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4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  677 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
The csardas is a dance that symbolizes the vibrant spirit, the love of life of a proud people. And Csardas is a deftly plotted saga of great power, beauty, and historical authenticity that follows the changing fortunes of three aristocratic European families--spanning two world wars and four countries, and brimming with richly drawn, unforgettable characters.

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Unknown Binding, 576 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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Portions of this review will discuss events that are historical fact. I have made every effort not to mention the fates of specific characters in relation to those historical events.

Csardas begins in 1914 and focuses around the lives of the two Ferenc sisters, Eva and Amalia (Malie), daughters of a Hungarian aristocrat and a wealthy Jewish banker, who expected little more out of life but parties with dashing young men to court them. Self-centered Eva is determined to snare the wealthy Felix Kald
As a Hungarian, I can attest to the fact that most people (at least in the US) don’t know much about my country or culture even though we’ve been through a lot and persevered. Diane Pearson explores the life of a fictional bourgeois Hungarian family during WWI and WWII in “Csardas”.

Pearson aptly named her novel “Csardas” as this is our most popular folk dance style and was used by the Hungarian army as a recruitment theme song. We associate many emotions and feelings with these music notes. Sim
Mar 13, 2014 Hana rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hana by: Misfit and Dorcas
As every Downton Abbey fan knows, when the British aristocracy runs itself into debt and decay, the solution is to marry a rich American heiress whose bottomless purse will save the ancestral lands. In Hungary at the dawn of the 20th century impecunious noblemen apparently married (sometimes) beautiful Jewish women instead.

The Enlightenment had helped create a subclass of wealthy European Jewish families, many engaged in banking and finance, and most thoroughly divorced from their cultural and
Mar 05, 2014 Dorcas rated it really liked it
Csardas (pronounced CHAR-dosh) takes place in Hungary and spans over thirty years and the rise and fall of two generations. The characters endure two world wars and subsequent government changes which affect their standing in the community,their livelihoods, wealth, and eventually their very lives. Over almost 600 pages we watch the three families grow and interact, raise eyebrows, marry (or not), bear children (or not) and finally either live (or not). That's Csardas in a nutshell.

So I really l
Ahmad Sharabiani
Csardas, Diane Pearson
عنوان: اشراف زادگان دلباخته؛ نویسنده: دایان پیرسون؛ مترجم: عباس داوری؛ تهران، خامه، 1366؛ در دو جلد؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نشر نغمه، 1374؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، ساغر - نغمه، 1377؛ شابک: 9649111034؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 م
عنوان: چارداش؛ نویسنده: دایان پیرسون؛ مترجم: اسماعیل قهرمانی پور؛ تهران، کلبه ، 1382؛ در 776 ص؛ شابک: 9647525117؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نشر کلبه دبیر، 1386؛ شابک: 9789647525169؛ عنوان دیگر: چارداش: شکوهمندتر از بربادرفته؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، دبیر، 1394؛
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
It’s a shame this book is so unknown, because it’s an excellent and highly entertaining work of historical fiction. I blame the romance-y cover and foreign title, neither of which is an accurate representation of the book’s contents. This is a family saga spanning several decades, and like all epics it has a bit of romance in it, but that is far from the focus, especially after the first 100 pages. As for the title (pronounced CHAR-dosh), it’s probably the only Hungarian word in the book; Csarda ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
There is a class of books - especially from the 70s and 80s - that I call "good books with bad covers." Apparently, there was a need at one time to convince everyone to read good history by doing a bait and switch about it being a romance.

This novel falls squarely in the class. While finding a "good husband" is indeed the occupation of the Ferenc girls at the start of the novel, the history that overtakes their pursuits outweighs the lightness of this storyline pretty quickly. It follows the his
May 30, 2012 Bivens rated it really liked it
Read this book many years ago and I remember how much I loved it! Really good historical fiction!
Ellie Singer
Jul 15, 2015 Ellie Singer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'll just preface this by giving a quick run-down of my background. I am half Hungarian. My mother was born in Budapest, and came to Australia in the 1950s. Many friends of the family are Hungarian in origin, plus we still have many relatives who still live in Hungary. I have grown up eating Hungarian food and heard Hungarian spoken relatively often. I visited Budapest a few years back and it was an experience I'll always cherish.

Okay, now the review (warning, this probably will contain spoilers
Colleen Waltner
Jan 02, 2011 Colleen Waltner rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 27, 2008 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a light read, but absolutely worth it. This book is beautiful.
Feb 23, 2008 April rated it really liked it
Recommended to April by: Ian Zilberkweit
Compelling historical fiction from Central Europe.
This book combines several of my favorite characteristics:
- a wonderful means of escape to another world;
- historical fiction from a time and place I consistently find fascinating (mid-20th century; Central Europe - Hungary to be exact); and,
- a love story involving seriously interesting people.
What more could I ask for?
Read this for the story, and characters. Diane Pearson is a good, though not great writer.
The author is not Hungarian - but she
Nov 30, 2011 Daisy rated it it was amazing
Mama has a great belief in roses.

What a long, luxurious, readable novel. Epic, dramatic, seductive. I loved it. (I must say the writing is perfectly fine, nothing spectacular; this is just good story-telling.)

