Saturday

Giveaway: The Historian

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If your pulse flutters at the thought of castle ruins and descents into crypts by moonlight, you will savor every creepy page of Elizabeth Kostova's long but beautifully structured thriller The Historian. The story opens in Amsterdam in 1972, when a teenage girl discovers a medieval book and a cache of yellowed letters in her diplomat father's library. The pages of the book are empty except for a woodcut of a dragon. The letters are addressed to: "My dear and unfortunate successor." When the girl confronts her father, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, twenty years earlier, in a search for his graduate school mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding to Paul his certainty that Dracula--Vlad the Impaler, an inventively cruel ruler of Wallachia in the mid-15th century--was still alive. The story turns out to concern our narrator directly because Paul's collaborator in the search was a fellow student named Helen Rossi (the unacknowledged daughter of his mentor) and our narrator's long-dead mother, about whom she knows almost nothing. And then her father, leaving just a note, disappears also.

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.


This is the first review I ever posted... don't laugh, it's one of those one paragraph one's - short and to the point. [review]


GIVEAWAY: Thanks to Hachette, I have 5 copies up for grabs.

As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Saturday, October 31.

65 comments:

DharmaMeetsDogma said...

Fantastc. As someone whose family is from the Carpathian Mt region, I have been intrigued since I was little with stories and "histories" of the area. Very well written review.

Marjorie said...

The review of this book sounds very good, please count me in for
this great giveaway.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I've been hearing fabulous things about this book! It's on my wishlist!

+ follower

melacan at hotmail dot com

K. R. said...

Count me in please! I follow.

kiris089@gmail.com

elaing8 said...

please enter me in the giveaway
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

I'm a follower
and follow you on twitter

elaing8(at)netscaape(dot)net

Amy said...

Sounds great! Please enter me and I am a follower!
Amy J
djsfoxylady@gmail.com

Haleyknitz said...

this sounds awesome! enter me please!

i am a follower
i posted at twitter.com/haleymathiot
and i posted at http://haleymathiot.blogspot.com/2009/10/contests.html

haleymathiot at yahoo dot com

Melissa said...

Please enter me in the contest.
I am a follower

melissa@gingerhigh.com

Virginia C said...

Imagine discovering that one of your anscestors is the legendary mass-murderer, Vlad the Impaler "aka" Dracula!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Virginia C said...

I am a Google Friend Connect Follower.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

edmontonjb said...

This book sounds fantastic. Count me in!
dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

Between Library Shelves said...

So I have been wanting this book for a bit, so it is nice to see it in a giveaway. So sure thing, please let me enter.

leann.luckett@gmail.com

Between Library Shelves said...

I am a follower.

leann.luckett@gmail.com

Amy said...

This book souns wonderfull creepy and the characters sound so interesting! Please include me in your giveaway!

Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

I'm a follower of your blog!

Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

I tweeted this giveaway :

http://twitter.com/Amestir/status/4776657209

Aimala127@gmail.com/

Anonymous said...

Read many good reviews...please count me in...thanks.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I'm a follower :)'

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Andrea said...

Please enter me
andie.v107(at)yahoo(dot)com

Katy said...

I've been trying to decide if I want to read this book or not for the longest time. Enter me in the drawing and if I win, I'll give it a shot. LOL

Beth (BBRB) said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth (BBRB) said...

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

I Heart Book Gossip said...

Please count me in.

+1 Follower
+1 Posted on blog

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Linna said...

I've heard a lot about this book, but haven't got any chance to read it. Please do enter me.

+1 follower

linna.hsu at gmail dot com

Crystal said...

I read the review and thought it was great - sometimes one paragraph will do especially when it's well-done.

Please enter me - I've been wanting to read this.

I'm a follower by email and twitter.

crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

Karen H in NC said...

I think I would enjoy reading this book. Add me to the draw please.

kkhaas AT bellsouth DOT net

Karen H in NC said...

+1 I am a follower

kkhaas AT bellsouth DOT net

Sarah said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah said...

I am a Google follower.

I subscribe to your RSS feed.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Indigo said...

I think I would be enthralled to discover I was related to the likes of Vlad the Impaler. What a great subject to bring up at dinner parties. Kidding. Still sounds like a great read. Please include me in this drawing. Thanks! Indigo

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

roxxyroller said...

I would LOVE to win this!! Please enter me into the giveaway, thanks!!

roxxyroller(at)hotmail(dot)com

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

roxxyroller said...

I Subscribe to your RSS feed

roxxyroller(at)hotmail(dot)com

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

roxxyroller said...

I tweeted!!

http://twitter.com/coolcanucks/status/4851002963

roxxyroller(at)hotmail(dot)com

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

roxxyroller said...

I own CoolCanucks.ca, which is a Canadian Contest and Freebie site. This giveaway is shared here:

http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/25911-bookwormy-girl-historian-book-giveaway-oct31-canada

roxxyroller(at)hotmail(dot)com

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

Victoria said...

I'd love to read this!
Thank you!
victoriah40@yahoo.com

Victoria said...

I'm a follower!

victoriah40@yahoo.com

enyl said...

As a historian, Ilove reading mysteries that include historians and archeologists.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

Tracey said...

I would enjoy reading this book.
traymona[at]aol.com

Lindsay's Photographys said...

I would LOVE to win this!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D


-Lindsay


lindsay15photo@gmail.com

Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a most interesting book. Please enter me. walkerd@primus.ca

Sarah said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5160392604

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

(I previously posted on Oct 13)

Anonymous said...

I've read so much about this book, I'd love to win it. walkermisc@primus.ca

pixie13 said...

Sounds like a good book. Count me in, please. Thanks!
Follower

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

Renee G said...

Would love to read this. It sounds quite interesting.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Count me in. walkermisc@primus.ca

~The Book Pixie said...

I would really love to win this book for my mom!

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

~The Book Pixie said...

+1 follower

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

~The Book Pixie said...

+1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/thebookpixie/status/5305374867

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

~The Book Pixie said...

+1 Sidebar: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the chance to win The Historian!
All the best,
RKCharron
:)
PS - Email's in Blogger Profile

MUM said...

I would really love to win this book! It sounds great.

Marie
utah91960[at]yahoo[dot]com

MUM said...

+1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/utah91960/status/5306302246

Marie
utah91960[at]yahoo[dot]com

cherdon said...

After reading your review, I would love to be entered in this giveaway. Thanks so much.


cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

I tweeted

http://twitter.com/iamcherdon/status/5315021070

cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

I posted this giveaway on Facebook

username is cheryl hodgkins

url to post

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?

cherdon@sympatico.ca

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

I follow your blog


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

Facebook fan - Belinda M

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/



bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

I follow on twitter as Prairiebelle


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

zealandsmom said...

I would LOVE to win this!

zealandsmom said...

follow on twitter:)

zealandsmom said...

Facebook request!

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