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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1981
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    My dear and unfortunate successor,

    Well, I finally finished The Historian, and I'm sad to report great disappointment with it. I had much higher expectations after reading such favorable reviews; I also happen to love vampire lore and have been a buff of the Vlad Tepes legend for a long time.

    Overall, I felt that it was a promising story that unfortunately had the life sucked out of it (pun fully intended) by florid, overwrought prose and tedious, interminable catalogues of pedantic detail.

    I also feel that Elizabeth Kostova failed at representing different points of view--so important in a novel with multiple storylines and epistolary conceits. Everyone sounded the bloody (pun intended) same! The 16 year old girl, her father, his professor, even the old Hungarian lady all had the same voice.

    Also, the letters are entirely unconvincing; they conveniently skip key moments (like how on earth was it that Paul was able to travel so freely to Eastern Europe in that time period?) but then linger for paragraphs on four course meals--and we are to believe these were written under extreme duress? Would you really stop to describe the wine you were served at a dinner party when you have vampires hot on your tail?

    Anyway, I feel the book is somewhat overrated, and too much has been made of Kostova's ten years of research and $2 Million advance. To me, it failed to deliver the goods. It doesn't even work on the level of a historical thriller like Da Vinci Code, which despite all it's overhyped faults, was at least genuinely thrilling to read.

    I seem to be alone in my perception, however; everyone else I know seems to love it, so either something is wrong with me, or everyone else is under Dracula's psychic thrall.

    --Yours in Grief, SnowflakeGirl
    Last edited by SnowflakeGirl; 03-31-2006 at 05:32 PM.
    Sending good vibes and warm fuzzies your way..., SnowflakeGirl
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  2. #1982
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    I hate to hear that, Snowy, as I *just* bought it. I'll let you know when I'm done.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  3. #1983
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    Oh no, Lucy, I'm sorry! Like I said, though, almost everyone else I know seemed to enjoy it--even my father-in-law!--so there's still a good chance you might too.
    Sending good vibes and warm fuzzies your way..., SnowflakeGirl
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  4. #1984
    Peace MsFroggy's Avatar
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    I tried reading "The Historian". I knew by the 3rd page that it will be a huge waste of time and took it back to the library... where it belongs. Some books are just not worth it.
    "Feel the sky blanket you/ With gems and rhinestones/ See the path cut by the moon/ For you to walk on" - EV

  5. #1985
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl View Post
    Oh no, Lucy, I'm sorry! Like I said, though, almost everyone else I know seemed to enjoy it--even my father-in-law!--so there's still a good chance you might too.
    That's ok, I'm hoping that because I've never read much vampire lore, that I'll enjoy it.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  6. #1986
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    See, and I really liked The Historian. Maybe because I wasn't reading it as a vampire story, but for the historian part, being a historian-in-training myself I didn't LOVE it, but I enjoyed it and its different take on the Dracula legend.

    After being held hostage by Elizabeth George for the past few days (), I finally finished With No One As Witness. At about the 350 page mark, I couldn't put it down. I'm emotionally drained from it and yes, there is a big twist that I didn't see coming and that I won't spoil here.

    Now I'm reading Matthew Hart's The Irish Game about the world of art theft and a Vermeer that was stolen twice from an Irish country house. Interesting, well-written and not heavy at all. So far =
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  7. #1987
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    I just purchased The DaVinci Code in paperback and I am on the second chapter. I am already hooked after five pages! Just must find time to read.

  8. #1988
    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    I'm with you SnowFlakeGirl. I picked up The Historian at the library and I really, really, really wanted to like it. The beginning was very compelling, and I liked the premise, but I bogged down around page 400 and finally skipped to the end (always a kiss of death ). I rarely leave a book unfinished but I just lost interest about two thirds of the way through. Good luck, Lucy, I hope you enjoy it.
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  9. #1989
    FORT Newbie Luno's Avatar
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    Right now, I am just finishing up A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Despite all the controversy surrounding the book, I still found it to be a good read, and I quite enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to anybody.

  10. #1990
    Right Here, Right Now Britannia's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy The Historian, SnowflakeGirl. I really did enjoy it - I didn't really know anything of vampire lore before I read it.

    I'm reading "We Were the Mulvaneys" by Joyce Carol Oates. This is the first book by her that I've read and am hooked so far. I know that many of you enjoy her books.
    It's a fair cop guv - you got me bang to rights and no mistake!

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