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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.
Very well written, and a great story.
Also, while some of the information was interesting, parts of the novel went on too long and didn't seem to contribute much to the general plot.
I couldn't put this book down for the first 150 pages, but then as the story wore on I found myself having a hard time wanting to read on.
I have read this book many times and decided to add a digital version to my library. It is well written and gives a glimpse into Europe and it's history. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Debbie fire
Chock full of history of an area about which I was unfamiliar. Good suspense, well written and worth the time for such a long book.Published 7 days ago by Sandra K. Moody
Got it fast and in perfect shape. It's a really great book a for sure must readPublished 13 days ago by heidi medlock