Keep this on the shelf next to The Invisible Bridge: fat Hungarian family histories.
And speaking of which, there's an old movie by Istvan Szabo in English also about three generations of a Hungarian family called "Sunshine" which I recommend, if anyone else is interested in this subject.
Jun 10, 2009 Frances rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books. Having been married to a Jew at the time with a Mexican-Indian son, and a half-Black grandchild, I thought I would have felt like the woman who got on the truck when they loaded everyone she loved, to take to a concentration camp.
Kris W
Apr 12, 2017 Kris W rated it it was amazing
I first read this historical fiction saga almost 30 years ago. It was as good as I remember. If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it.
Jul 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
A random 50-cent pick at the flea market, just because the story seemed to be set in Hungary, and surprisingly this turned out to be rather good (the bright and tacky 1970's Finnish cover art wasn't very convincing). It started as light historical romance and gradually turned into a depiction of a whole era in Hungarian history, with interesting characters and a nicely flowing story. I started reading Csardas right after finishing The Devil's lieutenant, and history-wise Csardas pretty much pick ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Read this book many many years ago, translated in Dutch. It was one of my favorite books back then and I want to re-read but this time in English.

Update February 14 2016.
Yes. This was on my wish list for a long time because even though, yes I have read it already two times, I still wanted to read it again but now in the language it was written in. English.

And I just managed to get a copy. Yee Haw.
Jun 25, 2009 Helen rated it really liked it
The csardas is a dance that symbolizes vibrant love of life of a proud people. This story is the saga of great power, beauty and historical authenticity that follows the changing fortunes of three aristocratic European families. It spans two world wars and four countries.
Aug 30, 2010 Michele rated it really liked it
review to come....4.5 stars....nearly perfect, but with an odd ending.
Jul 04, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
Excellent epic novel!
Aug 08, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I ditto what 'Bivens' wrote: 'Read this book many years ago and I remember how much I loved it! Really good historical fiction!'
Mar 04, 2017 Janice rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book I have read.
May 21, 2017 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the best I have ever read, unputdownable!
Madeleine D'Este
Nov 02, 2014 Madeleine D'Este rated it really liked it
When I'm writing my speculative fiction, I try to read from another contrasting genre to cut down on the influence. So during Nanowrimo 2014, I read historical fiction instead and the novel "Csardas" by Diane Pearson.

Csardas, a family saga set in Hungary, traces the lives of three privileged families from the simple days prior to WW1 right through the establishment of the Communist regime post WW2. The novel begins following the "enchanting Ferenc sisters" Eva and Malie as they enter society and
Nov 21, 2014 Liviu rated it really liked it
Shelves: mainstream, read_2014
a lot of narrative power that makes one turn pages to see what happens and a great first half, but then the book starts being a collection of cliches and even worse as cliches within a strong story are tolerable, scatters from a relatively tight narrative to more of a vignette style - the time span expands and the author like other storytellers with narrative power but not that much literary technique simply doesn't have the ability to cope with extended time spans without reducing the story to ...more
Apr 29, 2017 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This is a re-read.

One of my many jobs while in school was as a receptionist in a furniture showroom. It was great to have a job that I could work during odd hours, but the owners insisted on being open at times when no sane person would go furniture shopping (10pm on Sunday?) so there were usually very few customers during my shifts. Which was great for studying but otherwise excruciatingly boring, so I pretty much read my way through the motley collection of old books that decorated all the boo
Jul 14, 2016 Florencia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ya no siento a Hungría como a un país desconocido e irrelevante en mi vida.

Me acuerdo haberlo leído en el verano de mi catorceavo cumpleaños. No tenía portada, no tenía título, y me llamó la atención. También me acuerdo el río de lágrimas que lloré a lo largo de la novela, a tal punto que me tomó horas leer las últimas páginas, en lo que esperaba que dejaran de fluir las lágrimas para poder continuar con la lectura.
No entiendo cómo no es un libro más conocido.

Comienza mostrándonos la realidad
Jan 18, 2016 Farzane rated it it was amazing
کتاب چارداش با عنوان اشرافزادگان دلباخته در ایران رو سالها پیش خوندم. انقدر که یادم نمونده راهنمایی بودم یا دبیرستان که این کتاب رو از کتابخونه امانت گرفتم و خوندم. کتابی که با اینکه بسیار حجیم بود با سرعت بالا خوندمش و عاشقش شدم! هنوزم صحنهی برگشت یکی از خواهرها از هولوکاست جلوی چشممِ. زن زیبایی که با رفتن به اردوگاه هیچی ازش نموند. همسر و دو تا پسرش رو از دست داد و با دندونهای ریخته و مثل یه پیرزن به خونهش برگشت! خبر خوب اینجاست که این کتاب بعد از سالها تجدید چاپ شده! میدونم که حتماً این کتاب ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was fantastic. A Hungarian Gone With The Wind. Sort of. I read this book many years ago and had entirely forgotten the story and when I went looking for the book found it was out of print. When I discovered it on Amazon kindle I was overjoyed. A big meaty read of several privileged families with Jewish connections living in Hungary during both the first and second world wars and covering three generations. The depredations and hardships everyone faced was very believing and s ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Liza rated it really liked it
Al enige keren gelezen en heeft telkens weer indruk gemaakt. Het is het verhaal van een Hongaarse gegoede familie en we leren ze kennen vlak voor de eerste wereldoorlog. Hongarije is zeer betrokken bij de strijd en we zien hoe het leven al veranderd is als de oorlog is afgelopen. Daarna de periode waarin het communisme Oost-Europa veroverd en uiteindelijk de gruwelijke tweede wereldoorlog. Indrukwekkend geschreven.
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Goodreads Librari...: # of pages listed incorrect. 5 13 May 07, 2017 11:46AM  
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Diane Margaret Pearson was born on 5 November 1931 in Croyden, London, England, daughter of Miriam Harriet Youde and William Holker. She spent a large part of her childhood with her grandparents in a village on the Surrey/Kent borders. She attended Secondary School in Croyden. She became in 1975, the second wife of the Irish actor and physician Richard Leeper McClelland (aka Richard Leech). Widow ...more
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