The Historian

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel in which it tells the story of different people who discover that Vlad Dracula is still alive and walks the earth. There are three main narratives of the story; a teenage girl who narrates in the ‘present’, her father, Paul, who narrates the portions that are set in his college years, and Paul’s mentor and professor, who narrates his side of the story through letters and documents.

Paul tells his teenage daughter about the complicated story behind a mysterious old book he found in a library when he was still a student, and the reality surrounding the sudden disappearance of his mentor.

Through these three stories by three narrators, the readers go with them as they journey to European cities, into uncovering the real history behind the legend (and perhaps the reality) that is Dracula.

The review:

I agree with the other reviews that I have read about this novel that it is beautifully written. It was exciting and enjoyable. I found the whole premise about Dracula being alive even quite clever. And so after pages and chapters of intrigue and suspense, I was prepared to be surprised and delighted by how the author would tie all things together. And there, was where the book failed.

There were so many loose ends, and I know that sometimes we all need to leave it to our imagination, but they were too much! The conclusion was a let down. But like I said, it was enjoyable and there were good points. Kostova’s writing was sound and credible. Character development between Paul (and Helen) was wonderfully written as well. It’s just that everything fell flat towards the end when the whole idea had so much potential. Better luck next time, I guess.

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