Jason's Reviews > The Historian

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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's review
Aug 20, 2007

This novel is the author's first, and while that is not reflected in the quality of writing by far, it very well may be evident in the overall pacing of the book.

The Historian is about several historians, and their decades long quest for both the historical and legendary Vlad Dracula. Where is he buried, was he a REAL vampire, etc. The plot is engaging enough for you to care to see how it ends, spicing things up here and there with dashes of horror, mystery, and intrigue. But the novel is overly long and agonizingly, exquisitely detailed.

The author has gone to painstaking research, and it shows and it is admirable, but often at the expense of the progress of the overall story.

The novel is replete with visits to such and such a country and such and such a historic place, each one populated with a new historian or other character that helps them along their journey. Some of these characters and visits lost me, since they are all very similar to the previous.

The author also seems to be attempting to follow the format of the original Dracula novel, most of it told through letter and journal entries. This in itself can be tedious and plodding.

Don't get me wrong, the Historian is not a bad novel. It's actually good, but takes five hundred of it's six hundred plus pages to really explain anything. It is about historians and is probably better suited for the more intellectual reader.

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