Something long with lush prose; focusing on character development; lots of references to art, architecture, philosophy and the like; somewhat ‘snobbish’ characters; something that feels ‘profound’ through and through even when describing minuscule situations.
I’ve seen the secret history being recommended here a lot and read a lot of novels that have been recommended as similar but never quite found something that has the same vibe to it.
The only books that I can think of that I’ve read, loved and that also fit the type of novel I’m looking for are The Picture of Dorian Gray and A Little Life.
I’m having a hard time describing what I’m looking for but if you’ve read and loved these four books, please recommend me something similar. Thanks!
Edit: Thank you all for your great suggestions! I added a ton of books to my reading list and I’ve ordered Bunny by Mona Awad for my next read!
For everyone coming to this post looking for books with a similar vibe, here are some that have been mentioned and which I’ve already read and enjoyed:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (this is the book I would’ve recommended if someone else had made this post, absolutely lovely!)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Norwegian Wood by Murakami (not exactly the same vibe, more lighthearted, but still a lovely book)
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (I’ve actually seen this recommended here before as dark academia, I can see why it’s mentioned here but I didn’t really enjoy it tbh. It does have the same sort of vibe to it but it feels more like a YA fantasy novel to me)
If We Were Villains by ML Rio (If you’re looking for something similar to The Secret History this is probably as close as it gets story wise. Nice read but I couldn’t help but feel that this book took a bit too much inspiration from TSH)
After finishing the game I can help but feel that Donna isn't actually evil and her story is just plain sad. Out of the 4 Lords she feels the most innocent and really is just a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (being fed cadou by Mother Miranda). Unlike the other Lords she isn't torturing any one, she isn't eating village fishermen or repurposing their bodies. After losing her parents she is just living alone in her house making dolls.
Two other details that support her innocence. Before fighting Ethan she says something like "don't leave I can't let you", almost as if she had no choice and was really begging Ethan to not force her into a difficult situation. The other one is the most convincing, where after killing her she returns the photo of Rose but writing on the back "take care of our little Rose". I can't help but think that Donna chose to lose that fight. More importantly she was rooting for Ethan to defeat the 2 other Lords and Miranda and eventually reunite with Rose! This also explains why Angie's boss fight was so easy. Donna purposely did this to help Ethan!
What y'all think? If there's any more details about her that I missed please do share.
I just finished it for the second time and it may very well be my favorite book I’ve ever read. I love the characters and the imagery and her writing transports me so completely that I even almost passed out at one description of a minor injury (maybe that’s a me issue). Anyways! I just finished it and I miss it all already! What you got?
I don't know about you guys, but for me, there was just something amazing about Donna and her house that had the most profound effect on my interest. Angie wasn't the best character, but the way Donna's story portrayed the sadness and sick melancholy of mental illness was so...deep? Somehow that and her hidden, mysterious introversion was multitudes more telling and effective in getting her character across and interesting than Dimitrescu's loud, thundering presence. House Beneviento was saddening, had true horror and a message behind it, with a much more complex character than "big mommy's house" where she just hates on your ass the whole time xD
Plus, I know she's just a fictional character, but in the short time we saw her face, I actually thought she was much more beautiful than people credit her for, even with the facial mutation.
Do you like Donna (especially after the fifth season)? If you answered "Yes", please explain why in the comments! (Not criticizing; genuinely curious)
Am I the only one who feels that she deserved the punishment she got? They told them clear as day to not drink. And she did. If this was any other character would the gang go through great lengths to help? I’m just saying if this was Brenda or anyone else they probably would have just shrug their shoulders and said “she got what she deserved” what do you guys think? Also don’t you hate Brandon’s smug attitude in this episode, he thought he was leading a civil rights march.