Monday, August 20, 2012

Kernel's Library: The Lighter Side of Count Dracula

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Book 00028: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- The Historian

First Publication:
- 14 June 2005 by Little Brown

- The Historian has been heavily marketed by its publisher, Time Warner, and much hype was given to it prior to its release. Moreover, Kostova was paid an advance of $2 million.
- Columbia Pictures and Red Wagon Productions has optioned this novel for a movie adaptaion.

- University of Michigan's Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress
- New York Times bestseller
- 2006 Book Sense "Book of the Year" in the Adult Fiction
- 2007 Dublin Impac Award Nominee
- Quill Award (Debut Author of the Year, 2005)
- International Horror Guild Nominee (Novel, 2005)
- 500 Great Books for Teens
- Telegraph's "100 Best Books Since 1982"
- Wyvernfriend's "2007 Impac Award Nominees"

Spine-tingling tales are quite not easy to make, but they are easy to read. I appreciate the writers who have the talent to make readers shiver that has nothing to do with the cold. These writers are the ones that could stir our nightmares and fears. One of these writers is Elizabeth Kostova, the author of The Historian, which is the reason of my one-time week-long sleepless nights.

The Historian is a tale of a young woman who searches around Europe for her missing father, who took on the challenge of locating the grave of Vlad the Impaler (the bloodthirsty feudal lord who inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula"). She must use all her resources to achieve her goals and even a slew of bloodsuckers would not stop her.

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge 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 inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed -- and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions -- and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers -- 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 relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.

Chatters -- shiver me timbers!

Grade: A+