Friday, January 20, 2006

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

It all started with a book, but doesn't it always start that way for book people? In 1972, Amsterdam, a teenage girl discovers a book in father's library. The book is void of all writing, containing only a woodcut of a dragon and a group of aging letter addressed to: "My dear and unfortunate successor." So begins the journey to discover the reality about a series of ghastly events and to truth about Dracula.

An interesting plot weaves three stories together; our narrator, her father, and her father's teacher. The characters are vivid and well developed. The story brimming with suspense and mystery. The Historian is an intense read, an amazing debut novel when you look at it for what it is. This book is an interesting historical mystery and a vivid suspense. The problem is the hype that has surrounded this novel. All the critics, publishers, and reviewers were billing it as one of the greatest novels ever written; a must read for everyone. These statements are simply not true. This book is good, yet I don't believe I will read it again and I do not believe it is right for everyone.

If you can get past the hype, read it. If you like suspense and historical mysteries, read it. If you are looking for a straightforward horror or vampire book, this may not be for you.


piksea said...

It's a nice travelog of places I probably wouldn't actually travel to (the Eastern bloc countries). It's really sort of a departure from vampire lore. Usually a vampire bite is a very sexual thing. Drac's not making himself a harem, he's out to make an undead think tank, complete with the "evil librarian."

Gena Showalter said...

I've been meaning to get this book. Glad to hear you liked it.