I listened to the whole thing and did enjoy it, but the plot felt contrived right from the start and never improved. The writing, too, was too forced and unnatural. I was looking for something similar to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and this was *definitely* not it.
While it wasn't outright bad, this book fell rather short of the mark. The writer has an unfortunate tendency to get lost in detail. She uses an impressive list of synonyms to describe a meal, or a dance, or a song. Then we get into the song's age and the origin of the song. And whose great grandmother brought the song to the village, and then we discuss possible text mutations of the song through the ages... Get the idea? None of this bearing any real importance to the story. I often found myself wishing, as my finger hovered over the forward button on my i pod, that she'd get to the point. There were also a few incongruities i found annoying; such as an English history professor using American colloquialisms. And Hungarian, Turkish, or Romanian characters who have an excellent handle on the english language, who suddenly mispronounce simple words, or "how you say'' mangle a popular expression. This was perhaps meant to endear the characters to the reader, but only succeeded in making them seem silly. On the plus side, the male narrator did a very respectable job. His accents were all very good.and if you are a fan of medieval history, there is some interesting stuff here. While the book seems to have been reasonably well researched, you do have to sift through a lot of chaff to get to the good stuff. I never really thought much of condensed books, but in this case, an abridged version would almost certainly be a better version.
It seems that my review will echo that of many others. The ending was a bit of a let down. The other thing that brought my rating down were some inconsistencies.
One I will mention is that at the beginning of the novel, the young heroine had travelled to a city. She gave the city a ficticious name to protect it from thrill seeking tourists. It was an obvious reference to the effect that The Divinci Code had on people who thronged to see the landmarks in the book. I thought both - a ficticious name for the city and the nod to The Divinci Code - totally irrelevant. It seemed to stick out as a sore thumb when other cities and landmarks were not similarily treated.
What I loved about the book was the attention to detail in the historical research. It had me searching maps and articles online for more information. The other thing I loved was the narration of Paul Michaels. I see that Audibles has another version narrated by Joanne Whalley, Dennis Bourtsikaris, and others. I would highly recommend that you get the version with Paul Michaels. He is masterful at accents. Each character that he speaks for has their own unique sound.
It was a pleasure to read a book about Dracula that didn't follow the Romeo & Juliet theme of the Twilight series and the plethora of its ilk that is the fad of teenage girls everywhere. It returns Dracula and vampires back to the evil, cruel creatures of Bram Stoker's day.
Older, crankier, happier and still a bibliophile!
I read this marvelous book several years ago. When I saw it available on Audible I thought it would be nice to have it read to me. This book is even better as an audible title. The readers are fantastic - the accents help keep the story clear and add another layer to the marvelous textures in this story. Read this book. Listen to this book. You won't be disappointed. I have enjoyed my Audible subscription (finding new stories and listening to stories that I already know) but this is by far my favorite audio production to date. The perfect blend of a great story and a fabulous audio production.
I should say right off that I am not a fan of vampire stories. I don't like romances and I'm really not fond of retelling a story that's been told more than a dozen times. Because of these things I was not interested in this book. But one day I ran out of things to listen to with three long drives ahead of me and someone told me to just give The Historian a try.
I am a very picky reader. Language and style are key factors for the books I enjoy most. I loved the active, verb oriented language, and I even enjoyed the story line. Although this is categorized as a vampire book it is far, far more. The vampire theme is really more of an undercurrent, the story is actually more of a mystery, detective, and literary story, all of which I fully enjoy.
If writers would use language like this, full of verbs, action and dialogue, even the worst of stories would be better. Listening to this book makes me realize that there are still writers out there that do care, not only about a good story, but about the importance of language - the way a story is told.
I especially enjoyed how the writer wrapped the story up at the end. It was not abrupt, which is what you want when you're not ready for a story to end.
I've listened to this book now twice and will listen again, if only just to hear how well this writer is able to construct a story using almost no adverbs - an awesome feat, making a more than worthwhile read.
LOVE ....suspense, humor, wit & sin HATE....predictability, copycats & sap
THIS BOOK DRAWS YOU IN AND NEVER LETS YOU DOWN! It has a fabulous well thought out mystery.....great characters and enough of a spooky edge to keep you looking in the rear view mirror . I can't wait for her next book.
This was a great listen; I am sure more enjoyable than the read. The narrators both did a wonderful job of all the various accents,bringing to life this beautiful prose, and their pacing was good. This is very very long with richly detailed descriptions that really bring the locations to life. I feel like I have just travelled extensively through Eastern Europe! This is a wonderful story, with enough twists, turns and surprises to make it addicting.