The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova Unfortunately, the best things I took from this book involve spoilers and ideas stolen from my Book Club fellows.

So if you really want to read on and haven't read the book, I don't want to hear about it. You've be forewarned.


The idea of Dracula as an intellectual collecting the world's most expansive library is a fascinating twist. To take a character as synonymous with brutality and barbarism as Vlad the Impaler and turning himself into a work of academia was intriguing. Additionally, Kostov's expansive research shows through her ability to convey the vampire myth seen from various perspectives. I especially thought her Turkish perspective of the Anti-Ottoman Transylvanian was a creative approach.

Now for the bad. The writing seemed to indulge in itself just for the sake in expressing detail. Clearly, the novel is a canvas for Kostova to paint MFA in large letters. Additionally, her attempt to incorporate the narrative of the daughter into her father's historical retelling ends up flat. It seemed to have potential as a literary device, but ultimately just seemed to provide awkward intermissions toward the end.

Finally, I just hated the end. To spend hundreds of pages building up suspense and discovery to end the book with the equivalent of:
"Holy Shit! Dracula!"
"Good, he's dead. That was close."

I felt that given the investment of the book by the reader (and much more so by Kostova) we both deserved a bit more.