I hurt my back pretty badly yesterday while removing my 35-pound toddler from the stroller with no brakes, from behind and at an angle. Pow! I was bedridden all day yesterday and although I feel much better today (hubby took the day off, thank you so much my dear) I'm still taking it very much easy.
On the bright side, in the last 24 hours I got to read a LOT.
I finished The Historian
yesterday. I was this close to giving up on it completely, book group or no, at page 250. You may remember that my book group chose The Historian
for this month because the author, who lives in Ann Arbor, will be giving a talk at the library next month. We thought we could try to go to that, too. And you may also remember my post
about all the difficulties the various members of my group had in getting hold of copies of the book. (By the way, did you notice the comment to that post from someone named Eli? I have no idea who Eli is, but if you click on his name it takes you right to the Ann Arbor District Library home page. What an honor! Someone at AADL is reading my blog! *big smug grin* I'd rather have that than be on that stupid A List any day! I also got a letter from Little Brown -- yes the publishing company -- hand-addressed
to me. You wouldn't believe the grandiose thoughts that went through my head before I opened the envelope, even though I haven't submitted any MSS
recently. The letter in the envelope said the same thing as Eli's comment: they've changed the date of the talk, so I can go after all. Yay!)
Anyway. The Historian
. The first 250-or-so pages were a little boring. But it got better, gradually picking up momentum, and there were aspects of it that I liked a lot. Here are a few random thoughts, which contain ***SPOILERS!!!*** but I'll write them anyway because I know so many people have already read it.
1. I wish the "voices" were more varied. Pick a random sentence, you wouldn't know if it was the daughter, the father, Helen, Rossi, Turgut, Barley, Dracula. They all sound exactly the same.
2. I wish there had been an explanation other than random coincidence for their bumping into Turgut. Maybe there was and I missed it.
3. It would have been a better book if Rossi had accepted the "job" of his own volition. I would have! I would have included some discussion about knowledge itself being neither good nor evil, only the use one makes of it. I'm not sure whether or not I believe that, but this book is a perfect vehicle for that discussion.
4. I loved it that Vlad/Dracula, while alive, was apparently concerned about the salvation of his soul, donated all that money to the church, etc.
5. I have to think about this some more, but it bugged me that the dragon books had blank pages.
6. I loved it that he went after librarians and archivists.
7. I wasn't thrilled about Helen deserting her family.
8. This is just a tangent, but there was a reference to a Panteleimon. I instantly thought of the His Dark Materials
series, so I did a little research. In case you are interested, he was a Russian Orthodox saint, and here
is his story.