...to you I bequeath, my history"
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
my read of the month!
I bought this book at Sydney airport, before boarding a flight to Middle Earth. Started reading it straight away and only finished it last night. It took a while-yes, it is a big book, yes, Scrumptious I like to call 'em big books. 600-700 pages is a substantial amount, very ....filling!
A few thoughts on this book. I wish I could write like that! I will not include much of the story so as to avoid a spoiler but the gist of the book is clear to anyone who reads the synopsis. Dracula is back.
I remember when I read Bram Stoker's Dracula. It did give me the chills and no I was not twelve! Dracula, from what little I choose to remember of it, was eerie. The book succeeds in creating an uncomfortable atmosphere and one where, if you happen to be reading it after nightfall, the creaking of the wood could, potentially, send chills up the spine as it were.
The Historian is Dracula's rebirth in today's world. Kostova brings to life this 'undead' legend. The book does not offer much in the way of a plot. Although, it does once again score high for facts and research. The hunt through Eastern Europe is fascinating and full of information hitherto unknown, atleast to me. One could say 'whats new, its what they do, look at Dan Brown' but hold your horses everyone - Kostova can write! She has a beautiful grasp of the English Language and a certain amount of restraint in her style which allows one to read more than the written words. Unlike Brown, whose only saving grace was sensationalism and an age-old debate, Kostova's exemplifies the basics of book writing - language!
I cannot say that this was the best book I ever read, it wasn't by a long shot. But it was gripping nonetheless, eerie and very well written.
I liked The Da Vinci Code as a work of pure fiction, a figment of the author's overactive imagination and no one can succeed in convincing me otherwise. In fact I feel that Dan B could have avoided a lot of negative publicity and book-bashing had he chosen not to associate his book with any facts whatsoever!
Anyhow, read The Historian people, it is a lovely sequel to Dracula, even if it wasnt intended as one. It is not very often that someone comes up with a line fit to become a classic in modern literature - 'My dear and unfortunate successor...'