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The Historian

by

The Historian Cover

ISBN13: 9780751537284
ISBN10: 0751537284
Condition: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2006 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Review-A-Day

"The Historian isn't especially scary (though Kostova can work up a respectable miasma of dread when needed), and it lacks the inane but breathless chase scenes of The Da Vinci Code, but for the sophisticated reader it's a fine Bordeaux to Dan Brown's overcaffeinated Diet Coke....The big difference is that, unlike Brown's nattering cardboard people, by the end of Kostova's novel, the girl and the mother she lost as an infant have also become people worth caring about, tragic figures enmeshed with a treacherous past. That makes The Historian a thriller in more ways than one." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil.

Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions - a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.

Review:

"What's unfortunate about this [romanticizing of historians] is that the book...is otherwise the kind of wonderfully paced yarn that would make a suitable companion to a deck chair, a patch of sun and some socklessness." Henry Alford, The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

A vivid and sophisticated re-imagining of the Dracula myth. Quite simply "The Historian" is a gothic masterpiece, and begins when a young girl discovers an ancient and disturbing book in her father's library, opening a dark chapter in his past. It is a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful and utterly unforgettable.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

crowyhead, October 23, 2007 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This was an absorbing novel, but ultimately rather disappointing. Some of my problems with it were related to the construction of the novel; if the decision had been made to print each of the various threads of letters in a different typeface, for example, it would have been a lot easier to follow who was writing to whom and when. As it was, I often felt like I was wading through a confusing morass, and would have to flip back and forth to bring to mind who was supposed to be speaking.

I feel like this was good, but it could have been so much better than it was. I hope Kostova continues to write, as I would be interested to see what she comes up with next.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
skylero, July 30, 2007 (view all comments by skylero)
The book is filled with imagery and suspense. It kept me rivoted to every page, and I lost a lot of sleep reading the next chapters...

The book should take pride in its elaborately embellished chapters, and thorough letters.

The only drawback for me was that the book was set up for an epic and climatic ending, and only fizzled out the last chapters.

Other than that, I used this book to escape to another time and place. It is a great escape and an excellent read for those who seek adventure, history, and suspense.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780751537284
Author:
Elizabeth Kostova
Publisher:
Libri
Binding:
TRADE PAPER

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

The Historian Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details pages A B BOOKS - English 9780751537284 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The Historian isn't especially scary (though Kostova can work up a respectable miasma of dread when needed), and it lacks the inane but breathless chase scenes of The Da Vinci Code, but for the sophisticated reader it's a fine Bordeaux to Dan Brown's overcaffeinated Diet Coke....The big difference is that, unlike Brown's nattering cardboard people, by the end of Kostova's novel, the girl and the mother she lost as an infant have also become people worth caring about, tragic figures enmeshed with a treacherous past. That makes The Historian a thriller in more ways than one." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "What's unfortunate about this [romanticizing of historians] is that the book...is otherwise the kind of wonderfully paced yarn that would make a suitable companion to a deck chair, a patch of sun and some socklessness."
"Synopsis" by , A vivid and sophisticated re-imagining of the Dracula myth. Quite simply "The Historian" is a gothic masterpiece, and begins when a young girl discovers an ancient and disturbing book in her father's library, opening a dark chapter in his past. It is a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful and utterly unforgettable.
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