Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Wishlist: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

In 2008 when the first Twilight movie was released a group of friends and I sat in my living room discussing vampires. We had just laughed our way through Robert Pattinson's portrayal of Edward Cullen and were musing over the entire genre of paranormal fiction when someone brought up the book 'The Historian.'

Half the women there shivered visibly.

"That's a good book," one woman said.

The others nodded vigorously.

I had to admit to the group that I had never even heard of the book and the entire room swore they'd bring me their copy the next day.

Two years later and I have yet to hold it.

So what is this book that everyone swore I'd love, but couldn't bring themselves to loan out?
"In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word "Drakulya," but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research." -Publishers Weekly
Simply put... it's a vampire book. A really good vampire book.
"For once, a novel that is not horror or all blood and gore, but a truely facinating and suspensful tale that kept me awake after reading only 64 pages of it. I am not faint-hearted, nor have I ever been kept awake by any books. This novel facinated me and made me want to finish it in one sitting."- Buttonsamy, Amazon Reviewer

The problem, however, is that the book only gets 3 1/2 stars and the New York Times didn't have the best things to say about it. So what's the big deal?

Everyone I've talked to swears I need to read it, but most of what I read compares it to one of my least favorite novels (DaVinci Code). I'm flummoxed.

Is this sort of like one of those movies that does great from word of mouth but all the professional reviewers hate it?

I'll admit, I'm intrigued and it is definitely going onto my library list... which means it's about 5 books down. Right after The Name of the Wind, The Way of Kings, Beka Cooper- Terrier, and Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra.

Why am I still on the computer? I have some reading to do!

Books: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
           The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
           The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
           Beka Cooper-Terrier by Tamora Pierce
           Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye


Wendi said...

I read it a couple of years ago. Very long, but realllly good.

Jennifer said...

I keep hearing about this, and it's always good things. I really need to pick it up.


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