Tag: Eastern Europe

The Lights Of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

How to make the now well-worn trope of vampires and monster hunters feel fresh and new again? Set the proceedings in historic Prague, with a firm eye on local history and mythology free of the influence of the too-standard figures of modern, Western-European-leaning pop culture, while also infusing a 21st-century sensibility to the proceedings. We …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/24/the-lights-of-prague-by-nicole-jarvis/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth

In his preface to this, fourth, edition of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry, Peter Nasmyth writes that he has seen the book migrate from the Travel section of bookstores over into History. Likewise Nasmyth has transformed from a footloose twentysomething seeker, happening to stop in Moscow on his way from India back to England, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/28/georgia-in-the-mountains-of-poetry-by-peter-nasmyth/

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins written by Eric Kimmel

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Kid One first fell in love with this book as an elementary school student, a Protestant child living in an Orthodox country enjoying a very Jewish story. And what’s not to like? Hershel of Ostropol wanders into an unnamed Central European village on the first night of Hanukkah expecting celebration and hospitality. Instead, he finds …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/02/hershel-and-the-hanukkah-goblins-written-by-eric-kimmel/

From Page To Screen: The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m not deeply knowledgeable regarding The Witcher property, having only started with the third game (brilliant) and going on to enjoy The Last Wish, the first of Andrzej Sapkowski’s phenomenally successful fantasy series. While Blood Of Elves and The Time Of Contempt languish still on my TBR pile, I did manage to find time to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/23/from-page-to-screen-the-witcher-by-andrzej-sapkowski/

Nobody Leaves by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Nobody Leaves

Before he became a famous foreign correspondent, Ryszard Kapuściński wrote a series of astonishing dispatches for the weekly newspaper Polityka from Poland’s small towns and backwaters. Poland in 1959 still bore many visible scars of the war that had ravaged it a decade and a half previous. With Stalin’s death in 1953 the worst excesses …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/20/nobody-leaves-by-ryszard-kapuscinski/

Edge of Empires by Donald Rayfield

Edge of Empires

Edge of Empires is a one-volume history of Georgia from the earliest discernible traces through June 2018, a remarkable feat of synthesis and scholarship. In fact, the main text runs just four hundred pages, so in some sense Rayfield positively gallops through four millennia of events in the Transcaucasus and eastern Anatolia. He’s very up …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/23/edge-of-empires-by-donald-rayfield/

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver

One of the unusual things that Naomi Novik does in Spinning Silver — so unusual, in fact, that I can’t think of another fantasy book that does it — is to state that some of her main characters are Jews. The first chapter lays out the hints: the characters are moneylenders in a small town whose …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/15/spinning-silver-by-naomi-novik/

Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower

In Hitler’s Empire Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University, describes how Nazi Germany ruled most of the rest of Europe. Briefly, Nazi rule was both incompetent and inhumane. In that sense, Mazower’s book does not break much new ground. Instead, it takes on several other interesting tasks. It situates Nazism “as an …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/19/hitlers-empire-by-mark-mazower/

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

So I asked the friend whose copy of Barbarossa I had acquired what the virtues were of an account published in 1965. He replied that Clark wrote clearly and was particularly good on the politicking among the German generals, and between the German high command and the leaders in the field. Thus encouraged, I picked …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/18/barbarossa-by-alan-clark/