Elizabeth Kostova's 'The Historian' ... Author tried too hard





It usually can't be said that an author is trying to do too much with a book. These days, writers manufacture manuscripts at super-phonic speeds.

Reading books by big name authors like James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Dean Koontz, and Patricia Cornwell can be like springtime: It's beautiful while it lasts, but then you have to wait through the whole year again for decent weather. And popular books are always fast reads.
An anomaly titled The Historian appeared on fiction best-seller lists in 2006. Written by Elizabeth Kostova, this historical horror novel holds a heavy 600 pages. It isn't a fast read at all.

And with all the time, trees, and ink that went into producing The Historian, an optimistic reader might hope it at least contained compelling characters or an intriguing plot. Unfortunately, those wishes would be wasted. Kostova just tried to do too much with one book.
The Historian is about three historians, who seek to prove Vlad Dracula is undead and well in the 20 th century. Several European scholars aid the historians' quest to uncover Dracula's true legacy.

But sinister forces (represented most accurately by bloodsucking librarians) also threaten the heroes throughout their quest across time and the far reaches of Eastern Europe. By seeking Dracula's origins, the historians hope to find the secret to ending his unholy reign.
Kostova should get credit for trying to make a palatable genre stew with The Historian. She includes thrills, mysteries, histories, romances, adventures, and horrors all in one plot.


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