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I tried several times to read this book. But kept getting confused in the different layers of the story. The audio book is great and much easier to follow. The story itself, I was a little disappointed with. It starts well but soon becomes very cliche.
This is one of my top three books for the last 5 years. I read it about a year ago and was entranced by it so when I saw it as an audio, I had to listen to it as well. The audio production is excellent, maybe the best I have come across so far.
It is really hard to explain to someone who has not read it. The Historian is is not a horror story but it is about vampires. It is set across Europe with wonderful characters and descriptions. The story subtly builds up tension as it replays the lives of father and daughter who are fascinated to the extent of becoming addicted to the mysteries surrounding Vlad the Impaler, a middle European tyrant who fought invaders five centuries ago and managed to dispose of a fair proportion of his own people along the way. As they chase the trail he left in manuscripts and maps in cities across Europe and they delve deeper, strange things start to happen and suspense rises in this beautifully written and well read audio book
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Being enamored of novels with historical underpinnings, I decided to ignore some of the rather negative reviews and take a chance on this. And the historical elements in the story really are great.
But, to begin with, I do have a really bad problem with novels that depend heavily on epistolary segments that sound exactly like a normal 1st person narrative. People don't write letters that read like prose narrative. I understand the homage paid to Stoker in the author's choice of this form, but it only works if the letters SOUND like letters and the diaries SOUND like diary entries.
The next thing I found very irritating was that the conflicts in the plot depend so heavily on the ploy of a lack of information caused by a person who keeps finding it 'just too difficult/painful/tragic/horrific to relay.
I also had a very hard time with the main young female character's voice in the narrative. She sounded consistently far older than her years. I don't mean the female narrator's voice - that was fine. I mean the written voice of the character. In her portions of the story, she seems mentally about the same age as her father.
Finally, I got very frustrated when the writer kept insisting things were 'horrific', 'terrifying', and 'unfathomable' when they're actually not. Please don't tell me it's horrible. Show me that it's horrible - and make sure it actually IS.
I have to concur with some of the other reviews: I really didn't enjoy the production. One good reader would have been far more effective. It's not that any one of them were particularly bad narrators. They were all fine.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I chose The Historian on an impulse. It is quite the best audiobook I have downloaded from Audible. The story is largely built around a series of letters and stories from the characters and this format works really well especially given the range of narrators. It gripped me within the first 10 minutes and I have listened at every possible opportunity. The tale is quite dark but given its subject is not particulary frightening. It is however wonderfully written. If you are unsure whether to choose this as your next listen, my recommendation is 'go for it.'
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
One of the most enjoyable things about vampire books is the history that comes with them. A dark and twisted vampire story at its best. Really enjoyable with suspense at every turn.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful