The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

As soon as I read a review of this in Writing Magazine I really wanted to read it – I love stuff like that, Dracula and that kind of thing. I really like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and it’s been described as an updated version of that so I thought it couldn’t go wrong!

It started off really well and I was immediately interested. The narrative can be quite complicated, because there’s the young girl who is actually ‘speaking’ in the story (she’s a grown woman in the book but speaks of her past), and she is talking about things her father told her, and in turn her father is talking about his experiences and things he’s been told. So it’s stories within the story – so pay attention!

A basic outline of the story is that the characters have come to discover that Dracula is still alive – and he is luring educated people to him by presenting them with a special book which has nothing on the pages except for in the middle – where there is a woodcut print of a dragon. Dracula believes these students and researchers will find him because their curiousity will lead them to search for him. And sure enough, they do. Several meet up on the journey and get gradually closer to finding him. They, however, have the intention of destroying him and ending his evil once and for all.

This is an intriguing tale, and really well-written, despite it getting a little complicated if you’re not reading carefully. Towards the end though, I’ll be honest, I did find it dragged a little bit, and I was trying to race to the end but couldn’t because I’d miss something. The ending was a slight anti-climax, too. I’d recommend it for people who like Dracula and similar tales – but other than that, it’s not as good as people have made out. Certainly not as good as the last Richard and Judy selection I read.

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