Saturday, March 20, 2010

Table of Contents: The Historian

Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Publisher/Year: Little Brown, 2005
Synopsis: The Historian of Elizabeth Kostova's novel is Paul, who years before the novel begins was drawn into a historical search for Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian tyrant who inspired Dracula, when he found a colleague's book with just an illustration of a dragon in its center. Paul's daughter narrates the story, telling of her search for the historical truth behing Vlad the Impaler, to understand her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate. As she explores through ancient texts and clues scattered across Europe, she discovers to her horror that Vlad is the possessor of a ancient evil power and is still alive, or at least at some level of existence. It's an evil that she must confront and understand if her father is to be saved.

What Others Have To Say:
"Kostova has a genius for evoking places without making you wade through paragraphs of description."

The New York Times
"Although ''The Historian'' is wearyingly long, it would be a difficult book to compress."

January Magazine
"Time and again, her story gets tangled up in the travel text, and one gets the feeling she's filling pages rather than storytelling."

London Times
"character is plot"

The Guardian
"Kostova is a whiz at storytelling and narrative pace, and she can write atmospheric descriptions of place, but she has no great sense of the location of language within time, and not much talent for impersonation."


  1. I like the premise but I'm not really a fan of excessive descriptions. I will have a look at it but I'm not sure I'll read it.


  2. I hear ya - felt the same, which is likely why it took over two years to finish it!