Burngreave Reading Group

‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova

On Monday 14th May 2007 at 1.30pm at Burngreave Library, Spital Hill, the Burngreave Reading Group will be discussing ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova, an exciting re-telling of the Dracula story.

Copies of the book are available to borrow from the library now. Everyone welcome! For more information, please call Alena at Burngreave Library on 0114 203 9002.

Amazon.co.uk Review of ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova

Some stories can be told again in endlessly different ways. Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian combines a search for the historical Dracula with a profound sense that Stoker got some things right--that the late Mediaeval tyrant kills among us yet, undead and dangerous. From Stoker, she also takes a sense that the supernatural seems more real when embedded in documentary evidence.

Three generations search for Dracula's resting place, and their stories are nested within each other, so that we know that at least two quests ended badly. Kostova rations her thrills very carefully so that we jump out of our chair at quite slight surprises, especially when we have come to expect buckets of blood and loud bangs. She also has a profound and well-communicated sense of place and period, so that the book is equally at home in 1930s Rumania, Cold War Budapest and 1970s Oxford. Kostova is particularly good on the sights and sounds of remote country places and the taste of real peasant food--this sensuous realism does not always go with her other skill, the creation of imagined documents and folksongs that feel as real and true as what might be actual.

Burngreave Book Group 'The Historian'
1:30pm to 2:30pm Monday 14 May 2007

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