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Little Fingers

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3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In a little town in Romania, a mass grave is discovered near the excavations of a Roman fort. Are the dead the victims of a medieval plague or, perhaps, of a Communist firing squad? And why are finger bones disappearing from the pit each night? Petrus, a young archaeologist, decides to do some investigating of his own.

Meanwhile, an Orthodox monk in the surrounding mountai
...more
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published July 23rd 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 402)
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Ema
Jul 13, 2013 Ema rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ema by: Cristinica
I haven't read a novel by a Romanian author in a long time. I, along with many other young people here, tend to avoid local literature because a)it may be full of social commentary and communism issues (people are already fed up with it, yet it may prove interesting for a foreigner); b)it might be brimming with obscene words (although there is a market for that, I'm sure); or simply c)it may turn out to be a disappointment. Surely, this could be a reaction of a country whose members are not over ...more
Amy
Jul 02, 2009 Amy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a Romanian
Because of my negative opinions about this book, I translated several of the Romanian reviews for this see what readers who read it in its original language had to say about it. Every Romanian, without exception, says that it is brilliant. However, nearly all reviewers for the English translation say that they had to plod through the book, that it is confusing, or that they gave up on it. So my conclusion is that either a) The translator didn't do such a great job, b) English speakers can't appr ...more
Stela
Interesant roman, usor diferit de ceea ce formeaza matricea noastra stilistica (ca sa folosesc un termen blagian), desi n-as merge pîna acolo încît sa-l compar cu literatura sud-americana, cum s-a aventurat o parte a criticii s-o faca.
Mie mi-a adus mai degraba în minte nuvela lui Mircea Eliade, « Pe strada Mîntuleasa », pentru ca, la fel ca fostul director de scoala Zaharia Farîma, arheologul Petrus se pierde într-o naratiune fara sfîrsit, cu multiple fire epice fara aparenta legatura care cres
...more
Lavinia
despre degete mici citisem recenzii foarte bune si stiam ca autorul a luat si ceva premiu pentru debut in proza.

cel mai mult mi-a placut la florian limbajul. desi e un autor tinar [n. 1968], si m-as fi asteptat sa aud din gura lui [pana, mai concret] modernisme, englezisme si de ce nu, niscai obscenitati, am avut placuta surpriza sa descopar un limbaj neaos, provincial, usor arhaic. episoadele care-l descriu pe calugarul onufrie poarta cu ele ceva special, aducind a basm si m-au dus cu gindul la
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John Brookes
This book takes place in a remote town and mountain resort named only as W, but apparently based on the actual resort of Sinaia.

Romania itself is located in South-eastern and Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. The country shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the north-east, and Bulgaria to the south.

Interestingly, the oldest modern human rema
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Monica Carter


This debut novel by Romanian writer, Filip Florian, is a novel that begins with children discovering a mass grave while they are out playing. Set in a small Romanian town post-Communism, Little Fingers is a mystery with no answer. This is a novel I expected would engage me, leaving me waiting for more of his work to be translated into English. It did engage me, and I do want see more, but definitely not in the way that I thought it would. There is a lack of focus and unsettling digressive narrat
...more
Bookaholic
Mă opresc aici asupra romanului de debut, Degete mici – o carte matură, care anunţă deja în totalitate profilul stilistic şi chiar tematic al scriitorului. Filip Florian este – aşa cum s-a observat adesea – un scriitor estetizant, care topeşte de regulă tema tratată în pasta limbajului, în substanţa lingvistică: frazarea lungă, domoală, ocolitoare – asociind imagini şi tonalităţi diverse – tinde să de-dramatizeze tema, să domesticească şi facă suportabile sensurile grave ale istoriei, respectiv ...more
Kathleen
Very slow starter, picked up once the story became more character centered. My enthusiasm for reading this waned whenever the book lumbered off onto its tangents of political history, soccer, the church and other areas in which I simply had no interest; at one point I actually muttered an invective directed at the author.
anca dc
N-am chef sa ii scriu review, doar sa imi scriu ca aici e prima data cind m-am intrebat cit de usor sau greu e sa fii scriitor. Si nu ma refer la talent, ci la inspiratie. Capitolul cinci, cel cu Onufrie, ii de vina pentru aceasta dilema. Poveste mai complicata de atit putea sa ii faca?! :)))
Derek John
Filip Florian is a master of irrelevant detail. There were so many adjectives and adverbs stacked upon each other that this novel, which should have taken a weekend to read, took two whole weeks! And I still have no idea what this book was even about. There were so many distracting flashbacks, and sub-stories that I simply couldn't follow. After I had finally pushed through I looked at online cliff notes for the book and I didn't recognize a single thing. The only reason I am giving this book t ...more
Oana Kovacs
Cartea asta nu m-a prins nicicum. Finalul a salvat-o de la o stea.
Mi se pare nelegata, neinchegata.
Mi-a placut la nebunie Toate bufnitele si credeam ca va fi la fel si cu Degete mici, dar nu...
Kelsey
I didn't know whether to give this book 2 stars or 3, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and gave it 3 (mostly because I'm a tad biased because my friend gave this to me).

