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The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova | Mystery & Thrillers
Registered by cloggy of London , Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, February 10, 2006
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by iliotropio): travelling


18 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by cloggy from London , Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, February 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Updated version of the Dracula myth. Very interesting so far....

Amazon.co.uk Review
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  


Journal Entry 2 by cloggy from London , Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, February 13, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Bookray:

Please journal upon receipt and sending out.
Reading time 4-6 weeks (It is quite a thick book, if you need longer, just pm me please)

Participants:


dsc (UK)
Lutrus
(UK)
Rebus5 (UK)
Heathwitch (UK)
dogsapples (UK)
pennywhistler (UK)
PurpleElephant (UK)
Samulli (Germany)
CynthiaA (Can)-------> the book is here
LoriPed (USA)
.
.
.
.


Journal Entry 3 by cloggy from London , Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Put in the post to dsc this afternoon 


Journal Entry 4 by dsc from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 16, 2006

This book has not been rated.

How exciting - my first ever bookring book! Thanks cloggy for this and the arty postcard.

I am about halfway through Life of Pi at the moment so will get to this next. Will be ideal for when I go to Ireland for a few days next week, there's not a lot to do in the little town where my in-laws live! 


Journal Entry 5 by dsc from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 08, 2006

8 out of 10

I knew this book was going to be good as soon as I started it, and when I got to page 50 or so I really didn't want to read any more of it, because the more I read, the nearer I would be to the end! But I kept going and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really like vampire stories and this was a really good twist on the Dracula legend.
It was a long book which could possibly have been shorter, but I did enjoy all the history in it, even though I have not really enjoyed this subject in the past. In fact, I am now thinking of taking up an evening class in it in the autumn. I doubt very much whether this would cover 15th century Eastern Europe though!
Thanks cloggy for starting the bookring, I think this is the best book I have read so far this year.
Sending on to Lutrus this afternoon.
(Note: I was reading this at a train station after the snow and to my horror a big drop of water landed smack in the middle of page 415. It did dry up but left a couple of pages slightly wrinkly. I'm really sorry, I was mortified as the book was in perfect condition when I received it, but I have managed to read it without breaking the spine!) 


Journal Entry 6 by dsc at In the hands of the Royal Mail in -- Posted, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (3/8/2006 UTC) at In the hands of the Royal Mail in -- Posted, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Posting to Lutrus - enjoy! 


Journal Entry 7 by Lutrus from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, March 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

The postman commented that he thought it was a book as he handed the package over. Either he'd given it a good squeeze or he'd taken note of the little BC sticker on the front. As I removed the book from it's cosy jiffy bag, out fell a yummy Mars Delight. Upon further investigation I discovered a postcard of some of the lovely timbered buildings in Chester and made a mental note to visit sometime. Must just finish the book rings I have on the go, then I can give this intriguing story my full attention, just as I did the chocolate earlier.

Thanks dsc, for the choccie and the card. 


Journal Entry 8 by Lutrus from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, April 24, 2006

7 out of 10

Passing on to Rebus5. Will add more comments at a later date. 


Journal Entry 9 by Rebus5 from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, April 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received from Lutrus, will read as soon as possible. 


Journal Entry 10 by Rebus5 from Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, May 20, 2006

4 out of 10

Unlike everyone else, I just couldn't get into this book at all. I gave up after a hundred or so pages. Don't really know what the problem was, the idea of the book sounded good. Might just have too much going on to give it the attention it deserves. If I see a cheap copy somewhere I'll probably give it another go.

Sending to Heathwitch 


Journal Entry 11 by heathwitch from Glossop, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received and next up on my pile... Thanks! :) 


Journal Entry 12 by heathwitch from Glossop, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Monday, June 19, 2006

8 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book -- moreso than I anticipated actually. I was really drawn into the mystery and mythos of the legend and the characters various searches within those. I felt the characters were well constructed and the plot enjoyable; I loved the descriptions of setting and place, and felt transported to some of the cities and locations mentioned. One for the amazon wishlist, methinks!

Mailing onto dogsapples this week. 


Journal Entry 13 by dogsapples from Kilchoan, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, June 22, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived yesterday - thank you. This is now next on my list to read. 


