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The Historian by [Elizabeth Kostova]

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The Historian Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,300 ratings

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Product description

Amazon.co.uk Review

Some stories can be told again in endlessly different ways. Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian combines a search for the historical Dracula with a profound sense that Stoker got some things right--that the late Mediaeval tyrant kills among us yet, undead and dangerous. From Stoker, she also takes a sense that the supernatural seems more real when embedded in documentary evidence.

Three generations search for Dracula's resting place, and their stories are nested within each other, so that we know that at least two quests ended badly. Kostova rations her thrills very carefully so that we jump out of our chair at quite slight surprises, especially when we have come to expect buckets of blood and loud bangs. She also has a profound and well-communicated sense of place and period, so that the book is equally at home in 1930s Rumania, Cold War Budapest and 1970s Oxford. Kostova is particularly good on the sights and sounds of remote country places and the taste of real peasant food--this sensuous realism does not always go with her other skill, the creation of imagined documents and folksongs that feel as real and true as what might be actual.

This is a quietly good book rather than a spectacular debut, with some uncomfortable twists in its tail; her heroine-narrators are, and perhaps remain, in the most serious of jeopardies. ---Roz Kaveney

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

In this smart retelling of the Dracula story, a young girl's discovery of a mysterious book, blank save for a sinister woodcut of a dragon, impels her father to divulge, reluctantly, details of his vampire-hunting days back in grad school. Halfway through his tale, which is told over several sessions in various atmospheric European locations, he vanishes. His daughter's quest to find him is interwoven with letters that reveal the past in full. Kostova's knowledge of occult arcana is impressive, and she packages her erudition in a graceful narrative that only occasionally lapses into melodrama. The structure-a story within a letter within a flashback-is an innovative complication, but it is soon shaken off by the swift-moving plot. Kostova never strays far from the conventions of the genre, and her historical thriller feels somewhat indebted to best-sellers of the recent past; there are Christian heresies, scholarly sleuths, and a malaprop-prone Eastern European guide. --The New Yorker

Kostova's vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff....Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time.--
Newsweek

Part thriller, part history, part romance....Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous tale to tell.--
Baltimore Sun

Quite extraordinary...Kostova is a natural storyteller...She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner.--
San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003PPDBLW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sphere; New Ed edition (6 Jun. 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1018 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 721 pages
  • Customer reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,300 ratings

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Elizabeth Kostova's engrossing debut novel is the culmination of ten years of research and a lifetime of imagining--since Kostova's girlhood, when her father entertained her with tales of Dracula, she has envisioned the story that would become The Historian. With her academic spirit and extraordinary talent, she's spun an intricate tale of sprawling mystery and suspense. Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,300 global ratings

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