The Historian Author: Elizabeth Kostova Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.
"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." ---New York Magazine
"Impossible to resist. . . . Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." ---Miami Herald"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature. . . . This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascaination with the legend of Dracula." ---Chicago Tribune
"Genuinely terrifying." ---Boston Globe
"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine. . . . It won't take you long to get to the end." ---Houston Chronicle
Journal Entry 2 by perryfran at North Ogden, Utah USA on Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Journal Entry 3 by perryfran at North Ogden, Utah USA on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Finished reading this late last night. This was a very long novel (over 900 pages in this paperback edition, the hardcover was over 600 pages) and it took me about 3 weeks to read but I thought it was definitely worth reading. It told the story of a family's search for the historical Vlad Dracula who apparently had been changed into a vampire after death in accord with Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". The book is more than a horror novel, although it does have a lot of chilling moments. It delves into the history of Vlad and his fight against the Ottoman empire in the late 15th century. A lot of the book takes place in libraries and old monasteries in a search for clues about where Vlad was entombed after his death. It is told from three different perspectives and points in time: the 1930s, 1950s, and 1970s. Part of the search takes place in 1950s Hungary and Bulgaria during the Cold War. Kostova did a great job of weaving the different stories together, giving the reader the feel of being among rare and unknown books in the libraries and monasteries, as well as the political situation in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Overall, I did enjoy this for these reasons but I think the book could have been shortened somewhat - there is so much detail that may not have been needed. I have read other reviews of this novel at Amazon and elsewhere and the reviews have been pretty mixed but for me I thought the time spent was worth the effort. I haven't read Stoker's Dracula but have added it to my TBR pile to read soon.
Journal Entry 4 by perryfran at Mission Viejo, California USA on Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Released 5 yrs ago (4/24/2012 UTC) at Mission Viejo, California USA
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sending to OneMorePage to start this bookray. Enjoy!
USPS DC# 0310 1230 0001 9600 8026
Journal Entry 5 by OneMorePage at Mission Viejo, California USA on Sunday, April 29, 2012
Book has arrived - perfect timing, I finished a book last night and need to start another. Thanks for including me, Perryfran - looking forward to this book!
Journal Entry 6 by OneMorePage at Mission Viejo, California USA on Thursday, August 16, 2012
Released 5 yrs ago (8/16/2012 UTC) at Mission Viejo, California USA
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I just realized that I forgot to journal that I mailed this book to Moriquen. So, not only did it take me forever to read this book, too long to mail it, but also too long to journal. So sorry my friends.
I agree with Perryfran that the interweaving was very skillful. But (and this is a quibble) one thing that really annoyed me - it seemed like in every single chapter, we got a little bit of the story, and then someone jumped on a train. AND - delay of the story. It happened again and again. It went from a little character quirk to a very long, drawn out, unnecessary plot padding. Towards the end I would think on nearly every page - oh, look at that, someone's jumping on a train to get away from finishign the darn story!!
But despite my compaints - thanks for including me on this bookray. I didn't love the book, but I'm glad I read it for a different take on the Dracula legend.
Journal Entry 7 by Moriquen at Borgerhout, Antwerpen / Anvers Belgium on Monday, August 20, 2012
And the book has arrived this morning and is waiting for me to finish my last book. I've got just about a 100 pages left, so I'll be able to start reading this ring very soon. Thanks for sending it to m OneMorePage.
Journal Entry 8 by Moriquen at Borgerhout, Antwerpen / Anvers Belgium on Monday, October 01, 2012
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get to the end of this book. I have just completed the move to my new house, which has taken up a lot of my reading time. That's why I have only now had the time to finish this book.
Even though I read this book spread over six weeks I still enjoyed it very much. I never had to 'remind' myself where I was in the story. It just flowed. I found it very exciting even though sometimes the story breaks up a little too much. (OneMorePage, I think you were right about the jumping on trains thing. Every time something exciting happend somebody got on a train somewhere.) Thanks a lot for sharing it with me perryfran. I enjoyed it a lot!!
Journal Entry 9 by Moriquen at Broechem, Antwerpen / Anvers Belgium on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Released 4 yrs ago (10/22/2012 UTC) at Broechem, Antwerpen / Anvers Belgium
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent it to the next participant. I hope you'll enjoy it!
Journal Entry 10 by teapot at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, October 26, 2012
Arrived today! Thank you Moriquen. Will start it as soon as possible.
Journal Entry 11 by teapot at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, November 25, 2012
Finished it last night. It was beautifully written, with remarkable detail, and an interesting plot.
I did find the narration devise of a story within a journal entry within a narration within a letter within a narration a bit tiresome after a while, and I didn't find it believable that caracters in a hurry and in mortal danger would write such detailed desriptions of meals they had 20 years ago and what colour dress somebody was wearing and what kind of coffee cups they were using. Though all that detail did add a lot of colour and painted the locations quite vividly, I just wished they would get to the point already.
The figure of Dracula himself was a bit disappointing. I felt that he was scarier when he was still alive that after he became a vampire!
Will PM the next person and send it on as soon as I get their address.
Journal Entry 12 by teapot at Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Czech Republic on Sunday, December 02, 2012
Released 4 yrs ago (12/1/2012 UTC) at Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Czech Republic
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On its way to Snowflake22!
Journal Entry 13 by Snowflake22 at České Budějovice, Jihoceský kraj (South Bohemian Region) Czech Republic on Monday, December 17, 2012
the book arrived safely thanks. the number for the lothian cat rescue was inside its 01875 821 025 just incase you need it still.