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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Well, now we know why Anne held out so long »

August 07, 2005



There's not much to say to this except "Hell, yeah", but I will point out that on top of being largely asexual, the characters are all great big squares. This is particularly noteworthy in the main narrator, who describes events that took place when she was 17. She's probably the least believable teenager I've ever read - not a trace of rebellion, self-involvement or childish resentment in anything she does.


I think what Kostova originally wanted to do was transmit her own love of reseach - the excitement of the chase, of being the first one in a long time to find an ancient document with just the information that's needed - but she knew most people would find that dull, so she had to hype it up by finding a lurid subject for her research. Then I think she was reaching for the big book and movie deal. Anne Rice did it, right? And now it's worked for Kostova?

I wish research were this easy in real life. How the magnificent documents, and sheaves of letters, fall into the right hands at the opportune moments. This is like books about scientific research, too, which leave out the years and years of unsuccessful experimentation. (Well, as Fielding says, no point wasting print on uneventful events.)

I think she does descriptions of places very nicely. I believed and could see those wonderful locations. Made me want to go out and buy plane tickets immediately.


I've been reading reviews of this book and feeling tentative about spending the cash on it now that it is in hardcover. Thanks for making me decide I'm going to wait until the paperback or for the library copy!


It sounds vile! That's disappointing, but good to know before committing the time that'd be required.
It sort of sounds a bit like an attempt to synthesise bits of Byatt's Possession with traits of other recent bestsellers.

I found the author photo on the back of the paperback a bit distressing, also.

Stephen Frug

Not to drag the brow level down too far, but in old X-Men comics Kitty Pryde (the Jewish one) had a star of David which was effective against Dracula -- I presume this was put in to be ecumenical about things.

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