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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:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 656 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 688 pages

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Page 7 of 9
There are currently 71 reader reviews for The Historian
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Ken

Overrated
I thought this book had great promise, especially after reading the excerpts and reviews.

I loved the premise; there was some fascinating historical information; but in the end I was totally disappointed.

I found the structure annoying and confusing, and the book was way too long. Might have worked at one third the length.

It did make me want to know more about the subject, and when I researched the topic on the Internet, I found my readings there much more interesting than the book.

In general, I found this an arduous read, and my favorite part was when I finished.

I moved from "The Historian" to "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a much better book and a much faster read.
lala

The Historian
It was a good book, not a great book. The descriptions of the scenery and the "people, places and things" were beautifully done, I almost could feel the air and smell the aromas, but the actual story seemed....I don't know...boring. I expected so much more, I guess, and I felt it the writer went on and on and didn't really come up with anything new or interesting about Dracula.
I enjoyed the premise of the story but I felt it just plodded on and on.
Ryan

A middling interlude with a Vampire
The concept was intriguing and thought of a supernatural thriller in the mold of the Da Vinci code was hard to resist. Unfortunately "The Historian" never quite delivers. Kostova's research for the book is excellent, but at times it feels she has the rules of her world forced upon her by Bram Stoker and she is merely writing to fit that outline. Her language is sumptuous, but again I felt it was forced instead of lyrical and descriptive. "The Historian" ends up being a lovely travel guide and text book with a story about vampires around the edges. A good first novel, but nothing that I reccomend. Anyone looking for a tense thriller will be somewhat dissapointed. If you are curious about the life of Vlad Tepes and his connection with the vampire myth, than this is a wonderful library book to pick up.
Timmy O

Didn't quite meet my expectations
I decided to read this book after seeing the author and book featured on a recent episode of ABC's "20/20." The pace is fairly slow and kept my interest just enough for me to keep going. I didn't like or dislike it - I rate it a "push." I liked the author's writing style; content was somewhat lacking. The story had untapped potential. I was hoping for more.
jimmy from b&n

good but not great
overall it was a nice read. i was a bit slow through the entire book, after 100 pages i still didn't get into the characters much. Elizabeth Kostova didn't give me enough about the main characters for me to want to like them, although i did try. although the pace is slow it still is a solid read. turns out to be a fun adventure. i started with da vinci code then went onto angels and deamons and rule of 4 now the historian. if you like the books i mentioned earlier, the historian will be good keep you busy for 642 pages
Fiery Redhead

Sultan Mahmet the Fourth Really??!!
The excruciating detail of where the files, manuscripts and documents came from and in what period they were written was too, too much! One cannot know enough to know if there really was a Sultan Mahmet the Fourth or if Kostova just invented it and who cares anyway. Let's get on with the story.
At least 500 pages of this sort of obscure obfuscation could have been eliminated and still kept the flavor of the search.
And what about the young teenage girl? Do we ever know her name?
So why spend a 1000 pages developing and then abruptly tie all the loose ends up in 10 pages?!
Most unsatisfactory. And a movie based on this book, egads!
If kostova's subsequent efforts are like this one, I will not be a reader.
Scythe

A Dissapointment!
Although horror isn't my usual genre (much is poorly written and plots are creaky) the reputation of this book as a literary take on horror convinced me to read it. It was a real slog. The plot dragged, the book needed an editor (cut 200 plus pages perhaps?) and it was also poorly written. Although less pretentious, I think Anne Rice does this genre better, as does Bram Stoker himself. Also, George R.R. Martin, not primarily a horror writer, has a great vampire novel. Also check out Tanith Lee's Sabella - scary and convincing.
LPS

A Sleeper
Kostova's writing is difficult to enjoy, exceeding 600 impenetrable pages. Rather than turn a phrase, she belabors them. While I enjoy this genre of fiction (I have read and immensely enjoyed all of Anne Rice's works), I forced myself to finish this book, expecting it to improve. But it did not. It is a laborious read, that put me to sleep every night. Not since I read Ulysses as a college freshman have I worked so hard to finish a novel. Sadly, its reading was not worth my effort.

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