Journal Entry 14 by dogsapples from Kilchoan, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, July 16, 2006

10 out of 10

This book counts as one of the best books I have ever read and second best this year only to The Shadow in the Wind. I loved the detailed descriptions of the various places and felt that the switching of "narrators" worked very well. I was reading it while on holiday in a fairly secluded cottage in Devon and was glad that I had a sliver bracelet on. A crucifix would have been better of course.

I thought it was clever of the Author to use the names of people who had helped her as character names, but couldn't understand why the "Note to the Reader" at the beginning is dated July 15th 2008. Presumably its a misprint?

Its a chunky book to read in some ways but absolutely fascinating and I hope we will hear more of this writer. I now have Dracula by Bram Stoker on my tbr pile which I have been inspired to read by this book.

*****APOLOGY TO FUTURE READERS*****
The damage to the back cover of this book was done by one of my puppies (well actually it was Jenny, the black lab aged 12 weeks). I told cloggy straight away and sent apologies. We agreed that as it is only the back cover that is damaged it should continue on its travels, although I did offer to replace it. Thank you cloggy for organising the ring and for being so understanding. I hope it will not affect others enjoyment of the book.

It will now be going to pennywhistler as soon as I have her address. 


Journal Entry 15 by dogsapples from Kilchoan, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, July 23, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Pennywhistler has advised she has read this already so skipping to PurpleElephant. Will send as soon as i have their address. 


Journal Entry 16 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Thursday, July 27, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in post this morning. Thank you very much Dogsapples. Will read straight away! 


Journal Entry 17 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Monday, August 07, 2006

9 out of 10

Truly great, couldn't put it down.
The particular strength was the strong characterisation, the female characters were not the usual submissive victims usually portrayed in Dracula mythology. I was also impressed with the fact that although there were serveral 'I's (at one point I did try and count how many searches were being portrayed concurrently but lost the will to live) Kostova handles it well so that there is no confusion when coming back to the book the next day. You remember exactly where you are.
Is it just me or were there some weird punctuation errors in this edition? And other than that I felt that a map of Europe printed in the front pages could have been useful (I found myself dragging out my huge atlas so I could follow their footsteps)
All in all I'm sad to part with this book but alas I must post it to Samulli today or tomorrow. Hopefully the break will be quick and painless.
On to Germany. 


Journal Entry 18 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Friday, August 11, 2006

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived today, safe and sound.
I have to finish a book from my local library first, which I have to return next week. But after that I will start reading right away. 


Journal Entry 19 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Wednesday, August 23, 2006

9 out of 10

I have to admit, when I signed up for this bookring, I didn't have the faintest idea what this book was about. I had just seen the title on quite a few bestseller lists and thought I should give it a try. And a good thing that was, because I am not too much interested in either stories about Dracula or in history.
But as it turns out, even I can get surprised sometimes. This was one of these times. When it arrived (looking like it had it's own run-in with Dracula at some point) and I had read the first few pages, I was instantly hooked. The beautiful cover design alone would have sold me on it, but it turned out Elizabeth Kostova really can write (which is not a given with every bestseller author nowadays!) and she managed to put down a compelling and fascinating story that kept me turning the pages far into the night (because I didn't have enough time to read during the day).
But of course, I wouldn't be me if I hand't found some little annoyances even with this book. Although I have to admit they are purely matters of personal taste: I think the book could have been a good 200 pages shorter, if the author hadn't described each setting and each scene and all the surroundings and all the thoughts and feelings of everybody in the general vicinity in such endless agonizing detail. Of course I am exaggerating, but it was really a bit of a bother sometimes and I found myself muttering to myself "oh please, I don't care, get on with the story already!" several times.
And the second thing that made it a bit hard for me to keep on reading at some points were the explanations of some historical point or other. Of course with a book with this title, a certain amount of historical information is to be expected, and it is totally my own fault that I am so not interested in that kind of stuff. So I ended up just skimming over some of the more tedious passages with lots of dates and names and other boring stuff in it, but I couldn't really blame Kostova for that. ;-)
What I can blame her for is the sickly sweet happy end, which really disappointed me a bit. I would have preferred something darker and less stereotype, but again, that is purely my own taste and can't be held against the book itself.

All in all it was a great book, which I can certainly recommend and which I never would have read in the first place if I had known beforehand what it is about. So, thanks a lot cloggy, for making it available to all of us!
As soon as I have CynthiaA's address it will travel on to Canada. 


Journal Entry 20 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Friday, August 25, 2006

This book has not been rated.

