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What readers think of The Historian, plus links to write your own review.

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The Historian

by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova X
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 656 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 688 pages

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There are currently 71 reader reviews for The Historian
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mahima kaul

Interesting in many ways
While I have to admit that she could have cut a few pages the book is really good. Not only does it have a great story about the Dracula myth but it also delves into historical research. At times it feels that a part of the book is this research- and for me it was great (student of history) because what might seem tedious all adds up in the long run-- more so if you're chasing something exciting like Dracula. Its also a historical travel guide, and so much more.

I'd recommend this to people. Of course I read it in one sitting because I have a lot to do this week and couldn't take too much time off- but it still remained quite solid.
Elizabeth

"The Historian" contains elements from many of my favorite genres - thriller, suspense, mystery, and historical fiction. I thought this book was entertaining to read and liked the story concept and character development. The one flaw of the book was the boring page after page eye sleepy write up that seemed like academic research. This happened around pages 300-450. But after you got past that, I thought it was an interesting read with a solid ending. The ending may have been a bit Hollywood, but good nonetheless.
Brian

Enjoyed it
This book was a solid 3-1/2 to 4 for me. It tends to slow towards the middle & the ending could have been a bit better, but overall I enjoyed it.

Folks looking for a Dracula horror book or for the next Da Vinci Code will probably be a bit disappointed by this work. I've seen some describe it as boring, but would disagree. I'm a big reader of history books & in a way that's how this novel reads. It's a fairly quick read too; it grabbed me enough that I was done in a couple of days.

A good solid effort for a first time author, I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Mr. Dark

Eh...
Well, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. If you ask me, there's really not an awful lot to say. I was basically forced to read this book, all because I was surrounded in a society of Twilight fangirls that basically said "It's about vampires. It's thick. Let's read it!" so, you can predict my lack of enthusiasm from the very beginning. Despite this, it would still be incorrect to say that I was biased at any time, as I didn't fully know what to expect. Thus my reading began. Took me a couple of weeks to finish it. Wasn't incredibly hard to put it down afterward. The main problem with this book is its never-ending attempts to appear "plausible". I understand it fits into the story's theme about historians and factuality, but truly, it feels awkward reading like this in a novel with mostly fictional, baseless events. True, there is a load of text which could basically be interpreted as a history lesson on the war between Dracula and the Ottoman empire, but that doesn't necessarily improve the story's quality in any sense. On the plot itself, due to its tendency to add up tiny bits of story progress from each of the gazillion locations, it feels weak in more than one sense. More awkward moments come from when the context decides to throw a sudden romance straight at the reader. This, mixed with the multiple plotline dispersion (a rather poorly organized aspect) and the overall weakness of the plot, makes it seem more desperate than anything else. Another of the main motifs, the presence of vampires, is unbelievably underwhelming. Aside from Dracula, there is no more than ONE potentially dangerous vampire in the book. More additions to the letdown include opinions on descriptions with absolutely no relevance to the plot or theme, lack of clarity on several elements, constant dispersion and fault to keep consistency, some poorly constructed story arcs.

On the plus side, though, the book was a half-good piece of info dinner for anyone with an interest on dracula or vampire myths, and at least the plot manages to hold together throughout the length of the story. Regardless of one's interest in reading it, it feeds its reader some curious data on medieval europe that may seem interesting to the cultivated, along with the aforementioned mythical elements.

Overall, it's passable. Can't really focus too much on the negative or positive aspects, because they practically eat each other up. I believe that's the best way to describe it in a nutshell Well, this has been my personal review. Signing out for now.
Wanda Pereira

Predictable yet interesting suspense...
I just finished reading the book...It seems quite informative from a historical point of view, that is, if we are to believe the facts as they are given to us...however...wider knowledge or a little research may cause that to be tricky.
Quite frankly, although the story picks up quite boringly in the beginning, it reveals some interesting suspense as it unfolds.
In general, the expansive and surprising details give wings to imagination, yet at some points, they become considerably redundant and almost annoying...
Also annoying are the dorky "sudden deaths" of several scenes, which due to their blunt abruptness almost seem like a pure lack of inspiration...
As for the characters, I found them quite typical and almost common from the perspective of good versus evil...and repetitive when it comes to their personalities and overal attitude towards the supernatural...the same applies to the entwined love stories...thus undermining credibility...
The pieces that form the "main puzzle" are keenly hidden throughout the book, yet the "perceptive reader" will most definately and easily find them predictable...
I expected it to be more stimulating intellectually and would only recommend it as a "last on the shelf" kind of book...
Sorry Mrs. Kostova!
Richard Schultz

A DaVinci Code Ripoff`
This book lacks the intense interest of the Da Vinci Code, and pretends to be the same style. I think it is bogus. There is too much myth, and not enough reality. I am not a reader of fiction, and so maybe my opinion is jaundiced. However, I found it to be less than satisfying. Would not recommend it to serious historians.
Larry

Almost Plausible
This was a quick and enjoyable read but I began to find too many coincidences and how easy the meetings of the various character links (Rossi, Helen, Bora, Master James the professor in Hungary and others just fell into place so easily. I also felt that the relationship of Drakula to Helen's lineage was left unexplained and how Helen's features uncannily resembled those of Drakula. It was fun nevertheless and the ending was to be expected. Too bad Da Vinci Code came first, because it did feel a bit derivative. The Historian however was more plausible with better historical backgrounds. A sequel, most likely and probably a movie.
Jill

Longer than necessary
I've just finished reading this book. Surprisingly, I took quite a long time to finish it. The story is not gripping. There are several interesting parts but the author goes around and around. She interjected several sentences that made the book longer and should have been omitted.

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