Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Historian

Woah, I really took a long time to finish this book. It's a really thick book (but I got it for 300yen, so I guess in a price-per-page it may be one of the cheapest books I bought) and I've developed the bad habit of reading a few books at a time. So I read this book only in bits and pieces (but it's actually a book where you should read in one go. It's a slow book where you enjoy it more the longer you read it).

But anyway, The Historian is a novel set in a few time periods (all post-WWII though) and centres around Dracula.

The true beauty of this book though, would be it's description of places. I've never been to Eastern Europe but this book made me feel as though I was there. I was particularly interested in the description of Bulgaria, because I have classmates from Bulgaria now. After reading this, I really want to visit the Easter European countries one day. Take a "grand-tour" like how the nobility used to do.

Plot-wise, it was rather slow and sometimes confusing. The plot is told through three perspectives, the un-named girl protagonist/narrator, her father's recollection, and a bunch of letters. So essentially, there are three sub-plots that add up to one main plot in this story. There's also no way of telling when the point-of-view would shift (although the letters are very kindly italicised), so sometimes, I got confused as to who was telling the story now.

After you get the hang of it though, the story is interesting (but slow). The idea of a Dracula that is also a scholar, and by linking it to the actual Vlad, is a fairly original concept. I think, I'm not sure since I've been over-whelmed with the latest trend of YA paranormal fiction.

In fact, you should read this book as an antidote to the latest version of vampires. (I would say read Dracula, but I never made it past the first page. And barely finished the comic book version :p).

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