As of today the book is on its way to Canada (unfortunately by surface mail, as air mail was way too expensive). 


Journal Entry 21 by wingCynthiaAwing from Brantford, Ontario Canada on Monday, November 06, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe and sound -- I have two bookrays ahead of it, but I will be diligent to get through it ASAP. 


Journal Entry 22 by wingCynthiaAwing from Brantford, Ontario Canada on Monday, January 22, 2007

8 out of 10

Whew! This one was long haul of a read. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it -- I did! But honestly, I feel like I've been reading this book for ages. Oh -- lookie there -- I have.

I liked many things about this book, and I'm glad I read it. I liked the whole search for the historical Dracula stuff a great deal, and I even enjoyed most of the bits about the other cities and places they visited. Although, like other readers have mentioned -- it could have been edited down a hundred pages or so just to keep the story flowing at a greater pace.

The thing I liked the most leads to the thing I disliked the most. For the first 650 pages I loved the character of Helen. She was strong and smart and untraditionally beautiful, a contrast of sweet and difficult -- a believable real woman. And then in the last 50 pages, she becomes this other woman -- a woman who makes momentus decisions based on emotion, not fact -- decisions that hurt other people greatly. I really had a hard time reconciling that. I felt that Helen's reasonings for making the decisions she did were at best, weak, and at worst, selfish. Another thing -- whatever happend to Barley? Poor guy wasn't even given due thanks for his role in the whole thing.

But all in all, an enjoyable book that left me wanting more. In particular, I am now feeling drawn to find out more about Byzantine and Ottoman history in Eastern Europe. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks so much for the ring, and I have LoriPed's address so I should be able to post it tomorrow at the latest.

~Cynthia 


Journal Entry 23 by loriped from Keizer, Oregon USA on Friday, February 09, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I found this waiting for me when I got home today. I am about half way through my current book, so this will be the next one I read. Thanks for including me in this ray. 


Journal Entry 24 by loriped from Keizer, Oregon USA on Wednesday, March 14, 2007

9 out of 10

What can I say!! This book really caught my interest and despite the 700 pages, it seemed to end way too soon. I really appreciated all of the historical references and the depth of research that the author included. I found it very facinating. I wish however, that the publisher had included maps of the regions as I was forced to dig out my world atlas and use it to help me visualize the path that the characters were led on in their quest for Dracula. All in all I really enjoyed this book. Thanks for including me in this bookray.


 


Journal Entry 25 by loriped from Keizer, Oregon USA on Saturday, March 17, 2007

This book has not been rated.

After contacting Cloggy to determine her wishes for this book, I am working on collecting names of fellow BC'ers who would like to continue on with this bookray. I hope to have things in place and get the book mailed out by the end of the month.

Bookray:

Please journal upon receipt and sending out.
Reading time 4-6 weeks (It is quite a thick book, if you need longer, just pm me please)

Participants:

Nuttyreader Texas, U.S.
Knitwit Pennsylvania, U.S
LadyKnightNico Ohio, U.S.
Mysticalzoe New Hampshire, U.S.
Sugaryfun Australia
GateGypsy Canada (asked to be moved futher down the list)
Silvia-pco Portugal
Brunton11 U.K.
iliotropio Belgium
GateGypsy Canada
Rrrcaron New Hampshire, U.S. <----Book is here


Forum posting: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/20/4267911
 


Journal Entry 26 by nuttyreader from Wichita Falls, Texas USA on Sunday, April 01, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I checked my mail today and it is here!!! Thanks, can't wait to read.

04/07/07 I finished this today and was really not ready for it to end. I learned a lot about eastern Europe. I do read to learn as much as to enjoy.
I hate to say much more as I feel it needs to be a bit of a mystery to open up and begin any book. 


Journal Entry 27 by nuttyreader at Controlled Release in Postal Release, Mailed to another bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, April 19, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (4/19/2007 UTC) at Controlled Release in Postal Release, Mailed to another bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Ring release. 


Journal Entry 28 by knitwit from Yardley, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe and sound today. I shall begin reading it as soon as I am finished with my current book.

Thanks for sharing! 


Journal Entry 29 by knitwit from Yardley, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, May 24, 2007

9 out of 10

Edited to remove double posting of journal entry. My JE above doesn't merit reading twice!
 


