As a Romanian-American writer, I’m somewhat allergic to books about vampires. The association between Romania and Dracula is a bit too close for comfort. In Romania, people don’t really care about the Dracula legend. Romanians take far more pride in the country’s rich tradition of art, poetry and literature (not to speak of gymnastics…). However, I make a notable exception for Elizabeth Kostova’s psychological thriller, The Historian, which will soon be released as a movie as well. This is not your usual vampire genre fiction. If you haven’t read this international best-seller because, like many of us, you’re getting tired of the saturation of vampire movies and fiction in our culture, then you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise with The Historian.
Written in exquisite literary prose, the novel excels at creating suspense from the craft of the narration itself and the strength of its characterizations. Step by step, readers become immersed in a labyrinthine historical investigation for the elusive, mythical figure of Dracula. Kostova transforms the classic literary theme of the vampire–one which is usually immersed in seedy seduction scenes and blood and gore in contemporary fiction–into what Bram Stoker’s original actually was: a suspenseful historical novel that traces a remote country’s mysterious past, where truth becomes inseparable from legend and fiction is richer than reality.
Claudia Moscovici, Literaturesalon