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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 (261 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Professor Hardcore 12-22-16 Member Since 2013
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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
  •  
    Jason Lopez (Avid Buyer and Reader) 09-19-17 Member Since 2014
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    "By a Historian for a Historian"
    What did you love best about The Historian?

    The vivid pictures of eastern European landscapes and cultures was amazing. Many people are very familiar with Western Europe but the focus on Byzantine, Ottoman and early to medieval Easter Europe was fantastic. I could plan a trip to Europe just using the locations in the story!


    What other book might you compare The Historian to and why?

    I might compare this to The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. It's definitely a story for a reader that loves history and enjoys a story with lots of development. If I had to, I'd say it's like a mix of DaVinci Code, Moby Dick and Dracula.


    What does Justine Eyre and Paul Michael bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well, I don't have a narrators voice in my head so that, in and of itself, is a big plus. Not to mention the different characters each does, they are done well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it's a very procedural book with light peaks throughout the story and a big, Moby Dick-like, ending.


    Any additional comments?

    There are mixed reviews on this book and while I understand some of the negative ones, it's very important that a reader know that this is primarily almost a work of historical fiction based around a supernatural set of events. The events being investigated are NOT the focus of the story as much as the investigation and surrounding mystery are. You should be prepared to hear a lot about history, tons about historical sites and some about vampires. All that said, I LOVED it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Bell 07-01-17
    Andrew Bell 07-01-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Good, but not great"

    Alright story, plods along for a while before the suspense ramps up, and then it's like someone holding a gun to you and a flag comes out with "bang" written on it. It's not the worst thing, but the ending leaves a lot to be desired for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya M. Spiegel Miami, Florida 05-27-17
    Tanya M. Spiegel Miami, Florida 05-27-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Extremely well done"

    What a well done intensely interesting book. From beginning to the end it is deeply engrossing. Loved the in depth history of the whole thing. Who knew? Not a Dracula person but found this book very interesting from the well written weaving of history into the story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-27-17
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    "If you like history, then you will like this book."

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the detail that was put into the descriptions of things. I am a huge history buff so I enjoyed this book immensely. At times it can be slow however it does pick up towards the end and I couldn't stop listen to the last 12 hrs. Both narrators did brilliant. I would recommend this book to people that enjoy history!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence 04-08-17
    Lawrence 04-08-17

    Old VDubs

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    "Overly long"

    The book is twice as long as it needed to be. There are lots of plot twists that go no where. The writer obviously researched the Balkans or knows it from personal experience and that really is what holds the story together. I bought this as a recommended book an that was a mistake. There just is too much story that goes no where and has made a fascinating concept ... into a bad soap opera.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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