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PCR #482 (Vol. 10, No. 25). This edition is for the week of June 15--21, 2009.

"Year One" by Mike Smith
"The Graduates" by Mike Smith
Ted Bohus: The Deadly Interview - Part 1 by ED Tucker
Book Review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Not Anymore He Ain't .... No Offense, Sammy .... Bucky Too? .... Say It Ain't So-sa .... I Love It When A Plan Comes Together .... Dont' Need Nothin' But A Band Aid .... Look Honey! .... A Little Help From My Friend .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... o by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Scherer Ciurro

Book Review:
The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova

Plot Summary:

Is Vlad the Impaler Dracula still alive? That's the question that the teenage narrator of The Historian is trying to answer. Upon discovery of her father's stack of old letters addressed to "my dear and unfortunate successor" that piques her curiosity, the unnamed narrator continues a decades-long quest begun by other researchers to determine if "Drakulya" is indeed still walking among us.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Kostova is an award-winning author, Yale graduate, history buff and a veteran traveler who has fond memories of -- and has made good use of in her debut novel - the Gothic vampire stories her father told her when she was growing up.

What I Liked:

Who is the historian in Elizabeth Kostova's novel? One historian is the sixteen-year-old woman telling the story of how she stumbled across her father's papers, which led her down a path of investigation into both her own personal history and the history of the medieval ruler Vlad the Impaler. Her father is certainly a historian, who shares with his daughter stories of his decades of traveling the world examining obscure texts while anxiously looking over his shoulder, fearful that the evil he is researching will find him first.

Author Kostova is certainly a historian, having done meticulous research on the mythology, folklore, history, customs and religion of central and eastern Europe. She has created a complex tale that explores the idea that Vlad the Impaler -- the Dracula of modern myth -- is still alive, still as cruel and voracious as the vampire "myths" of many cultures portray him.

What I Disliked:

Unfortunately, the reader needs to be a historian to be able to dredge through all 642 pages of this book successfully. Kostova took a brilliant idea and buried it in multiple flashback sequences, giving minute historical, literary and cultural details that don't advance the storyline.

The ending is a disappointment, wrapping everything up too suddenly, with no satisfaction for the reader. It's as if Kostova spent all her time on the build-up -- the development of the story -- and then suddenly ran out of steam when it came time to actually tell the story.

Bottom Line:

The Historian is more of a lengthy, sometimes interesting, certainly well-researched, backstory on what, how and why the characters were going to research the Dracula myth, and not the actual story of what happens when they discover the truth and come face-to-face with evil.

Rating: C-

"FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.