Published by Little, Brown and Company on June 14th 2005
Genres: Gothic, Mystery
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of, a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.
The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself--to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.
I listened to, rather than read, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and I have to say that I loved it. I liked it even though it made me learn stuff, because even though the book is about Dracula, it’s also crammed with historical facts. Due to my bum being rather lazy in October and then taking part in NaNoWriMo in November, I’m way behind on my reviews. I listened to this book during cold October drives in my car. It was the perfect story for the Halloween season.
The audio cd featured many different actors speaking the different characters (including my girl Joanne Whalley Kilmer- although she may have dropped the Kilmer part of her name as she used to be married to Val Kilmer but they’re now divorced. They were in Willow together and then she played Scarlett in the mini series follow up to Gone With The Wind.) I thought that would be distracting, but it turned out to be amazing. Everyone that read, in my opinion, did a great job of bringing the suspense of the book to life.
Word of warning though, the audio cd is abridged. I’m hoping that it’s only abridged in small ways (in order to help the dialogue flow) but as I haven’t read the book yet I don’t know. I didn’t notice it was abridged, and I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I had caught that detail in the beginning because I am not an abridged girl. I recently found out that The Count of Monte Cristo is actually a super long book, and the version I read all those years ago was abridged. I hate abridgments, it feels like I’m being a lazy reader. That said, with The audio version of The Historian there’s a reason I didn’t catch the abridged part until much later- because it wasn’t at all obvious. So I’m glad I listened to it, and I was always planning on reading the book but I am holding off purchase until I get my Kindle. And Kindle, you will be mine!
So if you like vampires, the old fashion Dracula kind, and a really good mystery, then I recommend The Historian.
I’m hoping to post at least one more blog before the New Year, but in case I don’t get to it (because of the aforementioned lazy bumness)- Happy New Years, Blogger World!!!