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The Historian Audiobook

The Historian

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Publisher's Summary

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

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

What the Critics Say

  • 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year, Adult Fiction

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3703 )
5 star
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4.0 (2000 )
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Story
4.3 (1983 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas Colorado, USA 06-02-09
    Thomas Colorado, USA 06-02-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    239
    ratings
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    256
    9
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    Overall
    "A great listen - my favorite book in years!"

    This is a phenomenal story. I read a book or two a week and listen to audiobooks hours every day and this is my favorite book in years. A thinking person's horror story. If you are a history or literature buff, you should check this out. If you somehow have missed it this long, do yourself a favor - listen to it! Read it! Do both, I did!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CF 456 Titusville, FL 05-03-09
    CF 456 Titusville, FL 05-03-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Loved it"

    Completely different from what I was expecting. kinda of like a toned down DaVinci Code only with the Dracula myth. It helps if you're pretty familiar with Dracula. Also, i LOVED the narrators! I loved that there was a female and a Male!! Brilliant

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Glade Spring, VA, United States 01-17-09
    Matthew Glade Spring, VA, United States 01-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    200
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Long, but good"

    I enjoyed The Historian,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. walsh 01-06-09
    C. walsh 01-06-09 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    2
    Overall
    "Too much detail"

    Interesting premise, but overly long and an expected ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Galena, IL, USA 10-20-08
    Diane Galena, IL, USA 10-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    8
    2
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    Overall
    "Great!"

    This was a great book! I listened to it with my 10-year old son and we both were glued to it. Very fast paced and easy to understand. Great characters and suspense.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Clifton, VA, USA 10-03-08
    Lisa Clifton, VA, USA 10-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    11
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "The Twins Audio Review"

    We loved the blend of history and suspense! The climax was a little disappointing, but overall a fantastic listen!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Cookeville, TN, USA 08-08-08
    Andy Cookeville, TN, USA 08-08-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
    "Very Entertaining"

    Not a vampire prototype. Great story well told with interesting narration. I may listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Eagan, MN, United States 06-09-08
    Steve Eagan, MN, United States 06-09-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
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    53
    32
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    3
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    Overall
    "Heavy sigh"

    I am a huge fan of vampire fiction. Dracula gave me nightmare's for years. I liked this book as it unfolded but the ending was by far the cheapest way to end any book in my opinion. I was angry at the shoddy wrap up and felt incredibly cheated. Shame on the author for doing that. It's like ending a tremendous war against the undead evil with a spray bottle full of holy water. I couldn't wait to delete this from my library.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Osceola, WI, USA 03-20-08
    Patricia Osceola, WI, USA 03-20-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    57
    3
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    Overall
    "Very Long"

    This book is so long that I overlooked the download of part 4. I'm surprised that it has kept my interest, because it kind of drones on and on (and on), but then has some real excitement. But for the most part, it has been good listening. If you are looking for something lively, however, skip this. Be ready for endless descriptions of old cities and events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Toney, AL, USA 11-28-07
    Wendy Toney, AL, USA 11-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    3
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    Overall
    "Lots of History, Little Action"

    I was really excited about this book but it turns out to be an immense amount of content for very little action. Props to Kostova on the intricate historical background, but this book is alot like Bram Stoker's Dracula in the fact that most of the book is spent talking about Dracula and he only ends up in 2 or 3 chapters out of 70-something. I also found the ending kinda weak.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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