he Historian is a strange little (actually, quite big) novel, one that wanders through many voices (in the form of a father’s letters, a mother’s postcards, old love letters, even doomed scrawlings secured in a crypt) to eventually get around to telling a story horrifying in nature and long in telling. Look, don’t get me wrong – it’s a good read but it’s long in the effort. If you think you’re going to know what’s happening any time soon, you’ve another thing coming.
Without giving too much away, we begin the story with the unnamed daughter of a gun-for-hire (it seems) independent diplomat who has discovered a strange bundle of letters within a stranger book in her father’s shelves. And this opens a story that is told (simultaneously) across three main timelines (as well as dozens of historical references), guaranteed to leave you confused at times with just who is speaking (the friend who recommended this said the audio was easier – different voices). So, yes, you’ll need to work on this to get anywhere.
And here it comes – Count Dracula is actually, possibly and conceivably alive.
And he is even now slowly working his plans against the sleeping world, placing his agents, watching scholars, seeking those of extraordinary natures, corrupting them to his dark will.
Or maybe he isn’t. That’s the beauty of this novel – I wasn’t sure if the main character (Paul, the girl’s father) was the victim of a sinister and impossible plot, or just a nutjob. And finally, when I couldn’t make up my mind (and I’d written my thoughts on where the book was going to my friend who’d placed it in my hands), boom, there is that plot point that confirms everything (and proved me so comically wrong). And then the chase is on, as they say, spanning across monastery-dotted France to the exotic streets of Istanbul to the silent forests of Transylvania (and all the little states surrounding it). It’s all scenery porn and sinister (or stalwart) characters who array on the sides of light and darkness, all rushing towards a conclusion that will satisfy the most Twilight of readers. But yes, you’ll need to work on this one – it’s a long page-run to the payoff. But it’s very, very worth it.