Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #87


Thirteen Things I'm Wondering About the Story I'm Reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

1. What is the name of the principle narrator/protagonist, daughter of the historian and diplomat Paul?

2. Why has this otherwise meticulous narrator neglected to introduce herself by name after over 200 pages? (I was blaming my own bad memory for not being able to remember her name from my first foray into this story last October so I was careful to watch for it this time.)

3. What is going to happen next?

4. Will a romance bloom between her and the young Oxford student, Barley, assigned as her traveling chaperon when Paul is called away urgently while he and his eighteen year old daughter were visiting the college?

5. Will/did Paul ever find the whereabouts of his mentor Professor Rossi who disappeared over twenty years earlier? And if so will he/was he living, dead or undead?

6. Will Paul's daughter ever learn the rest of that story her father was doling out in dribs and drabs over three years before he took off, leaving behind a note saying he had gone to look for her mother whom she had always believed was dead?

7. Did a romance ever bloom between Paul and Helen the young Romanian grad student who joined him on his search for Rossi because she believed Rossi was her father?

8. Is Paul's daughter named Helen and thus why she, as narrator thirty odd years after the events she lived through, has been withholding that?

9. Why did Rossi fail to mention to Paul his visit to Wallachia in the 1930s to track down the tomb of Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler aka Count Drakulya nemesis of the Turks in the mid 15th century, although he had been seemingly meticulous about that part of his research and adventures he did relate and had assured Paul that the envelope he passed on to him the night he disappeared contained all his notes and materials related to his search?

10. Why did Rossi reply to the letter Helen's mother sent him announcing her pregnancy by claiming there must be some mistake as he had never been to Wallachia nor met her? Was it to protect her from the mysterious stalker(s) of his research efforts? Or was it someone else claiming to be Rossi who was in Wallachia poking around Vlad's castle and asking locals about the stories of Vlad and local Vampire lore?

11. Why are there so many librarians, researchers, and archivists in institutions all over the world where any information about Vlad or vampire lore is housed or handled who end up dead, disappeared or sporting strange paired puncture wounds on the sides of their necks?

12. Were the two ancient leather covered books with dragons on the cover--the first falling into Rossi's hands and the second into Paul's hands when they were grad students in the 193os and 1950s respectively--a kind of recruitment gambit? And if so were they being recruited into the exclusive brotherhood of Vampires? Or into a brotherhood of Vampire hunters?

13. When can I get back to the story to start finding answers to these questions?

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