Stock Image

Historian, The

Kostova, Elizabeth

219,272 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0316730319 / ISBN 13: 9780316730310
Published by Little, Brown, London, United Kingdom, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Rascal Books (Kansas city, MO, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 16, 2003

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 43.38 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.25 Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Mylar protected. As new. Publisgers price sticker affixed. Bookseller Inventory # 001718

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Historian, The

Publisher: Little, Brown, London, United Kingdom

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: FLAT Signed by Author

Edition: First UK edition/First Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges 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 evil hidden in the depths of history. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, 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 captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.

Review:

If your pulse flutters at the thought of castle ruins and descents into crypts by moonlight, you will savor every creepy page of Elizabeth Kostova's long but beautifully structured thriller The Historian. The story opens in Amsterdam in 1972, when a teenage girl discovers a medieval book and a cache of yellowed letters in her diplomat father's library. The pages of the book are empty except for a woodcut of a dragon. The letters are addressed to: "My dear and unfortunate successor." When the girl confronts her father, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, twenty years earlier, in a search for his graduate school mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding to Paul his certainty that Dracula--Vlad the Impaler, an inventively cruel ruler of Wallachia in the mid-15th century--was still alive. The story turns out to concern our narrator directly because Paul's collaborator in the search was a fellow student named Helen Rossi (the unacknowledged daughter of his mentor) and our narrator's long-dead mother, about whom she knows almost nothing. And then her father, leaving just a note, disappears also.

As well as numerous settings, both in and out of the East Bloc, Kostova has three basic story lines to keep straight--one from 1930, when Professor Bartolomew Rossi begins his dangerous research into Dracula, one from 1950, when Professor Rossi's student Paul takes up the scent, and the main narrative from 1972. The criss-crossing story lines mirror the political advances, retreats, triumphs, and losses that shaped Dracula's beleaguered homeland--sometimes with the Byzantines on top, sometimes the Ottomans, sometimes the rag-tag local tribes, or the Orthodox church, and sometimes a fresh conqueror like the Soviet Union.

Although the book is appropriately suspenseful and a delight to read--even the minor characters are distinctive and vividly seen--its most powerful moments are those that describe real horrors. Our narrator recalls that after reading descriptions of Vlad burning young boys or impaling "a large family," she tried to forget the words: "For all his attention to my historical education, my father had neglected to tell me this: history's terrible moments were real. I understand now, decades later, that he could never have told me. Only history itself can convince you of such a truth." The reader, although given a satisfying ending, gets a strong enough dose of European history to temper the usual comforts of the closing words. --Regina Marler

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

INternet bookseller specializing in collectable signed first editions..

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Missouri residents will be charged 7.85% sales tax.

All items are subject to prior sale. Items are returnable within 7 days of receipt for any reason. Please notify us first.

Rascal, INC
P.O. Box 480601
Kansas City, MO 64148-0601

rascal1030@kc.rr.com

816 591/0389


Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal