The Historian

  • by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Narrated by Joanne Whalley, Martin Jarvis, Dennis Boutsikaris
  • 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Newcomer of the Year, 2006.
A Richard and Judy Summer Read Selection.

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known, and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself, to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed, and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign, and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.


What the Critics Say

2005 Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance"The Historian is artfully constructed and atmospheric." (Washington Post Book World)
"A bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours." (Booklist)
"Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy, and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I chose The Historian on an impulse. It is quite the best audiobook I have downloaded from Audible. The story is largely built around a series of letters and stories from the characters and this format works really well especially given the range of narrators. It gripped me within the first 10 minutes and I have listened at every possible opportunity. The tale is quite dark but given its subject is not particulary frightening. It is however wonderfully written. If you are unsure whether to choose this as your next listen, my recommendation is 'go for it.'
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- A Genealogist

Vampire heaven

Any additional comments?

One of the most enjoyable things about vampire books is the history that comes with them. A dark and twisted vampire story at its best. Really enjoyable with suspense at every turn.

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- Clare Dean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2006
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK