Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s one of those books I’ve read several times. I actually love to do that with books I love. Reread it after a few years. So, I thought there couldn’t be a better title to start my Culture Tourist Book Club, than with the review of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian.
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian Review
The Historian is a book that combines a few genres. It has elements of a travelogue, historical fiction, thriller and a bit of a horror, too. The author is using a real historical person, Vlad Tepes, known in popular culture as the Count Dracula. She’s creating the story that spans from his life in the 15th century to the generations of researchers that are trying to find his grave in the 20th and 21st century.
Her characters are travelling around Europe during the 1950s, 1970s and 2000s. The way she’s describing European cities and small villages, especially in different time periods was one of my favourite parts of the book.
What Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian is about?
The story starts in Amsterdam, where the narrator lives with her father. He tells her the story about his mentor at the university, who, after finding an old book with an image of a dragon in it, mysteriously disappears. While looking for his mentor and a friend, he encounters numerous interesting characters, meets the narrator’s mother, ends up in many dangerous situations and travels around Europe in search for the owner of the book, who ends up to be the Dracula himself.
After telling her just half of the story, the narrator’s father disappears as well only leaving a note, he’s going to look for her long-gone mother. Being deeply intrigued by the story her father told her, and sure to know where her dad went, she starts her own journey to find him.
What’s so great about The Historian?
Elizabeth Kostova worked on this book for ten years. And after you read it, you’ll understand why. She researched the historical events and people in details. The author also travelled around Europe herself, and have described the places she’s mentioning in the book minutely.
All of her characters are historians or scholars, and they are spending a lot of their time researching at the libraries or archives. Reading about the old books, inscriptions or documents they are finding is going to be a treat for any bookworm.
She even went so far to create some fictional medieval documents The Historian protagonists are reading in a book. And as a historian myself, I can tell you they sound really authentic.
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian review score
This is a book for any history enthusiast with a strong wanderlust. It’s well researched and beautifully written. For all of that, it’s getting 10/10 score at the Culture Tourist Book Club.
Where can you get the book?
Or look for it at your local library. But, trust me, it’s a classic you’d like to have at home all the time.