The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known, and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself, to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.
What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed, and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign, and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.
©2005 Elizabeth Kostova. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2005 Books on Tape
"A bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours." (Booklist)
"Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Historian is artfully constructed and atmospheric." (Washington Post Book World)
Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.
Yes, I like historical fiction which is why I picked this, but I actually missed the part of the description that told me it was about vampires. But it was not a silly vampire story, and I am glad I listened to it now. It was an almost historical approach to...what if vampires ARE real? Where would they live? How would you find one? What would the world around them look like? How would they interact in our world? I really did like it.
It really was unique, I have no comparisons right now.
The different reader for each time period was helpful - so I didn't get confused at the jumps back and forth at all. They were good at the eastern European accents without sounding like a bad Dracula movie. Other than that, they faded from my mind - which is what a narrator SHOULD do. I like that.
No, not any extreme reaction, except perhaps surprise that I liked it since (again) I am not into vampires.
I love audible during boring laundry duty. I seem to be drawn to fantasy most likely to get a break from reality. I love my family!
Its an amazing way to escape your world into a suspenseful strange one.
When the professor was found.
There was more then one
There were several twists and things to keep you guessing.
This is a great lesson! Make laundry and house cleaning fun.
This was one of my first listens and I am re-listening now. Recommend to those who like historically based mysteries,or vampire lore as opposed to vampire horror. I liked all the voices. Pacing is flawless. While at times I became impatient with the level of detail, for the most part thought it was necessary to set the scene, tone, or context. Beautifully done overall.
Riveting historical fiction.
None comes to mind.
I liked when it would transition between the female and male speaking parts, with the male voice beginning to speak and the female voice saying
Yes, I did want to push on through but I also loved that it was long enough that I could listen to on my commute for most of the month.
Many books play okay as an audiobook but this one was as if it was written specifically to be an audiobook. I can't really describe how, just I attempted to read this book a couple years ago but got only in a few chapters before I lost interest. As an audiobook it came to life and I know I will be listening to this one over and over for years to come.
This was an amazing book to read - one of my favorites. The audio version is very well done, no hiccups or anything. Definitely worth the money to get this. I have loved the book ever since I bought it, and now I can take it to work with me, rather than sit in silence.
Good, interminable, retrospective
I enjoyed the historical view of the author and it gives you a different take on Vlad Dracula.
I enjoyed Helen, she is strong, and smart.
I think the relationship between Rossi and Helen's mother was heartbreaking and beautiful.
This story was drawn out in parts and because of this fact I expected a more conclusive ending. I bought this book and put it down several times, thank goodness for Audible, I downloaded it and listened everyday on my way to work. The narrator's really helped the story to move along. All in all it was worth the story and I am glad I listened.
I try not to read too much about the books I listen to before I purchase them - so often times I end up having no idea what the book is actually about going into it... This has lead me into TWO "dracula" books this past year! The first one was Justin Cronin's The Passage - OMG! Run - don't walk - to get that book! I'm so excited because that is scheduled to be a trilogy! But I digress...
The Historian was also a "dracula" book that I didn't know about before listening to it. Not as good as The Passage - but delicious in and of itself... The book was a little long and it did take me a while to get through it... But I enjoyed the ride.
I always try to buy the longest books with my credits - so I get those for less - and then I purchase the shorter titles I want at the discounted cost. I got The Historian because it was so long - but it wasn't one that I couldn't stop listening to - like previous titles. So it took me some time to get through it and I had to keep coming back to it in between actually reading two other books (of which one was - The Hunger Games - which was utterly amazing!)
But the actors were very delightful and kept me interested. The book was bogged down in a ton of history - hence the historian - I suppose - so if you don't enjoy a lot of facts and lessons then this book is not for you.
The story was good and the ending wasn't a let-down (as I find most good books' endings are)... so I would recommend it... with the caveat that it is long and sometimes difficult to stay with - but totally worth the time investment.
The performance of this audiobook is fantastic and the story premise is really interesting, but it is so long its like being stuck in a loop. Over and over they repeat and review the same information. So much explaining of everything. The story loses momentum over and over again because there is just too much exposition. I get that this is historical fiction and learning the history in this book is fascinating, but it reads more like a college thesis at times than a novel. Just too long. You could fast forward through about 1/3 of the middle and barely miss any plot.
I liked it. It is a wonderful book, true to the spirit of Stoker's Dracula, with embellishments. The Stoker's book was all about Victorian middle-class society with intense secret dreads and fears, dark folk tales, wolves in the night, respectable and repressed deep emotions with strict social mores and above all epistles. It was formal and 'correct', and very late 19th century atmosphere (fog, mysterious darkness, creepy cities and lonely villages, full of quasi-scientific and academic quality reasoning and research into vague, barely understood new discoveries. I've read Stoker's book many many times simply because I adore the style. Kostova has captured that tone and voice to perfection. If a book could have progeny, then this is Stoker's book Dracula's grandchild. It is very long, and I loved every word of it. I am aware of the haters, and I concede most of their complaints. I don't care. Even though the book passed through many countries, many types of letters and manuscripts, several point-of-view narrators and many time-lines, I was enthralled and eager to follow the paper trail these brave civilian academics set down in true historian/librarian professional research methodology as they heroically sought the most dastardly evil monster that walked for 500 years! (sound of heart beating slowly and darkly, which come to think of it, actually should be the short description of this book) : ) But seriously, I really liked this book. While it is obviously a copy of Stoker's style (in my opinion, a virtuoso performance by the writer), it veers into the world of university professors, specifically history scholars, who use librarian research methods and scientific doctrines in order to discover and solve mysteries from centuries in the past. This particular search is given horror-driven impetus due to Dracula being its subject, and as the story progresses, severe danger to our heroes. The horrors of living under Communism, which is clearly a noir existence even when benign, is touched upon in passing, but the horrors of the Ottoman Empire in warfare as well as of the eastern European autocrat leadership are equally exposed. Eastern European Communism had rather horrific parentage too.
Suspence, Travel, Mystery
The beginning, when the girl finds the diary, as it starts the whole plot line.
They all Fit the book so well. They make you feel it. I felt the characters come alive, and came to know them well.
I would have, but it was too long. I didn't want to put it down, yet I didn't want it to end either.
I highly recomend this book. I would not have normally been interested in the topic, so don't let that dissuade you. This book is now one of my favorites, and I will listen to it again, and again!
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