Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Historian

The Historian is one of the most elegantly written works I’ve ever read. You can sense the classical influences, like Henry James. The narrative was fluid, transition between sections beautifully. I loved the different narrators, though it was all relayed through one person. Each voice was distinct and filled with the emotion of the specific character. I can completely see myself reading this again in the future.

It’s Dracula through history. I appreciated that the novel did not start out believing in Dracula or vampires or some kind of demon hunt. It started with the search of a daughter for her father, which became a search through history. Only through history is a belief in Vlad Dracula’s existence reached. It is gradual, not forced. I also enjoyed the Dracula-enriched historical perspective of the relationship between east and west.

When I first read what I thought was the end of their quest, I said to the book, you’re kidding! That’s how it ends? But after that violent family reunion, there is more than just tales of truth and apologies. There is a shock for us and the narrator. Now adult, she receives a calling for her own quest.

I want to know what happened with the narrator and Barley. Yes, they are both young when the story occurs, but she said that she loved him. After the final confrontation, he is accepted, in a way, into her family. Paul looks at him with fondness and shakes his hand. As an adult, she doesn’t mention him as being a part of her present life. I wonder if they ever tried to date, to be a “normal” couple. Of course, we’ll never know. Unless, Elizabeth Kostova decides to write a sequel. It seems to be a possibility, with certain aspects of the ending left open. We’ll just have to wait and see what new tale this writer creates.

We’ll also have to wait and see the movie! Sony bought the rights, so it’s in the works. I believe the producer is the same person who made Memoirs of a Geisha (which I adored). For updated information, check out The Historian fansite:
http://the-historian.net/ Let’s hope it’s as fantastic as the book.

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