- John Gaines
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt:" Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill."
If you enjoyed this novel's themes of youth alienation, literary achievement, and psychological violence, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day, while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront. (worldcat.org)
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Written entirely in the second person, McInerney's first novel is a vivid account of cocaine addiction. (worldcat.org)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Story of Holden Caulfield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism. The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the Rye" is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. (worldcat.org)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island. (worldcat.org)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Follows the counterculture escapades of members of the Beat generation as they seek pleasure and meaning while traveling coast to coast. As he travels across 1950s America, aspiring writer Sal Paradise chronicles his escapades with the charismatic Dean Moriarty. Sal admires Dean's passion for experiencing as much as possible of life and his wild flights of poetic fancy. (worldcat.org)
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve. (amazon.com)
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell
It's Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And two students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, are a hair's breadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili--a renowned text attributed to an Italian nobleman, a work that has baffled scholars since its publication in 1499. For Tom, their research has been a link to his family's past -- and an obstacle to the woman he loves. For Paul, it has become an obsession, the very reason for living.(worldcat.org)
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Tom Ripley goes to Italy. He needs to find Dickie Greenleaf. Dickie's father wants him to go back to America. But Tom wants to stay in Italy, and he will do anything to get what he wants. (worldcat.org)
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality.
One night in winter, Peter Lake--orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. (catalog description)