Date: November 27, 2006 2:45 PM
Topic: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Historian. Elizabeth Kostova. Little Brown, 2005. ISBN: 0316011770Below is my review as published in Library Journal:
Did Bram Stoker base his character Count Dracula on the historical Vlad Dracul, the cruel 15th-century prince of Wallachia? Some believe this despite scanty evidence, but in Kostova's first novel there is no doubt. In the early 20th century, Paul, a young graduate student, learns from his advisor, Professor Rossi, that Prince Dracula is still alive as one of the undead. When the professor disappears one terrifying night, Paul goes in search of his mentor, whom he knows to be in Dracula's clutches. His search takes him to secret archives and libraries of ancient monasteries throughout Eastern Europe; he is joined by his daughter, his wife, and friends, all historians and scholars themselves. (There's even an evil, undead librarian!) The writing is excellent, and the pace is brisk, although it sagsxa bit in the middle. There is plenty of suspense so that readers will want to find out what happens next. Ten years in the writing, this debut is recommended for readers who enjoy arcane literary puzzles la Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Ian Caldwell's The Rule of Four. This review is reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information
The Historian, last year's bestselling novel, was a first time novel for Kostova. Little Brown announced this book with great fanfare. The author was sent on a whirl-wind tour with book signings and interviews all across the country. I was fortunate to hear her interviewed by Diane Rehm on NPR. She did an impressive amount of research for her book.
Mark Flanagan has an interview with Kostova on About.com