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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.

Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions - and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers - one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.

©2008 Elizabeth Kostova (P)2016 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (308 )
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4.5 (277 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Professor Hardcore 12-22-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling!"

    Listened to it pretty much straight through. Great performance! I read it earlier and this was the second audio go for me (last was on CDs about ten years ago). Still great!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianna 01-01-17
    Dianna 01-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Maybe the best book I have ever listened to!"

    Beyond excellent!!!!!
    Very creatively written!
    Well grounded in history with a flair of fiction. Truly a work of art!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Crubel 10-23-16
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    "it was ok"

    It seemed to go on too long and somewhat predictable. narration was good. just ok.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 09-21-16
    Michelle 09-21-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing!"

    Great story, great characters . Great narrator. It was a long read, but kept you entertained the whole way thru without dull spots. Very good!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smee Too 05-23-17
    Smee Too 05-23-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Subtle monsters, rich story"

    I am not sure what was more intense- the monster or the search for him.

    Enjoyed this book quite a lot. Will listen to it again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RealWoman8 11-21-17
    RealWoman8 11-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Disappointing ending, otherwise excellent"

    I'll try to write this without giving away any spoilers. I started reading The Historian years ago when it first came out and put it aside for some reason. So when I saw the audio version was available, I decided to give it a go. The narrators did a great job, and the writing is beautiful, with gorgeous attention to detail. I was totally pulled into the story and the development of the characters. Unfortunately, I feel like the author didn't quite know what to do with her creation at the end and we had an abrupt and unsatisfying denouement with the Dracula thread. The entire book leads up to meeting Dracula, and as soon as we're given a glimpse of his character... Well, let's just say I was disappointed with the way it all wrapped up. It's quite a long listen at about 24 hours, and I do wish the payoff had been better conceived, but maybe that's just me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Fox 11-16-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A drag"

    I absolutely struggled to finish this one. I love all things historical but this just dragged and dragged on. When the main antagonist's motivation was finally revealed, I was in awe at how ridiculous it was. The excellent performances couldn't make up for the lame plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 11-16-17
    James 11-16-17 Member Since 2014
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    "my favorite book"

    love this book. probably the best I have ever read, and listened to it again to revisit the story.
    must lusten

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 11-10-17
    11-10-17 Member Since 2014
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    "A nice book with a predictable ending"

    The setting and cultures were enjoyable. However, the book moves slowly and has an extremely predictable ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Amersfoort, Netherlands 10-29-17
    Amazon Customer Amersfoort, Netherlands 10-29-17
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    "Brilliant existing!! "

    What a book! I loved it and every moment in it!
    Such a different angel and existing!
    Thank you

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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