Friday, October 9, 2009
Doubtful or Delightful? The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
I've been dreading doing this review for a few weeks now. I'm not the type of person where I enjoy leaving a book unfinished. In fact, many a time, I will just plow through my own feelings of boredom constantly hoping that the end of the book will prove me wrong.
However, I find myself unable or unwilling to do so with Elizabeth Kostova's epic, The Historian. I hate to say this but for the first time in my life, an historical, supernatural thriller has got me giving up! I'm rather confused at this outcome. The Historian seemed to offer everything that could have possibly interested me in a book in the first place.
To begin, there's a mystery involved. There's history, there's travel, there's interesting dialogue, there's a plot that thickens with each chapter, there are unexplained events. So what went wrong?
Well... It might have something to do with the unendurable repetitiveness of the story. I feel as though the very first mysterious story is re-written every 50 pages or so. Every new character that enters the story is retold the whole story from beginning to end, and the poor reader has to re-read it as well!
There are phrases, and patterns that just keep being repeated. If it had been repeated once or twice, I would've enjoyed it. But halfway through the book, I wondered if there was any story to this story at all, or if at the last page, I'd find myself re-re-re-re-re-re... reading the original story again.
And so... I had no choice but to give up.
The sad thing is that this novel received just wonderful, glowing reviews on Amazon.com. How could so many people be wrong?
Maybe it's just me. I've decided to go back and pick up the pieces. Maybe I'll get through it eventually. But not until AFTER some other books are read. You'll get the reviews of those soon. As for the completed review of The Historian? Don't hold your breath for it. I might never go there.