Monday, September 10, 2012

Books read in 2012: No. 75 -- The Historian

by Elizabeth Kostova

Amazon link

Started: Sept. 2
Finished: Sept. 10

Notes: This novel first drew my attention when I realized it was a bit of a mystery tale spanning centuries about a historian's daughter who discovers a secret that might prove Vlad Tepes, the historical figure known to the literary world as Dracula, might actually have been a vampire. That's enough to get me to read.

Mini review: This novel kind of baffles me. It does so many things I enjoyed, but it also does so many things I found quite annoying. At it's heart it is a mystery tale, but more than that, several mysteries entwined. I'm trying not to give too much away, but for those who love scholarly works, travel pieces, history and historical fiction, there is much here to love. Fans of Dracula will definitely find much here to love, but also perhaps a few things that might make you scratch your head. My biggest problem with this novel was the never-ending clues, one after another after another, which never seemed to end. Of course it eventually does have to conclude, and the ending I felt did not quit live up to all the drama before it. A good book, but not quite a great one.

3 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I had a look at this one and decided not to read it because it struck me as a literary novel slumming in genre land.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, you're not far off the mark. As I've said, there were elements I enjoyed of this novel, but there were also a lot of frustrations, a number of things that didn't quite make sense upon reflection.

Rogue Blades Entertainment said...

It was an extremely frustrating book! It never delivered, "the never-ending clues, one after another after another, which never seemed to end" is right!

Excellent historical travelogue/memoir that mentions vampires. Maybe. Your recommendation for "those who love scholarly works, travel pieces, history and historical fiction" is spot on. Just don't read it if you're looking for a strong vampire tale.