Review: Kostova’s The Historian

Ed note: This review was originally written in 2007 for a now long defunct livejournal account.
The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova

A retelling of the Dracula story, this time by a pretentious writer looking to hit it big with a “literary thriller”. Generally, this is the kind of book I cannot resist. I love nothing more than a page turner with literary aspirations . But this book is neither literature, nor a thriller. Its overwrought, confusing, and poorly executed. Kostova can write better than your average thriller writer, but the plot drags, and the characters are uninspired.

I am told years of research went into this, which explains the mind numbing cultural detail, but does not explain why a better job wasn’t done getting me to care about the protagonist, . Apparently, not only can you write about vampires and exotic locales in a totally tepid and uninteresting style, but you can also become a bestseller by doing it.

Not recommended.


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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