Apparently this is Kostova's first book, and being so it is actually quite amazing, but at the same time the story struggles. The story is strung out over three timelines, so it can get a little confusing or frustrating jumping in and out of the different "voices". Way too often the main characters, who are following and trying to solve a mystery, stumble upon coincidences that are needed to move the story forward to the next scene. At one point, the characters even mention how "lucky" they are that they keep coming across coincidences that help them. Another weakness in the plotting is that the character about whom the whole mystery revolves distributed a whole bunch of resources (maps) to locate the mystery, and at the same time is trying to prevent people who find the resources from locating the mystery. Lastly, Kostova must have done a ton of research on Eastern European history, and she puts it all into her book when lots of it may not have been needed. If you like the genera, then you will probably like the story. Otherwise, wait for the movie...
Wow this book was torture to finish. Way too long and not very exciting. I felt like someone was giving me a history lesson of eastern europe or was describing a vacation in detail. Might be for other people but I was disappointed in this very slow moving book
That pretty much sums it up. To think of intellectualizing Dracula!!! Poor thing. Should leave him to likes of Stoker whose book chilled me to the bones (which is read by my favorite narrator, Robert Whitfield)!
Perhaps the abridged version would have been better? The story drags, perhaps in part because the narrators speak very slowly. I find my mind wandering, which is unlike me.
After listening to Under the Dome and Prince of Tides, which I couldn't listen to ENOUGH, this one is a disappointment. Maybe I'm spoiled by these as the narrators seemed to be acting their parts, rather than reading them to a dull-witted person.
As for the story itself, it's interesting if you've never been to the countries described in the book. I could almost "see" them.
I'm on the 4th of 4 parts now; perhaps it'll pick up. If not, tomorrow my subscription renews so I'll download Steig Larrson's last book. Can't wait!!
As for my recommendation, sadly I must agree with other reviewers in that this book was more than slightly boring to listen to. To actually read it might have been different. Some audiobooks work and some don't. This didn't, for me.
It was OK for a three era book. I sometime's forgot which time frame I was in. You have to have your listening game face on 90% of the time or you'll lose track. I wouldn't listen to it again.
But for multible reader's (actor's) it was well read.
I enjoyed this book. It is compelling, but it did get a bit long. I was ready for the story to wrap up a bit before it did. But the characters are fleshed out well and the scenes are very vivid. The naration was very good.
This could have been such a clich?, but it was absolutely delightful. The narrator has some to do with this, but I really enjoyed this. It had lots of detail, but didn't bog us down in it. Not too many side-stories to get us lost. Just a great overall read... and a fresh dracula view!
I suspect if you're a committed vampireophile, my complaints about the pace of this book will not deter you. Skip the review. Enjoy the book. But for the rest of us, I'm afraid there's not as much here as one would hope. The author is incapable of writing a line of dialog without having a character think about it at some length. If you're hoping for a rapid exchange of ideas between characters, fast-paced conversation, find another book. These guys think too much -- presumably in case you're too dim to think for yourself. If something is horrible or awful, the writer does not trust us to see that for ourselves. She will tell us, showing no faith in her own descriptive powers. She will rarely skip an opportunity to remind us this is a baleful and wicked character we're pursuing, yet fails to create a portrait that fulfills her adjectives. All of the main male characters are interchangeable. Listen to the voices of Rossi and the father and tell me how to distinguish the two. To the book's credit: There's much original here. It paints some nice portraits of Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania during the Cold War. It may send you in pursuit of European monastaries. It will make you wonder about vampire lore and its pervasiveness. But as a bit of storytelling, it's not quite there.
This was a good read, just very long and very detailed. I think the abridged version would be a better selection to get to the point. If you were an art/history major this would be up your alley.
Would I read this again........NO!
I love historical fiction because it tends to make history come alive, but the history in this book is dead. I could never concentrate on the parts about the Ottomans doing this or that - it just didn't hold my attention, and never seemed to move the story forward.
I like the concept of a book written in letters, but it goes to far with letters inside of letters inside of letters, and the only present character appears too rarely.
The narration is fabulous - a male and a female voice with excellent ability to change accents - without this variation, I don't think I could have made it through the book, and I certainly couldn't have read it.