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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but in desperate need of a ruthless edit :-(, 25 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Historian (Paperback)
Buried within several hundred pages is the story of three generations of historians on a quest to find the truth behind the myths surrounding Vlad the Impaler, Dracula. The story unfolds through personal accounts (verbal and written) and is also peppered with `discoveries' about Dracula and the myths and history surrounding him.

What drew me to this book was one of the reviews here which spoke of the way that the story unfolds and how the information about Dracula is presented to the reader: through letters, primary sources, pictures, books, articles, myths, songs, academic papers etc..... I hoped it would be interesting, clever and intriguing, and in parts it was, but sadly I was never moved beyond mildly interested.

The writing is good, the structure is good (moves back and forth across the time line), it's well researched and the characters are mostly likeable, but the pace barely breaks out of a slow crawl and that hindered the suspense for me. There is simply too much information here; it feels like hard work as you're reading and I certainly felt the minutes draining away with every page. For example, some of the letters which tell a missing piece of the story are so long you forget you're reading a letter at all, thus it scremes 'plot device' and you are very aware you're reading a novel.

All things considered, my main gripe is that all of the above made it impossible for me to get lost in the story. I would recommend it to those interested in the writing style (mentioned above) or historical period - but as a story it is in desperate need of an edit. It took me three goes to finish it, and even then I still sometimes had to force myself through it. All in all, it was too long, too textually dense, too slow moving, and ultimately felt more like a chore than a treat. It wasn't for me, but it did show potential and I liked the style so I'm sure other readers may well enjoy it.
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