I’ve been trying to get through Kostova’s The Historian, but my interest is all but dry now. The book’s central mystery is long-winded and convoluted and the chapters are full of filler that reads like amateur travel writing rather than a key part of the novel. After the first ten chapters or so I simply skipped over the location descriptions; it made for a much better read. I feel like Kostova tries to prove her Dan Brown-esque expertise in geography but never gets passed the tourist-targeted details found in a Lonely Planet book. However the history of Vlad the Impaler and the investigation are quite interesting. I wish the book would have just focused on these strong points rather than trying to be too many things. I guess I will never know if Dracula is still out there.
So my own long-winded point here is that I prefer Neil Dinsmore’s take on Vlad a lot more. It knows what it is and it sticks to that. Plus it’s concise. You’d be hard pressed to defend calling anything Kostova writes concise.
I admire writers who can do sarcasm and humor. It’s a fine edge that is hard to walk. Not only do you need to get the rhythm and timing right, you also have to avoid alienating too many readers who have contrary senses of humor. Dinsmore does it quite well, I think. Though I will admit he at times gets close to my rub point, and many might not be as able to absorb such in-your-face satire as I.
I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Portrait of Vlad III by Anonymous (c. 1560)
Strange tales are what I primarily have to tell, and this one is no exception. This story was originally written on the 9th September 2016 as part of the New Bizarro Author Series (Eraserhead Press) Evil Rainbow Microfiction Competition.
“Vlad the Impaler’s Rainbow Rampage“
Vlad Dracula was a Wallachian prince with a problem. He had returned from the grave, and he wasn’t very happy about it. The product of a lightning bolt from a nuclear warhead detonation and a perfectly timed incantation from a now-vaporised cult of wannabe vampire emos, the resurrected corpse now stalked the lands of modern day Europe with nothing but anger coursing through his revived veins.
Why had his ancient slumber been disturbed? Why was the land so different than he remembered it? Where were the Turks? Vlad was confused. And deeply, deeply, pissed. There…
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