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Book #32 – The Historian

September 10, 2009

“His memory becomes legend, passed down through generations of superstitious peasants. At the end of the nineteenth century, a disturbed and melodramatic author – Abraham Stoker – gets hold of the name Dracula and fastens it on a creature of his own invention, a vampire.” (p. 23)

historian1Is there a better way to start off Fall than with a creepy historical thriller? Yesterday, as I curled up on the couch while dark clouds gathered and heavy rain pelted the window, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian seemed to fit the mood perfectly.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while, but hesitant at the same time. Mostly because it’s long (800+ pages) and it’s been described by numerous people as being quite dry. Hmm..long and dry, doesn’t sound like a quick read. I really don’t like being bogged down by one book for too long. I only read one book at a time, so if something takes too long, I start getting antsy, thinking of all the other books I could be reading.

But on the other hand, I like challenging myself and there’s nothing quite like that feeling of accomplishment you get after finishing something you deemed to be particularly difficult. Also, I’ve heard so many good things about The Historian that I really want to know what all the fuss is about. No one likes feeling left out ;)

I’m about 100 pages in and I’m happy to say that while it is quite dry and the pace is pretty slow, the story is great. There’s a sense of anticipation that keeps me reading, needing to know what will happen next.

Plus, there are wonderful quotes. I love books with great quotes.

“Life’s better, sounder, when we don’t brood unnecessarily on horrors. As you know, human history is full of evil deeds, and maybe we ought to think of them with tears, not fascination.” (p. 42)

What book-lover doesn’t enjoy a good book-related quote?

I flipped through the rest of the pages – when you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation. (p. 13)

Seeing a new book as a friend and temptation – I love it.

I’ve got to mention something about this cover. Seriously, it creeps me out. Every time I pull it out of my bag and I see that one dark eye staring at me…shiver shivers. The colours on the copy I have aren’t as bright as this picture here, which makes it look that much more sinister.

Okay, I’m off to do some more reading before it feels too late to read about possible vampires.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 5:37 am

    I love reading while it’s raining outside – it’s so cozy and nice in my apartment, and if my book is scary it is just that much more fun. I’m glad you’re enjoying this – I think I read it when I was in London for the first time, and I don’t remember one single thing about it. :P

    • September 11, 2009 1:22 pm

      I know, the atmosphere was wonderful! I’m hoping for more rainy days while I read this book. So I’m a bit disappointed that there’s no rain in the forecast for the next week, which is a rarity here during the fall, or any time of year, really.
      I can imagine that London would be a great location to read The Historian in, although it could be quite distracting too! You should read it again :)

  2. September 12, 2009 10:35 am

    I’m excited about the new book Kostova has coming out.

    • September 12, 2009 12:38 pm

      She has a new book coming out?? I need to get on top of that. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. September 13, 2009 5:55 pm

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this. I have this book on my RIP book challenge list, and this it might be the next one I tackle.

    • September 14, 2009 9:45 am

      It’s slow-going (at least for me), but I’m enjoying it a lot. You totally get sucked (pardon the pun) into Kostova’s world. I’m only a quarter of the way done, but I’ll already recommend it to anyone who has the guts to tackle an 800+ page book.

  4. September 15, 2009 10:04 pm

    I thought it was a bit slow at first too but I kept reading and loved the story and characters. I think you’ll be glad if you stick it out! Enjoy!

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