students. Tartt, however, is a marvelous writer and Richard, her first-person narrator reminds me a lot of Nick Carraway from Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Anybody else read this? Does this opening intrigue you? Can you think of any other novels that seemingly give away the story before it even begins as this one does?