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The Historian

57 Ratings: 2.7
A novel by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian is the 2005 debut novel of American author Elizabeth Kostova. The plot blends the history and folklore of Vlad Ţepeş and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula. Kostova's father told her stories about Dracula when she was a child, … see full wiki

Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, Vampires, Gothic Horror, Adventure, Thriller
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Back Bay Books
Date Published: 2005
ISBN: 0-316-01177-0
24 reviews about The Historian
review by . April 06, 2011
So, in order:      1.  Is it just me, or has there just been a glut of novels in the last decade or so based on the fiction of new-found materials about some older fictional topic:  new Shakespeare plays, new Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  All of these accounts purport to shed some new light on a historical (who was Shakespeare?) or fictional (did Holmes ever fall in love?) mystery.   Here Kostova reuses this now-overdone convention to explore whether Dracula …
review by . December 02, 2010
Ever since Bram Stoker published "Dracula" in 1897 the vampire genre has had a healthy and uninterrupted ascension amongst the works of literature. "The Historian" is one of the latest more successful additions to the Dracula lore and legend. As the title may suggest, the plotline of "The Historian" centers on several generations of related twentieth century historians who are becoming increasingly convinced that the myths and legends behind the historical figure of …
review by . June 24, 2010
Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian" a book about the search for Dracula has got to be one of the most arduous books I have read in a very long time. In fact it's been almost 7 years since I read Stephen Kings "Dark Tower" series, and that's the last time I had a hard time finishing a book! I actually started in in October of last year and finally put it down after only 20 or so pages. I only picked it back up because my local book club picked it as the book of the …
review by . November 29, 2010
Ever since Bram Stoker published "Dracula" in 1897 the vampire genre has had a healthy and uninterrupted ascension amongst the works of literature. "The Historian" is one of the latest more successful additions to the Dracula lore and legend. As the title may suggest, the plotline of "The Historian" centers on several generations of related twentieth century historians who are becoming increasingly convinced that the myths and legends behind the historical figure of Count Dracula may in fact have …
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
One of the better vampire attempts of recent years. It needs more attention.
review by . July 01, 2010
I guess it sorta depends on which one you read first
There are lots of good things to say about Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian"! It's moving, suspenseful, creepy, deeply atmospheric, haunting and informative at the same time about a particular area of the world and a point in time that few readers will be familiar with.      The basic plot is beautifully summarized in Amazon's editorial reviews and, frankly, I don't think I can improve on it ... so I'll reproduce it here for the reader's convenience: &nb …
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
an intresting twist on the origional vampire myth about count dracula. kind of long but very action packed with a writing style similar to dan brown of the di vinchi code.
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Amazing vampire story.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
This novel inspired my visit to Eastern Europe. I have wanted to visit Hungry since I was a small child, but never as much as I do now and I can't wait to visit all of Eastern Europe. I made a Romanian friend while reading this book in Knoxville, TN and we have built quite a relationship since we bonded over this book. He has shared so many of his experiences growing up there with me and then we compare what is in the book. Enjoy this sharing so much. Inspired by a really good book.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
An enthralling tale but the plot is a little dragged out and the book can seem quite lengthy at times.
review by . June 23, 2010
Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian was published in 2005, the same year as the first novel in the Twilight series. Like Twilight, The Historian deals with vampires and the folklore surrounding them. This is where the similarity between the two novels ends. It would be a mistake to discount Kostova's first novel as another manifestation of the current vampire trend.       Kostova's novel is intellectual and will appeal to those familiar with academia. Almost all …
review by . June 14, 2010
   Kostova's The Historian has become one of my favorite books - in my opinion, it's actually a far better novel than Stoker's Dracula, to which it is an homage. Kostova's writing abilities are such that she makes doing research in a library seem appealing, even exciting. The narrative is complex, intriguing and tightly woven. Characters are well-developed and credible. Pacing is excellent - there is enough "downtime" for character development, romance, etc. but …
review by . March 21, 2010
ZZZzzzz
A woman tells about when she was sixteen and her life was changed by Dracula. Yes, Dracula, the Bela Lugosi guy in the cape, the star of Bram Stoker's novel, the dreaded Vlad the Impaler. The girl was living in Amsterdam with her father, a scholar and diplomat who traveled a lot. It turns out he has spent years looking for the Count and now she's involved in the search, too.       This truly dreadful novel is a 100-page story padded out to 642 staggeringly dull pages. To say …
