Yeah, yeah, I know. I said Sunday. That obviously didn’t happen, but I hope this will make up for that. If you’re following along, you should be starting on Part II with Chapter 6. If you need a reminder of the schedule, check out the original post here.
In case you missed my post last Friday, I wanted to revisit the fact that I loved the first line of this book. Though really, the whole prologue is fantastic. It completely sets the tone of the novel and keeps you interested when the first two or three chapters drag a little bit. You already know right from the get go that these friends kill their other friend, Bunny, and even though you don’t know why, you know that it’s going to happen which creates an amazing kind of suspense. You know that someone dies, and you know who kills him, but you don’t know why. Which might not be enough to keep readers going in the hands of a lesser writer, but Donna Tartt really knows how to build a story AND a sentence.
I’m a little behind in my reading, about halfway through the 5th chapter (which is really, really long). But I’m finding that after the first couple of chapters, the pace of the novel really picked up. I’ve also just gotten the whole story about what happened the night that set in motion the plot to off Bunny, as it was told to the narrator. The day of his murder has just started, so I’m a little behind the schedule and I don’t know how it’s all playing out yet.
One thing I wanted to mention and see if anyone else struggled with this – the time period in which this supposedly takes place. At first, I was convinced this was taking place in the 60s or the early 70s because of the bubble that the main characters create, with the Greek lessons and with Julian, along with their affection for tweedy clothing, prep schools, and the lack of technology. But the more I read into the book, the more I realized that it was likely taking place in what was the present day of the early 90s. The lack of computers and cells phones would have been normal for a college campus 20 years ago, especially for students that have the particular tastes that these characters do.
I wish it had been more explicit, which would have been easy to do since Richard is looking back on his college days and recounting this story. To give context wouldn’t have been difficult. Though I guess a certain timelessness adds to the story and to the bubble I mentioned before.
So how is everyone else doing? Any other issues you’re having? Are you enjoying it?
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