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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian

by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Critics' Opinion:
  • Readers' Opinion:
  • First Published:
  • Jun 14, 2005
  • Paperback:
  • Oct 2006
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Reviews

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There are currently 71 reader reviews for The Historian
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Ciganita

Excelent book
Definitely one of the books of my life,from page one. Left me longing for more when I finished it and every time I reread it , new unnoticced details (aesthetic and factual) give me the thrill, emotion and suspense I felt on the first time I read it.
Donna Berk

The Historian
Being a fan of the "typical" vampire book in the genre of Anne Rice or Stephen King, I found this journey from the narrator's personal perspectives through her parents' (historians) examination of history and their supposed personal experiences very intriguing and believable. I really enjoyed the very organized trip the book took me on for the search through Eastern Europe with real descriptions of the geography and the people and their folklore. Very well constructed, organized, and believable novel. I will look forward to Ms. Kostova's next book.
Darise Ogden

The Historian
Like another reviewer, I was surprised by the number of reviews complaining about this book's size. I found the book a compelling journey, and one that had me completely enthralled. The arid, almost academic way it was written in parts made it even more chilling - it felt as if it were real, as if one could retrace their journey and find exactly the things they found (so much so that I found I could not read it when I was alone in the house).

The magic of this book was in the detail, in the way Kostova subtly unwound the plot. I read it last year, and even now it still resonates. I have recommended it to my bookclub, nearly all of whom have now read it, and found it deliciously disturbing. To answer the critics who have given it a 2, if you're going to compare it to the horror genre, it will not fit as easily as you might like. But then why should it - it's not a horror, but rather a gothic, literary quest. And one well worth taking part in.
Patrick

excellent novel
I'm shocked by the range of reviews for this book. It's really quite entertaining and well written too. As a Balkan historian, I am impressed with the girth and accuracy of the history woven throughout The Historian. It is indeed biased to a western perspective but regardless one must remember that this book is a novel, ie for entertainment purposes first and foremost. I was entranced by Kostova from page one and was very sad to finish. I hope she writes much more!

I'm not sure why so many reviewers have complained about the page length. The point isn't to see how many novels one can read and how quickly. Novels are simply for entertainment and the longer the better! If a book isn't entertaining then put it down and get something else-- there's plenty to choose from, don't waste your leisure time. Why read an entire novel and be displeased with it?
Ronnie Wilson

Best Since Bram
Some years ago I picked up an unabridged version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and was totally fascinated by the imaginative horror created. I've reread "Dracula" several times, and had yet to find a novel that came close to the atmosphere and suspense, until reading "The Historian". The story is mesmerising in parts, though frustratingly pedantic in others. But regardless, you just don't want to 'skip' the storyline as it all hangs together so well. I'll be revisiting the story in the near future without doubt and recommend the book to anyone who enjoys the vampire Genre. (I also recommend "I AM LEGEND" by Richard Matheson - an excellent twist on vampier versus human).
Beth

Can't even sleep at night!
Well, after being up for 4 hours last night scared to death, I thought I should write a review to tell you all to READ THIS BOOK! It's great, I mean, I'm terrified,but it's fantastic. The history is amazing and in depth, I have never cared to travel to Easter Europe until now. I find myself laying in bed telling myself over and over "there's no such thing as vampires..but..." Maybe they do exist
Emily

A newfound favorite to excite the masses
Honestly, I am only about halfway through this book and I already believe it to be magnificent. The language is engaging, the plot advances at every page, and the suspense continues to build past each mini-climax. I am sure that this book will only get better and better and I am looking forward to finishing it. I am a hard one to please, and this novel will definitely make my favorites list!
Gaye

The Historian
My favorite part of The Historian was the Book Sleeve. At the creepiest moments, I would turn the book sideways and look into Vlad's eyes! It is not often that the book sleeve adds so much to a novel, this one did! Have recommended this book to my book club, daughters and neighbor. ALL have returned with a big "thank you!" A tremendous read!

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