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Review: The Countess, by Rebecca Johns


Pages: 285

Original date of publication: 2010

My edition: 2010 (Crown)

Why I decided to read: Heard about this through the Amazon Vine program

How I acquired my copy: Amazon Vine, September 2010

The Countess is a novel about Countess Erzebet Bathory, apparently the first female serial killer. In the early 17th century, she was rumored to have murdered dozens of young women. As with many of these kinds of novels, the story is told from the Countess’s point of view, and it covers her life starting from when she was a small child and continuing up until her incarceration.

It’s an interesting subject, by my, does the author manage to make it boring. The novel focuses a lot on Erzebet’s early life, and the plot moves at a very, very slow pace. I don’t know a lot about Hungarian history, so the parts of this novel that dealt with that were extremely edifying; but this novel disappointed me in terms of plot. I was intrigued to find out how the Countess would explain her story, but it fell down in many places. I was expecting more horror and murder, something more sensational at any rate that focused more on the legend behind the woman. The cover is also a bit disappointing; looking at it, you might expect a gothic or horror story, belying what actually occurs in the plot of the book. It’s the kind of book that will appeal to some readers of historical fiction, but as a potential horror novel, not so much.

Comments

S. Krishna said…
Eek! I do enjoy historical fiction, so I might give this a chance, but I'll keep your reservations in mind. Thanks for the review!
Thanks so much for reviewing this! I have been curious about it and am grateful to have a bit on insight :)

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2015 Reading

January
1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
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8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
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