FINAL POST “THE HISTORIAN”
Judul Asli : THE HISTORIAN
Copyright © 2005 by Elizabeth Kostova
Penerbit Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Alih Bahasa : Andang H. Soetopo
Cetakan I : Januari 2007 ; 768 hlm ; ISBN 978-979-22-2389-7
Rate : 5 of 5
~ PART I : Chapter 1 – 24 | p. 11 – 216 ~
~ PART II : Chapter 25 – 48 | p. 217 – 494 ~
~ PART III : Chapter 49 – 80 (Epilog) | p. 495 – 768 ~
~ FINAL POST : THE HISTORIAN ~
At last, I’m finally finished this ‘chunster-book’ within a month. Just like my expectation, this book gave such overwhelmed feeling, between confuse, intriguing, curious and scary at the same time. When someone mention this story as historical fiction, well I quite agree and disagree too, because it’s more than drama nor common historical fiction I mostly read, ‘coz the author add ‘something’ by building mystery surrounding each chapters, one by one, did not revealed the truth behind all secret until the end, it’s not an easy tasks while you write over 700 pages, keeping the mystery but still makes readers so curious with intriguing-mood all over the journey.
The Historian is a story-tale about the journey of the family, searching the truth in the hope finding answers of mystery surrounding their life. The opening chapter starting when a very young girl ( I could say she is a teenager ) accindently found collection of letters that supposely hidden by her father. Curious by those finding, she read it, and her curiosity becoming confuse and puzzles of its contain. When she finally have the courage to ask her father regarding those letters, its the beginning of long journey to the past and to the future of their life.
The letters are written by someone called him self as Bartholomew Rossi – professor in Oxford University, also known as mentor of his father when he attend his degree. Professor Rossi also known being missing mysteriously one night, after meeting with his student. No one know why he missing or where he gone. But his father not only curious by those incident, he feels responsible because of the secret between him and Professor Rossi. The secret that involving a very strange book, appears from nowhere, the book that have unique illustrate in the front cover with blank pages inside it. Both Professor Rossi and his father, receive a different book, yet so similar that no doubt is the same book made by the same person.
The story continue when someday the father gone nowhere, left only a letter to his daughter that he is gone to start a mission : finding his wife, mother of his daughter, who already told died when their daugther was a baby. The searching of those missing people are becoming very long journey (and long reading too) simply because so many secret are hidden for several years, like giant spider-web, surrounding the whole storyline. The unusual themes also slowly revealed, even the author never told ‘spesificly’ what is the real-truth, leaving puzzles pieces to be collect by the readers, to built the giant picture. Using the characters as the narrator of each story, just like reading a journal and finding the answers through letters between the characters, makes the story feels so real and live, with horror and vivid descriptions on each pages.
I could tell you the main story-line, but that would not be fair, because the best of this story are written is every words, written with detail and description, from historical facts, exotic places, unique knowledge about artefacts and rare books or documents, that would bring another world through readers imagination. I just could not put down the book, and mostly I need a break, simply because I read a huge hardcover edition, that too heavy, thick and big to carry anywhere (like my reading-habits). But for you who seeking light-reading, I suggest not to gave-up when starting the earlier chapter, it’s gonna be interesting and so intense when you reach-out at least a quarter of the whole story through the end.
One thing I could tell, the main story involving the truth about Drakulya, who also known in the history as Vlad Dracula / Vlad Ţepeş / Bela Lugosi / Vlad of Carpathian, who becoming a legend of living vampire. It also mention another version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (who unfortunately, I haven’t read yet) as flaws-story, compare to the real facts in this story. But do not think this is another version of Twilight’s Vampire (a romantic version by Stephenie Meyer) or like Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, this story revealed and show the historic part of something happens in the century ago, and open a new chapter that ‘could-be’ happening in the future, when Vlad Dracula who believe already dead (many-many centuries ago), are actually still living in secret life in the future.
This book did not feels purely fantasy of the ‘vampire’ themes, because the author gave us a detour from Holland into Paris, travel through Istambul and Bulgaria, visiting America, Middle Europe until Russian. The historical places, written with such beautiful description, specially when comes into library until churches. Is like a dream come true, as I’m a fans of those themes. Another interesting and unique of this story, the author use technique on describing the scenery through spesific expresion on each character, just like Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, but this is can be sees on writing. The writing so good, almost in every ‘scene’ gave me real-gooshbumps and vivid imagination while reading it (so, I suggest not to read it in the dark or nighttime, specially for you who easly scare by spooky-horror story).
By the end of the story, several mystery surrounding the storyline finally revealed, but still left something ‘unanswers’ for readers, specially for my-self, and this is a little-bit a disappointment, because I really want some closer by the end of the whole running-chasing-hunting action. Neglecting thos part, I still think this is a very good-well written story, that should recommended to every booklovers (specially for mystery lovers nor historical fiction fans). The title itself ‘The Historian’ are not quite as my earlier imagination (even so far away from that), but now, after finishing the book, I must say is a really clever choices, pointing ‘The Historian’ as the characters, themes and also the readers, who knows while reading this, you’ll be the next ‘historian’ .... (^_^) just like this story (journal)
[ more about the author and related works, check at here : Elizabeth Kostova | The Historian | on Goodreads | on Wikipedia | on IMDb ]
~ This Post are include in THE HISTORIAN READ-A-LONG ~
~ This Post are include in 2014 Reading Challenge ~
1st Book in 2014 Historical Fiction Challenge
1st Book in Finding New Author Challenge
1st Book in TBRR Pile