Some stories can be told again in endlessly different ways. Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian combines a search for the historical Dracula with a profound sense that Stoker got some things right--that the late Mediaeval tyrant kills among us yet, undead and dangerous. From Stoker, she also takes... show more
Some stories can be told again in endlessly different ways. Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian combines a search for the historical Dracula with a profound sense that Stoker got some things right--that the late Mediaeval tyrant kills among us yet, undead and dangerous. From Stoker, she also takes a sense that the supernatural seems more real when embedded in documentary evidence. Three generations search for Dracula's resting place, and their stories are nested within each other, so that we know that at least two quests ended badly. Kostova rations her thrills very carefully so that we jump out of our chair at quite slight surprises, especially when we have come to expect buckets of blood and loud bangs. She also has a profound and well-communicated sense of place and period, so that the book is equally at home in 1930s Rumania, Cold War Budapest and 1970s Oxford. Kostova is particularly good on the sights and sounds of remote country places and the taste of real peasant food--this sensuous realism does not always go with her other skill, the creation of imagined documents and folksongs that feel as real and true as what might be actual. This is a quietly good book rather than a spectacular debut, with some uncomfortable twists in its tail; her heroine-narrators are, and perhaps remain, in the most serious of jeopardies. ---Roz Kaveney
Publish date: June 14th 2005
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages no: 642
Edition language: English
Slow, but worth the trip for the library! I expect fans of might like it. It has that same kind of measured, stately pacing. It can be thrilling, mind, but it isn't zippy. I love to read these big old doorstops sometimes.Library copy
This is an intense book. It took me about three months to finish, partly because it is very long, but also because it requires a decent amount of mental effort to read. It is not a book that you want to read after a long day. You really have to be in the right mood. But when you are in the right moo...
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova, author; Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, Martin Jarvis, Robin Atkin Downes, Jim Ward, narrators Does Vlad Tepes, Count Dracula still live? That is the subject of this book. The reader will travel all over the world with the characters as the searc...
If you've seen my updates, you'll probably remember that I was pretty excited about this book back at the beginning. Unfortunately, that excitement didn't continue through to the end. This book was 704 pages long. The story was probably worthy of 50% of that length. It had its positives - the...
What a surprisingly great read! Much different than my normal book but I enjoyed every minute.