DONE! And did I mention...DONE DONE DONE?! As much as I enjoyed portions of this book, I got bogged down from the middle to the end. It could be that I was reading the book in smallish snatches while putting my kiddo to bed and before I laid my own self down. But methinks the bigger issue for me was the structure.
I do appreciate that the story within a story within a story within a story (you get the picture), added to the suspense. However, I continue to feel that it was not terribly realistic, and it was more conducive to "telling" than "showing." I like to be shown the details of a book through the narrative, rather than dealing with these long info dumps through letters.
Also, details much? How many cups of coffee were there? How many descriptions of Helen's hair and wardrobe? I love detail and it can bring a novel to life, but in this case I got overwhelmed by the repetitive nature of it and by the political goings-on of Eastern Bloc countries that I am clueless about. I also had trouble getting a handle on all of the time shifts between these "generations" of letters. Again, I think if these details had been contextualized rather than dumped via letters I would've become more accustomed to them and appreciated them more.
Dracula was pretty badass, but I wanted more of him. A BookTuber mentioned that if the book had been called The Librarian, it would've been MUCH shorter. True dat! I think the editor could've easily shaved 300 pages off of this book, and I would've enjoyed it more. The ending seriously made the book, but I wish that kind of heart-poundingness had taken a more prevalent place throughout.
Did I dislike this book? No! Don't get that idea. But for me, it was just average. 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Read all of the readalong reactions at The Estella Society.
Pub. Date: September 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Bought it!