Book Review of The Historian

The Historian
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The Historian surprised me! I was pulled in by others' descriptions of it being a vampire novel that had not succumbed to high-school fantasy. And I must say, it was actually scary. At no point does Dracula ever stop being anything than completely terrifying.

I found the details in the book to be marvelously well-researched (or, I don't know enough about the tops to have detected errors). As a rehabilitated academic myself (biology), I loved the descriptions of research methods and visiting archives - all back in an era where a researcher must physically visit a library. There were other unexpectedly rich layers of details: life in Communist Hungary, the lunch and dinner spreads in Istanbul, and descriptions of medieval book-making.

My only criticism of the book is that it is only truly scary for about a 100 page swath. After that, the tension descends to a much lower level of a mystery novel. This might have been a good thing, since I read it every night. Either way, I couldn't put it down and I'm now passing it around to my friends.