Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Historian

I'm currently reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. I don't know how others like it but it's a vampire tale set in the world of academia. There are libraries and archives and research -- all those activities that as a librarian and a former graduate student are so familiar to me. Although the action can sometimes be slow, I love being immersed in that world. It's an easier read if you have some familiarity with the history of Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, as he has been called; North Park University has a interesting page about him with useful further reading. The Historian is not a quick read but it's good. The language is sometimes beautiful and sometimes florid, but it always seems to fit the characters. Don't expect the Anne Rice type of vampire story-- this is different. The vampires aren't sympathetic, as Lestat can sometimes be, they are undiluted evil -- even the librarian vampire. If you find yourself interested in the historical Dracula after reading The Historian, Dracula: Prince of Many Faces by Radu Florescu is a good biography.


Gina said...

I just finished The Historian, and I did like it . . . but I grew bored in the middle. I was riveted at the end, though; I think Kostova's editor should have been a bit more strict.

I've seen The Historian compared to Possession, but I think it falls short.

I started the new Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy, last night. Talk about switching gears! :-)

Katya said...

I just got over the boring part and am back to interesting -- you're right, her editor should have been stricter with her.

BabelBabe said...

OK, I admit, it isn't quite Possession but it has many of the same elements and for the most part is pretty skillfully written. I too got bogged in the middle, but I did warn you about that.

I started Outlander last night - so far, so good.