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They Were Counted (Transylvanian Trilogy) Paperback – 7 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books; Tra edition (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190514797X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905147977
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'A genuine case of a rediscovered classic. The force of Banffy's enthusiasm produces an effect rather like that of the best Trollope novels - but coming from a past world that now seems excitingly exotic' - TLS 'Banffy is a born storyteller' - Patrick Leigh Fermor'A very romantic book set in Transylvania during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before the First World war. It's full of balls and hunting parties, snow and politics. It's totally absorbing and I'm looking forward ti reading the next two books in the trilogy' - Martha Kearney (Newsnight BBC Two, The World at One Radio 4), My Six Best Books, Daily Express'One of the most celebrated and ambitious classics of Hungarian literature' - Jan Morris'This epic Hungarian novel, absorbing both for its exploration of human nature and its study of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire... weaves social and political themes into Banffy's powerful tale' - Daily Telegraph'A masterpiece. This very readable translation makes a wonderful book accessible to many more people' - New Statesman'My great find of the year is a reprint of the magnificent trilogy, set in pre-war Transylvania by Miklos Banffy...which stands comparison with the great Russian and French masters. Banffy vies with Tolstoy for sweep, Pasternak for romance and Tolstoy for evocation of nature; his fiction is packed with irresistible social detail and crammed with suberb characters: it is gloriously, addictively, compulsively readable' - Caroline Moor, Books of the Year, Seven

Book Description

A trilogy of significant and addictive works describing the decline of Hungary in the years before the first world war --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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THE RADIANT AFTERNOON SUNLIGHT of early September was so brilliant that it still seemed like summer. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is exceptional in that it portrays a complete vision of Hungary; social, political and historical at the end of the 19th century leading to the first world war. While claiming to be a novel, it includes a detailed explanation of the historical context of the run up to the first world war and the problems that still beset the balkans, written by somebody who was in a position to witness these momentous times. A must-read for anyone interested in European history or affairs. Volumes 2 and 3 are equally powerful, albeit shorter.
Shame about the typographical errors though, but it did not spoil the read.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lolita on 7 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a fascinating insight into the social and political history of Hungary in the early years of the 20th century. It ranges from the intricacies of political life in Budapest to the equally challenging task of running an estate in Translyvania. Although the deeper aspects of politics and parliamentary life might not interest some readers, there is much, much more to the book than that. It would love to be able to read it in the original Hungarian, as I'm sure the writing is more elegant than this rather clunky translation. Nonetheless it is thoroughly enjoyable and very good for a long holiday read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first volume of the Hungarian classic, the "Transylvanian Trilogy", set in the years from 1904 to 1906. Transylvania was then a province of the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Part One opens with Count Balint Abady, a young member of the Hungarian Parliament, going to attend a large party held at the castle of a neighbouring member of the aristocracy - it will be beautifully described later - , and for the first two chapters we are swamped by the other people who attended it. I jotted down some 35 names before I gave up as new people kept on being named - a really forbidding beginning, and only the favourable reviews written by other readers on the Amazon site kept me going. At the beginning of Part Two there is a shooting party at another castle, and more than a dozen further new names are introduced. Many of these people belong to inter-related families; but, unless the reader is willing to skim over this, he will have to work out, bit by bit, even until quite late in the novel, in what way they are connected; and even then it is not always clear: family trees would have been very welcome. In my opinion the book would have been very much better if a large number of the lesser characters which throng its pages had been eliminated.

There are many passages about Hungarian politics - for example about the difficult relationship between the Hungarian and the Austrian halves of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since 1867 the Hungarians were supposed to be equal partners, with separate governments but, to their resentment, there is a common army which they feel is controlled by the Austrians.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a major novel, the first of a trilogy, newly translated from Hungarian. The author's interests are Proustian but the style is lighter, and more straightforwardly romantic. However, the personal dramas are set against a detailed and vivid coverage of the lives and mores of the Hungarian aristocracy of Transylvania in 1906. The background meanwhile depicts the politics and strains of Austro-Hungary in what were to prove to be its final years. The author, a contemporary aristocrat, wrote the novel in the 1930s, and it has lain unnoticed during the communist era. The novel has had excellent reviews, for example in the Times Literary Supplement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By michele on 14 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit too much politics, but fantastic descriptions of the scenery and a gripping love story. Reminded me of Joseph Roth's Radetzky March.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tinderbox on 16 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Trollope's Palliser novels meet Dostoevsky in the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. the gilded bubble of the aristocracy reflects the wider world around them, of which they seem - in the main - to be blissfully unaware.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. I. Tapley on 7 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This has translated well to give the flavour of the Austria Hungarian problems in the late 1800's Very descriptive would not suit the reader who wants pace in their narratives
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By a liberal humanist on 12 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Utterly absorbing. Dramatic, funny, touching, poignant, anti-political historical drama, metaphor-drenched, realistic, character-rich, hopelessly romantic, sad. All that and more. Can't wait to read Books 2 and 3.
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