Journal Entry 30 by knitwit from Yardley, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, May 24, 2007

9 out of 10

Just finished this and I really, really enjoyed it! Signed up for the ring because so many other BookCrossers were raving about it and BookCrossers are my best source of recommendations. How I missed this when it was published is beyond me - I would've jumped on this one quickly but I don't remember hearing anything about it. I think the writer did an excellent job of capturing the horror and romance aspects of the best books about Dracula. I want to go traipsing through old churches in Bulgaria now and dine in Istanbul. Her imagery was very seductive and lushly imagined. A great book that I shall heartily recommend.

Off to LadyKnightNiko tomorrow.

 


Journal Entry 31 by LadyKnightNiko from Liberty Township, Ohio USA on Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This book is calling my name... but alas, I have other rings before it. I'm really looking forward to starting this!!! 


Journal Entry 32 by LadyKnightNiko from Liberty Township, Ohio USA on Thursday, June 07, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Updated to say I'm starting as soon as I log off. Sorry for the delay! 


Journal Entry 33 by LadyKnightNiko from Liberty Township, Ohio USA on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

9 out of 10

WOW! This is definately one of my picks so far for top 10 of 2007. Kostova really knows how to keep a reader's attention! I will look forward to more of her works.

My only complaint (and what gives this a 9 in my opinion rather than a 10), is that the ending was rather anti-climactic.

Thank you cloggy for starting this ray, and thank you loriped for arranging the 2nd half of it. I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks! 


Journal Entry 34 by LadyKnightNiko at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (6/13/2007 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On to mysticalzoe; happy reading! 


Journal Entry 35 by mysticalzoe from Gardiner, Maine USA on Wednesday, June 20, 2007

5 out of 10

I just recieved it in the mail yesterday, looking forward to reading it.

July 2nd

I didn't finish this book nor do I have time, so i am sending it off to sugaryfun today. I do have to say the begining of the book was a little boring, but it got more and more interesting, I notcied my library has two copies, so if I decide to finish reading it I will pick it up there. I would like to finish reading it one day. Good luck book!!! 


Journal Entry 36 by mysticalzoe at Controlled release sent to fellow bookcrosser Book in Londonderry, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 02, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (7/2/2007 UTC) at Controlled release sent to fellow bookcrosser Book in Londonderry, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sending it off to Australia today!! 


Journal Entry 37 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

The book is with me. Thanks to Cloggy for sharing it, and Mysticalzoe for posting it to me. I've heard good things about this one. 


Journal Entry 38 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Sunday, August 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I haven''t even started this one. Sorry, I had too many bookrings arrive at once and I just couldn''t get through them all on top of the reading I have to do for class. Ah well. I will probably borrow it from the library sometime.

I''ve PM''d GateGypsy for an address to send it on. 


Journal Entry 39 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Monday, August 13, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Gategypsy has asked to be skipped, so I''m now PMing Silvia-pco 


Journal Entry 40 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Thursday, August 30, 2007

This book has not been rated.

It's on its way to Portugal. 


Journal Entry 41 by silvia-pco from Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived! Thanks. 


Journal Entry 42 by silvia-pco from Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Saturday, December 22, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I'm really sorry for keeping this book for so long. I haven't start reading it yet, and as I got a copy of it in a RABCK, I'll pass it on to the next one. Thanks for the understanding... and Merry X-Mas :D
 


Journal Entry 43 by wingbrunton11wing from Salford, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived yesterday. It's looks like a long one so I'd better get cracking on the books I have to read before it!

Thanks all for sharing. 


Journal Entry 44 by wingbrunton11wing from Salford, Lancashire United Kingdom on Monday, May 26, 2008

9 out of 10

Firstly apologies for having this book so long. Unfortunately I do most of my reading to and from work and this book is a tad chunky for carrying around. I really enjoyed this book - The detail, the interconnecting stories, pretty much everything apart from it's length!

I have iliotropio's address so will take the book to the post office tomorrow. Again thanks all for sharing. 


Journal Entry 45 by iliotropio from Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Thursday, June 05, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Wow! this book has travelled a lot!!! Currently in Brussels...
Many thanks brunton11 for the cute Postman Pat postcard! 


Journal Entry 46 by iliotropio from Bruxelles / Brussel, Bruxelles / Brussel Belgium on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Totally engrossing!
GateGypsy has asked to be skipped, so the book is now on its way to the last participant, Rrrcaron. 




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