Kathleen McAvoy, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by Kathleen McAvoy)
This book possesses the two qualities that every author strives for - it is utterly convincing, and wildly compelling. Despite its length (more than 600 pages),I could not put this book down, and when I had to engage in other activities (i.e. eating, showering,driving kids to school) I thought about the characters, and imagined where they might go next. The Historian is not simply an epic romance in an atmospheric setting that spans hundreds of years, it is THE definitive re-telling of Dracula, and destined to become an American classic.
westerndipper, January 29, 2010 (view all comments by westerndipper)
This book, published in 2005, is a work of fiction taking place primarily in Europe. I read the book while traveling in Europe, which only added to my feeling of horror as the story unfolded. The author did a wonderful job of setting the cultural stages of the book's timeline. Anyone caught up in the current popular films and television shows featuring vampires should read 'The Historian'.
twirlygirl05, January 24, 2010 (view all comments by twirlygirl05)
This is one of those books that you look at and think "How can this be interesting when it is entitled the Historian? But, it is one of the best, and most terrifying books I have ever read. A journey through the past and a trip through various incarnations of the Dracula legend will have you up all night turning the page in hopes that the conclusion to the story will make you a little less afraid.
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Little Brown and Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Considering the recent rush of door-stopping historical novels, first-timer Kostova is getting a big launch — fortunately, a lot here lives up to the hype. In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word 'Drakulya,' but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to 'My dear and unfortunate successor,' that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research. Kostova builds suspense by revealing the threads of her story as the narrator discovers them: what she's told, what she reads in old letters and, of course, what she discovers directly when the legendary threat of Dracula looms. Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too. Agent, Amy Williams. 325,000 first printing; major ad/promo; 10-city author tour. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Laura Miller, Salon.com,
"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)
by New York Magazine,
"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment."
by Miami Herald,
"Impossible to resist....Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil."
by Chicago Tribune,
"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 fascination with the legend of Dracula."
by Houston Chronicle,
"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine....It won't take you long to get to the end."
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Readers who think the legend of Dracula has become a trite staple of schlock fiction will find this atmospheric page-turner...a bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours..."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"There's a really terrific vampire story buried somewhere in The Historian....There is indeed a rich payoff if you persist through the slow parts. But then again, this is a frigging vampire novel. There shouldn't be slow parts. (Grade: B)"
Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, Kostova's phenomenal #1 bestseller tells 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 15th-century reign of Vlad the Impaler. Available in a tall Premium Edition.
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
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