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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I was really looking forward to reading "The Historian". It seems to hit all the lists for the "hottest" new novel around. I finally got a copy at the local library, and sheesh, I'm glad I didn't spend any money for this fine doorstop. I've made it to page 256, and I simply give up. I need to clarify, that I read on average over 60 books a year and haven't not completed one since I tried to read Bill O'Reilly's novel "Those Who Trespass" three years ago, Mr. O needs to stick to non-fiction, but that's a whole other review! I had started skimming all the extremely tedious long descriptions of locales by about page 150, and kept waiting for the wonderful suspense filled pages to start up. I simply don't have the time to dedicate to this book anymore, I have an entire world of books out there waiting for me. I thought the editors of this book would have done better if they had removed about a third of the descriptions, and tightened up the entire story, because frankly after about three visits to exotic locations, I no longer cared about the "blue-black sky", the "reading room, surrounded by stained glass like a tall terrarium , in which the students, rare captive plants...", the "sunlight on the faces of the old houses looked eternal in the dry Mediterranean climate with its preternaturally clear light", or the bedroom with the "mixed spartan furnishings with an Ottoman carpet and bed hangings, a minor sketch by van Gogh, and twleve copper pans......etc, etc, etc," Just get to the point for heavens sake.....The actual plot of the story was compelling and I would have liked to have found how it ended, but I simply don't have the required patience and fortitude find out. Time's a'wastin' and my newest stack of books is beckoning.

(Posted on Amazon, August 29, 2005)