The Secret History
I listened to the audio book of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which is narrated by the author. The novel is set in the 1980s, but it could have been the 1880s. The story is synonymous with the ‘dark academia’ sub-genre. It reads like a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley and The Great Gatsby. It could be seen as a precursor to American Psycho. The Secret History deals with status and belonging in a small clique of students whose lies and decadence leads them into moral decline. It’s slickly written, but quite long. Like a delicious cake, you can have too much of a good thing.
- The Body in a Barrel, from The Economist’s Checks and Balance podcast, presents a fascinating story of climate change and gangsters, referencing the film Casino in a true crime story that’s stranger than fiction.
- Is it just me, or do people attending the Oscars dress like a parody of people attending the Oscars?
- Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home is nicely written, but it didn’t chime with me. I preferred her novel The Man Who Saw Everything over this. It made me realise how well Sally Rooney handles the ‘people with problems’ type of story, where a decent pace combined with a lighter touch stops it from becoming too heavy.
- SubUrbia is another film that takes place overnight. The story is a snapshot of a small social group and impending change. The night highlights their friendships and animosities, their ambitions and fears, stark choices of leaving town to seek a new life or staying and embracing a future of low expectation.
- Kids don’t need to play with toys now, they can watch YouTube videos of an actor playing with toys for them.
- Watched the opening episode of The Mandalorian (season 3), excellent action scenes and cinematic quality CGI, but I’m not sure if it’s going to hold my interest – feels too much like ‘more of the same’.