|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you are going to have your book close to 700 pages you should really have a decent payoff for putting that much time into it. Read morePublished 1 day ago by James Brundirks
A thorough and well-composed work. This novel beautifully captures the magic of folklore and historical fact; combined to create the everlasting legend of one of the most infamous... Read morePublished 2 days ago by brookenmurphy
I was spellbound from the start. superbly written with a suspenseful grace that keeps you wanting more. the settings of the story make it all the more interesting. Read morePublished 3 days ago by LZ
Loved the historical aspect of this vampire tale. The author really put a lot of thought and detail into this novel.Published 8 days ago by Rebecca Kenny
First, Ms. Kostova builds suspense as few can do it. Secondly, if you have lived in any of the places she describes, you know she is imbued with their charms and offers them on a... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Susan G. Beck
There were many things I liked about this book. The narrative was interesting and I enjoyed the many perspectives. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rebecca E.
I wanted to give this five stars, but had to drop one. For such a long, long book, and all the details involved, I felt actually a bit short-changed at the ending. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rick Henry