Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Historian

I still have fond memories of the first time I read Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's a stunning piece of work, and even though it was originally published in 1897, it's still an excellent read today, over a century later.

I enjoy reading gothic horror, but it's not a category that gets much attention these days. So when I start hearing quite a bit of pre-release buzz about The Historian, I was very interested.

It was released last week and the buzz was correct--it's a terrific book. It's Elizabeth Kostova's first novel, amazingly, and she writes with a tremendous amount of imagination. It's a real pleasure to have a new Dracula novel to read, particularly one that is so ingenious and inventive. She's also able to sustain a story for over six hundred pages without running out of steam--I read the last hundred pages in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down.

Without tipping the story, I'll just say that she takes the Dracula legend and infuses it with the kind of intellectual detective story that made The Da Vinci Code so interesting. And she is a far, far better writer than Dan Brown.

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