Heidi's Reviews > The Historian

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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's review
Apr 24, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: historical, own-hardback, recorded-books-lapl, written-review

I give kudos to Kostova for having put in the hard work to write this door-stopper of a book, but I have to admit that it was a slog to read. There was little suspense, as much of the tale was relayed in letters from the past and the characters often seemed more concerned about what they were eating for lunch than in defeating the forces of evil.

Here is the heroine, about to face her long lost mother and Dracula in a monastery:
"I was hungry, in the midst of my anxiety; we hadn't even waited for the maitre d's coffee."


There is the occasional fast-paced scene, but most of this novel proceeds at such a measured, leisurely pace, with many asides concerning the history, geography, literature, and, of course, culinary customs of the country being visited (and there are many) that I could not get my heart rate up in the least. Had I not been listening to it on tape in my car (a captive audience, as you might say) I would have surely put it aside.

It was such a "thing" when it came out that I was curious. But one goes in my book swap pile for some other sucker.


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