Liviu's Reviews > They Were Counted

They Were Counted by Miklós Bánffy
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it was amazing
bookshelves: mainstream, read_2011

The best description of the novel and of the trilogy so far at least is Gone with the Wind of the Hungarian Empire; this description of an unjust and oppressive world on the brink of being swept away from history, but you still cannot stop but turn the pages, empathize with Balint Abady and his pathetic tries to improve things (laughed at both by his peers and by the representatives of the oppressed for different reasons of course) or with his love for the unhappily married Adrienne, while following the tribulations of his orphan gambling but sympathetic cousin and of various aristocrats, fortune hunters, noblewomen....

The novel takes a little to get going but once the stage is set and we start understanding the delicate set of rules and relations that govern the aristocracy of Hungary and Transylvania, it is a true pleasure to read.

The parts set on the hero's estate and castle (modeled after the author's estate which was destroyed by the retreating German army in late 1944 as revenge for his attempts to engineer an withdrawal of Hungary form the war) are lyrical while his love affair with Adrienne is one of the most touching that I've read in a while.

Very strong characters abound - not least the hero's mother, the widowed Countess Roza Abady who rules the lands, while the young Balint moves from diplomacy to politics and becomes a deputy in Budapest

Duels, parties, intrigues and even a touch of Jane Austen with the rogue handsome officer out for seducing young noble girls in hope of marrying a rich heiress, elopements and all

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Reading Progress

November 15, 2011 – Started Reading
November 15, 2011 – Shelved
November 16, 2011 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2011 – Shelved as: mainstream
November 17, 2011 – Shelved as: read_2011

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message 1: by Tom (new) - added it

Tom Watson The triology is a perfect companion to Patrick Leigh Fermor's "Between the Woods and the Water" the second volume in his account of walking from Holland to Istanbul (Constantinople as he insists on calling it)--one of theall-time great travelogues.

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