Friday, September 30, 2005

Currently Reading...

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova.

I picked up the book because it has been on the best-seller list of many newspapers for a while and I was curious. It's a big book (over 600 pages); the story mixes several eras and spans a large chunk of Eastern Europe. It deals with a much beaten up subject: Dracula, as a man and as a vampire, mixing up real history with legend.

Kostova's historical research of Dracula as a legend and of the history of Eastern Europe, from the days of the Ottoman empire to the late 70s is as impressive as her writing skills are mundane. The ending is also a lose-lose situation: will Dracula live or die? Either way, the solution is implausible and cannot help but disappoint.

After finishing The Historian, I was left not with the satisfaction of a great story, or the awe for a great writer, but with a sense that I learned an incredible amount of the history of Eastern Europe. If only for that, it was worth the read.

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