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Archive for the ‘9/10’ Category

3WVDR8CANC7VP4CA820TRWCAXN5J9ACAMPKS4KCAOXP702CAM9AWZMCA5NCKX3CAQN1F6ZCASBR28YCA2ORP7GCANX1D46CAE1VNOHCA239225CAT3KF1TCA4XVBORCA763SZPCAD2CGYECAQHWUS3CAUA8QUIVampires seem to be everywhere today. From Twilight to True Blood to the new show Vampire Diaries. I’m not sure why we are fascinated with these dark creatures. Is it their eternal life or that they never age? Or is it that they exist outside the morals of society? Whatever it is – clearly our interest is continuing to spawn many vampire books and movies. I haven’t been immune to this wave of vampire mania. I devoured the Twilight series in a weekend and have been making my way through the Sookie Stackhouse novels. As wonderful as those stories were they remained “lighter” fiction and not necessarily helping me to read more literary works.

So to my delight – I was given a copy of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Her first novel in which she explores the real man behind the folklore of Dracula. Her tale literally drags the reader throughout Europe from Amsterdam to France to Romania to Hungary and to Bulgaria. Although a vampire story – this is much less action packed. As the title implies this is a novel for the academically minded. Much of time is spent with the main characters poring over ancient manuscripts in monasteries or beautiful libraries. As a doctoral student, I found this aspect fascinating as it showed how history can come alive. The ancient people or cultures that we study are not far removed from us as we might have thought.

This book raises a lot of questions regarding knowledge and the power of books. They are shown to be tools to educate and illuminate but also can help promote tyranny and injustice. Libraries and collections of books are very central to the novel and it made me wonder how much can we tell about a person based on what books they read?

My rating for this book is a 9/10.

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