The Historian

The Historian

3.79 (259,337 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
Free delivery worldwide Expected delivery to the United States in 6-11 business days.
Not ordering to the United States? Click here.
Order now for expected delivery to the United States by Christmas Order now for expected delivery to the United States by Christmas

Description

The record-breaking phenomenon from Elizabeth Kostova is a celebrated masterpiece that "refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe--in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

"Part thriller, part history, part romance...Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous tale to tell." --Baltimore Sun
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 720 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 32mm | 610g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Maps
  • 0316070637
  • 9780316070638
  • 105,019

Review Text

"In this smart retelling of the Dracula story, a young girl's discovery of a mysterious book, blank save for a sinister woodcut of a dragon, impels her father to divulge, reluctantly, details of his vampire-hunting days back in grad school. Halfway through his tale, which is told over several sessions in various atmospheric European locations, he vanishes. His daughter's quest to find him is interwoven with letters that reveal the past in full. Kostova's knowledge of occult arcana is impressive, and she packages her erudition in a graceful narrative that only occasionally lapses into melodrama. The structure-a story within a letter within a flashback-is an innovative complication, but it is soon shaken off by the swift-moving plot. Kostova never strays far from the conventions of the genre, and her historical thriller feels somewhat indebted to best-sellers of the recent past; there are Christian heresies, scholarly sleuths, and a malaprop-prone Eastern European guide. "-The New Yorker
show more

Review quote

In this smart retelling of the Dracula story, a young girl's discovery of a mysterious book, blank save for a sinister woodcut of a dragon, impels her father to divulge, reluctantly, details of his vampire-hunting days back in grad school. Halfway through his tale, which is told over several sessions in various atmospheric European locations, he vanishes. His daughter's quest to find him is interwoven with letters that reveal the past in full. Kostova's knowledge of occult arcana is impressive, and she packages her erudition in a graceful narrative that only occasionally lapses into melodrama. The structure-a story within a letter within a flashback-is an innovative complication, but it is soon shaken off by the swift-moving plot. Kostova never strays far from the conventions of the genre, and her historical thriller feels somewhat indebted to best-sellers of the recent past; there are Christian heresies, scholarly sleuths, and a malaprop-prone Eastern European guide. --The New Yorker
show more

About Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the international bestseller The Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.
show more

Rating details

259,337 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 31% (81,572)
4 33% (85,544)
3 22% (58,324)
2 9% (22,887)
1 4% (11,010)

Our customer reviews

The tale of The Historian is told by a sixteen year old girl raised as a privileged and protected diplomat's daughter. As she accompanies her father on his research and diplomatic missions through Europe, we learn that her father has a dark and painful secret that is somehow tied to the myth of the vampire Drakula or Vlad Tepes of Wallachia and the disappearance of his beloved advisor Professor Rossi. As she tries to coax the story from him, the book shifts perspective and we read of his adventures from his own voice. Occasionally, the story of the search for Drakula is told through the voice of Oxford professor Rossi. Through carefully woven narratives from these three characters and from the letters and journal entries, we are taken into a dark and mysterious world where a centuries old evil continues to reign. As the journey takes us from the libraries of Oxford, America, and Constantinople to remote towns in Hungary and Eastern Europe in search for the missing Professor Rossi, the story becomes one of courage, friendship, and a long abiding love. Suspenseful and carefully crafted, The Historian evokes the leisurely prose of classics of the genre. An unusual read, I am very much looking forward to Elizabeth Kostova's next novel, The Swan Thieves, which comes out in January 2010. Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009), 720 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.show more
by Gaby @ Starting Fresh
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X