Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Why I read this book?

Before I changed countries, a long time ago, I saw my aunt reading this hefty, brick like book with so much interest. I asked her, what is it about? She said: Dracula, as if he was alive in modern time. I wanted to read it, but alas, my luggage was kind of limited. So after years of waiting I finally got her copy and dive into it...

What's the book about? aunt didn't lie. In the book Dracula is supposed to be still alive...but the book doesn't deal much with him actually. Is more about...well a family of historians that somehow end up connected to Dracula; we follow them through different European countries, following the trail of mystery and darkness that the Count left behind...allegedly.

What was the thing I liked the most? 

I enjoyed the description of landscapes, of the cities; If we divide the book in 4 parts...I enjoyed the 3rd one, when the father is moving around Bulgaria and Romania.

What about the main character?

Was there really a main character? The book in titled The Historian (La Historiadora in Spanish) which made me think the first girl to talk was the main character...but she wasn't. For me the main character was the father, and even so...this place, the main character felt empty for me for most of the book. So I won't comment much in this section.

Final thoughts

3 months...that's how long it took me to read this book. I could tell you that it was because I was studying, which is true, but I read a lot of other books in this 3 months. Thing is, the story failed completely to grab me. Is not that I don't like descriptive literature (I loved Proust's In search of Lost Time), but here the descriptions of what the girl drank in certain plaza...seemed so utterly pointless for the story. I felt that knowing that she liked her orange drink didn't change the outcome of the tale one bit. That said, the part where the author described the mountains, the landscape was beautiful. The part that I liked (part "3") was full of different countries, different cultures, that part was great...but it was surrounded of nothing really happening, and then the end was so disappointingly anticlimactic! I think that my aunt remembers liking it because of the country descriptions...but for me this wasn't enough to make it an outstanding book.

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