Gina's Reviews > The Historian

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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Jul 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, mystery, suspense
Read from July 17 to 27, 2012

*Audiobook

This was really intriguing at the beginning. The story of a diplomat/historian who stumbles on a picture, some letters, etc., about Vlad the Impaler - the historical figure behind the Dracula legend. It leads him on a search as his dear friend who had been studying this, has gone missing. Finding little clues, piece-by-piece, the story unfolds. In that way, it is somewhat similar to the DaVinci Code. It is starting to lose interest for me a bit as I am deeply into the book and feel like the plot has developed a lot, but the information has not. It's as if he keeps finding more and more extraneous information that will probably help him get there, but no big clues. Seems like they're getting nowhere....it flashes between his daughter following him, his story as he looks for the Professor friend, and the professor friend's story. It gets confusing at times bc I listen in the car, and one segment can go awhile, and I forget how it fit in with the rest of the book. I wonder if reading it will be different? I did check out the book, so we'll see.

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So here's the scoop...the book was confusing as well. It switches narrators without warning, and that is even harder in the book, bc there is no one "doing" the voice ;) Adding to confusion is a small amount of unnecessary detail and sub-plots...so that between these 3 distractions, you sometimes go "where were we?" The initial plot is the search for the friend who goes missing and the mystery surrounding that, which his daughter stumbles upon. Then there is the whole Dracula mystery, and at times you don't know what they are trying to uncover: the friend? Dracula? history? Then there are a couple of love stories. It really gets kind of tangled, but then again, I was in my car, so I am sure I missed a bit here and there. It also runs over several countries and that gets confusing. In the end, it was a good book, and worthwhile. I think it had the makings to be great, but it wasn't bc of the problems. I would love to read it, and I might just read parts that I feel like I "missed" in the audiotape, but overall, I am not going to read the whole book simply bc it's a bit laborious for what you get out of it. I think this would make an awesome movie. They wouldn't even have to write a screenplay. I think it would be very easy to follow if you could see the characters. Worth the read/listen.

3.5 stars
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