review by . July 10, 2006
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was about as interesting as a book by a doctoral candidate describing how s/he researched and wrote his/her dissertation. Normally I would have quit after 100 pages, because my rule is that if a book doesn't grab me within the first 100 pages, I move onto another. However, I grimly held on to this one just to see if anything worthwhile ever actually happened.    The answer is no. It didn't. When the end finally came, I was left wondering, "Okay. …
review by . February 08, 2006
When a young girl in Amsterdam stumbles upon the mysterious notes of her diplomat father and dares to read, so begins a tale so mysterious and compelling that it cannot possibly be true....or can it? After reading through her fathers secrets and uncovering a very strange little book, daughter confronts father and the saga begins. Following three separate timelines documenting the search for Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula, father Paul begins the tale of how it all began; ostensibly with the disappearance …
review by . January 16, 2006
Pros: Looks good on a bookshelf      Cons: Stiff language. Boring. Childish. Silly.      The Bottom Line: One of the most boring and silly and pointless books I've ever read.      This is a 700 page novel that covers a hunt for Dracula. I won't give the end away, in case someone cares to go that far. That is the storyline. It takes place over about 30 years and almost as many countries. The novel is written more as an exhaustive …
review by . October 16, 2005
Oooooooohhhhhh ... I love modern-day vampire stories! Scary!    This is a great book, not only because it's a pageturner, but because the author is so good at her job she makes it all seem real, urgent and present! Her plotting is so skillfully done, she unfolds the multi-layered story page by page, luring the reader in with such style, they're hooked before they know it. And it was pure genius to have a teen-aged girl as the main character.    I admire the …
review by . October 15, 2005
Ms. Kostova has written a smart and enjoyable look at the myth of Dracula. What I find fascinating in her account is her detailed approach in explaing the "history" of the legends. Not exactly Bram Stoker meets Dan Brown, but not too far from that sort of mix.     I suspect that many fans of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" will have mixed feelings on "The Historian". While they both intergrate relatively obscure area of history into popular fiction they definitely have a different …
review by . September 21, 2005
Elizabeth Kostova is a fine writer. That this is her first novel is amazing in that it has so many excellent aspects that are usually discovered more slowly in novels subsequent to number one. For that she deserves much applause. She knows how to build a story, populate the pages with a great variety of characters, pace the work so that the reader is encouraged to proceed through the plot line, and she obviously has done considerable research on the Dracula myth, Eastern Europe, Istanbul, Paris, …
review by . September 13, 2005
It's been a very long time since I've read a good, spine-tingling book about Dracula, and then along comes this book! The pace is a bit slow at times, but the mood is very atmospheric, and you really get caught up in the tale. In addition to the basic plot, there's really an excellent travelogue of Eastern Europe both before and after World War II, with emphasis on the Balkans. Also, the historical Vlad Tepes gets his due, as does a lot about the Byzantine Empire. This book combines quite a bit …
review by . August 26, 2005
Once in a while it can be fun to revisit old legends. Dracula stories can be hackneyed and hokey, and vampire novels abound, but Ms Kostova has managed to write something fresh with some touches of originality. Does Drac still live? Where is (are) his tomb(s)? Where's his head? Three generations of historians follow the same mysterious trail through western and eastern Communist Europe, telling of their adventures in their own words along the way. A mix of folklore, history, time travel, and love …
review by . August 20, 2005
In 1972, a sixteen-year old girl spends this pivotal year in a somewhat unusual pursuit, her professor father a traveling lecturer/historian based in Amsterdam: she joins her father in city after city as he reveals the story of a mysterious book that came into his possession by chance in his graduate study days. The book is connected to the legend of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, a central figure in vampyric lore. Thought to have died in 1472, there is some question about the location of the tomb …
review by . August 04, 2005
There is no denying that "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova is a magnificently researched book that takes its characters and its readers on a finely rendered tour of Eastern Europe. Adroitly recreating the Cold War era, it also hints of the former majesty of the opulent Ottoman Empire with its secret societies that more that helped its Sultan gain a foothold in the Balkans and onwards towards Vienna.     However, like the suppressed political ideologies the book depicts, all …
review by . July 25, 2005
Scholarly historians are the heroes and victims of Kostova's 600-plus page vampire novel. Each diabolically selected scholar, in the fearless ambition of youth, receives a strange, compelling book with a dragon woodcut in its center and nothing but blank pages to either side.    The dragon holds a banner with one word on it, "Drakulya," and the intrigued historian instantly becomes obsessed with tracing the book's origin and meaning, which clearly springs from the bloody, medieval …
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57 Ratings: +2.7
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