Sunday, 6 April 2008


AUTHOR: Elizabeth Kostova


DATE READ: April 2008

NOTES: A re-working of the Dracula myth in a 20th century setting. Told through three narrators: Professor Rossi, Paul, his student and an unnamed sixteen year old girl who is Paul’s daughter. It is very intriguing at the beginning of the book but I soon got bogged down with all the detail that was included in this huge book. The author obviously did lots of research but was unable to discard any of it as being superfluous. We were also given lots in information that we really didn’t need to know – such as a description of every interior and of every meal eaten. This all slowed down the narrative and made the book very unwieldy.

The three narrators were not differentiated – all had a similar “voice”. But we do lots of travelling in the course of the 700 pages: USA, Oxford, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Hungary, France….. For gothic novel it lacked any real feelings of horror or evil. She attempted to link the powers of Dracula with Stalin and other East European leaders but this was all a bit feeble. Found I was turning the pages because I wanted to get to the end, not because I was desperate to find out what happened.

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