It's not that this book is bad, I just think it might be the translation that made this book somewhat a mess. The language and the way Florian (or the translator?) put it together is really quite beautiful, but besides that, nothing else really makes sense. The sentences are very long but I could get past that. What I could
...more
Realini
Little Fingers aka Degete Mici by Filip Florian

First surprise, trying to find this book on Goodreads, was to see the variety of reactions that Degete Mici has provoked. On the jacket of the book, there were positive comments, but that makes sense, even if I think I recall seeing some authority praising the book.
On Goodreads, I have seen ratings with two and others with 4 stars. It made me uncomfortable to see a writer I like and facebook friend of mine (not that this means much more than nothin
...more
Liviu
Little Fingers is an interesting book that has two major problems - it does not fully cohere and it's almost untranslatable; I read only the English version - i wish I would have the Romanian original - but like with Days of the King (which is a model of clarity compared to this one) the translation is very convoluted, likely trying to imitate the original and again it just does not work resulting in very stilted and dense (in a negative way) prose. Using 5 sentences when one would work is not a ...more
J.R.
I’d count this novel a disappointment if I hadn’t worked so hard to find some enjoyment in it.

The problems are the plot is obtuse, the characters too divergent, the sentences too long and the whole swamped under a blanket of every adjective in the dictionary. The author is said to be a journalist and the book had rave reviews abroad. So is the fault that of the translator and not his? I have no idea.

I hate to give up on a book. It’s only 202 pages. So I plowed on, even when there were countless
...more
Denise
Două lucruri mi-au plăcut la cartea asta: limbajul provincial și poveștile personajelor. Într-adevăr, mă așteptam să conțină neologisme, expresii și interjecții care sunt "pe val" la ora actuală, dar, în schimb, m-am găsit citind un roman scris ca cele pe care le citeam în liceu și-n generală.

Personajele sunt conturate extraordinar. Mi-au plăcut poveștile doamnei Embury, a doamnei Paulina, a lui Dumitru M., cel mai bătrân om din oraș, a colonelului Spiru care colecționa degete mici și cea a călu
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Christine Kuchinsky
I admit, I had trouble immersing myself in this book, as the prose is long and winding, full of parenthetical which make it hard to follow. I expected a coherent story focused around the discovery of a mass grave in Romania, and instead was given a menagerie of colorful characters with both real and surreal stories that loosely end up connected to the grave site. Knowing now that this is what the book is, I think I would like to revisit it another time.
Razvan Nicoara
Filip Florian nu e Saramago. Nu ii iese aceeasi senzatie de tesatura stravezie a textului care imbraca o poveste dar care ii lasa totusi la vedere contururile, silueta si miscarea. Nope. Aici scriitura e minora, e obsedata de detaliu si de still propriu si ineaca astfel complet povestea in valuri inutile de text. Ca exercitiu e bun. Ca poveste nu. Nu, Filip Florian nu e Saramago.
Vlad Copil
o carte foarte prost scrisa: fraze interminabile, actiune lipsa si scriere haotica. Descrierile sunt foarte greu de urmarit. Premiile primite de roman, dupa parerea mea, nu se justifica.
Horea
Mi-a plăcut foarte mult ideea cărți. Personajele prezentate nu au nimic in cumun una cu alta ci povestea lor are ca sfârșit momentul in care s-au găsit acele oase in groapa comuna descoperită in castrul roman.
Ceea ce nu mi-a plăcut au fost fratele lungi de jumatate de pagina. Sunt bine scrise, e un talent sa faci așa ceva insa sunt greu de urmărit. Pentru un roman de debut mi se pare genial.
Ivana
I can't remember the last time I was this much disappointed with a book. I almost gave up when in the middle the author started talking about football and then by it got to what was suposed to be the main topic. Combine that with the story about Onufrie and you get how I felt when I got to the end of the book. For me it definitely didn't reach it's maximum.
Morgan Jordahl
I suspect this is the fault of the translation and not the book itself, but man was this hard to get through. Super confused plot, bland characterizations, unimpressive prose. I wish I spoke Romanian so I could read the story as it was actually intended to be read.
Veronica
Mi s-a părut greu de citit, din cauza paragrafelor uneori mult prea lungi si (din când în când) cu enumerări obositoare. Altfel, poveștile de viață ale diverselor personaje sunt interesante. Povestea centrală însă se pierde printre atâtea povești secundare.
Angela
A very good novel, written by a Romanian, FIlip Florian. I was very surprised to find out that he has a subtle, simple, smart way of ”talking” about important things. This book could have another title ”The chronicle of a small village”...I liked it!
Kirsten
Oct 13, 2009 Kirsten marked it as couldn-t-finish
Shelves: fiction, from-library
God help me, I just couldn't get through the first chapter of this book. Maybe at some point I'll be interested in finding out if the weird, tangental stream-of-consciousness storytelling ever turns into anything I can follow, but not right now.
Cooper Renner
An unusual book, not quite what the book jacket suggests. A kind of Eastern European magic realism, well-done and inventive, if somewhat oddly plotted.
Roxana Racaru
I read the Romanian (original) version - and I recommend it (difficult to find a "sane" book on post-revolution society)
Cristiana Balcu
Cristiana Balcu marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2015
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Between 1990-99, he worked as a journalist and editor for the Cuvîntul (The Word) weekly and then as a correspondent for the Free Europe and Deutsche Welle radio stations. He spent five years in the mountain town of Sinaia writing his first novel Little Fingers, which was published to great critical acclaim in 2005. Greeted as the work of a distinctive and original new voice, the novel was awarded ...more
More about Filip Florian...
Băiuțeii Toate bufniţele The Days of the King Alabardas Dublă expunere

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