Labedz i zlodzieje: Elizabeth Kostova: Books – Łabędź i złodzieje by Elizabeth Kostova is on tosia’s read shelf. Elizabeth Johnson Kostova (born December 26, ) is an American author best known for her debut novel The Historian.

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This approach was a creative idea – but ultimately it turned all ‘action’ into ‘history’. The epilogue was a little unsettling, and the final resolution of the story seems comical when I think about it now, but it was completely fitting and totally acceptable in the framework of the story.

We know, of course, from the very beginning, before the narrator even informs us, that when her father Paul speaks of a young beauty named Helen who he meets while trying to track down his missing mentor, that this will be the overtly absent mother of the young narrator.

Mostly I just got through it, only to discover at the very end, when everything is supposedly wrapped up, with no foreshadowing, she tacks on a “oh by the way, he could still be alive! Stop the mind games, Dracula! That is what I wasted 3 nights of reading on. One even takes an entire chapter. This was a beast to read in terms of length, but I was never bored and I remained eager to pick up wherever I left off. To comment specifically, I’d probably have to reread, or at least review, the book, which I’m not willing to do when there are still so many thousands of brilliantly written stories out there that I haven’t discovered yet.

I also rather enjoyed the sub-plot about the protagonist’s parents. Once powerful, he no longer holds any amount of thrall.

At times, you have to remind yourself that this is a book about vampires. Dracula’s motive is implausible and unconvincing, but I feel that it holds a symbolic meaning in Kostova’s conception of the novel, and therefore, kostoav though plot-wise it’s nothing short of embarrassing, I can turn a blind eye on it.

Books — Elizabeth Kostova

However, others have been carefully compiled from snippets of real life in what remains Europe’s least known corner. It is true that because of the vagueness of the plot and the epistolary structure, entire chapters and characters could be cut from this book without losing any story.

Like from a bad soap opera! View all 45 comments. While most of the book is in letter form — with speech quotes framing just about every sentence — Kostova forgoes the accuracy of the letter form and, like Bram Stoker in Dracula, makes the letters part of the novel with action, emotion, and character reaction — attributes that would not usually be in a letter, but for the sake of this book, they need to be.


The three story lines of the narrator, her father, and his professor, all have an event in common: The map doesn’t even figure into the conclusion!

Elizabeth Kostova

The biggest aspect I found to complain about, is that I’d expected a bit more solid history from it, taking in account the title and the premise of the book.

View all 6 comments. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Retrieved 29 May The book is nearly entirely told via people reading something – letters, post cards, ridiculously detailed notes that people seem to have time and effort and skill to write even when in danger.

Neat tourist locales and sumptuous repasts cannot entirely hide the fact that everything else is thin gruel. The research goes so far as to include a number of “fake” source documents. I will say I did discover a few historical inaccuracies, but I think I’ll let them fly for now.

I kept telling my friends I was reading ” Am I destined for some kind of literary hell if I say I wish Dan Brown would rewrite this story with the spark and intensity of the Da Vinci Code? A fascinating journey into Communist Bulgaria, Dracula’s Romania, the lesser known elizaeth of Slovenia and Croatia, subterranean Istanbul and much more, this book is essential to understanding both Elizabeth Kostova’s novels and Eastern Europe itself.

Fiona For heavens sake, this isn’t really historical fiction!

Suddenly, a wayward link caught my eye and I clicked. But I figured that any book that merited my little used “pissed me off” category, deserved an explanation.

Get on with the story. Then, she writes about Vlad, Dracula, attempting to add new lore to the story, but never really gives us any surprises. If you’re reading this yourself for the first time, and ever come across the phrase “And then they stepped off the train at [fill in the blank],” you can safely skip the entire manuscript until the phrase “And then he said, ‘Shall I continue my story?

Instead, Dracula is a librarian. Actually, I’m doing a little research on it myself. This felt like an exercise in cold war geography and a self-indulgent author letting us know how smart she is and how much research she’d done. Kostova has penned here the perfect armchair traveling book——also known as travelogue——taking us from the States to England, the Netherlands, Greece, France, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, etc. Are you f-n kidding me?? Did you seriously buy into the letters and the “stories?


Paul and his daughter travel around, seeing cool sights, eating various biscuits, and having long conversations. On top of that, there are vast stores of erudition on fifteenth century monasteries, the cultural divide betwixt Romanians and Transylvanians, the Walechian court, medieval church politics, central European folk songs, Bulgarian religious rituals based around old pagan traditions, historian cataloging and research methodology, and the overlapping history of Central Europe with its shifting rulers of Ottomans, the Orthodox church and its tiny fiefdoms, and the Soviet Union.

In Maythe Elizabeth Kostova Foundation was created. It’s a very rich reading experience full of culture, history, adventure, and mystery. Johnson Kostova was born Elizabeth Z.

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I will say this though, if you are not really into history or researching, I would skip it. That is why I throw my caution out there.

Every once in a while it is difficult to figure out which story you are reading as they jump around so much, but after the first few chapters you start to get a feel for it and it seemed really ingenious the way she chose to combine the three stories.

But as you read it, the book just gets more and more ridiculous. The book is kosfova, but a bit slow at times when progressing through over 22 CD’s. There is a cast of charachters in the book zodziwje finally converge in the last mostova or two – about pages too late if you ask me, to help the final story unfold. Generations of historians have kostovaa their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula.

They way it is written, in first person, is way too choppy.