author: Filip Florian
I innocently wonder how many innocent readers of this post know what "Bucharest" is and what's more how many dare to ponder over its location. I will not whine about our border culture or about American news agencies confusing Budapest with Bucharest. I will just get to the story only stopping to add that the books has all chances to be [eventually] translated into a few European languages and probably be released into the US too.
In 1866 a young monarch dares to take the crown of the newly formed Romanian United Principalities. He had to travel incognito from Berlin to Bucharest where he found a country completely different from his native one, a country that never had a foreign king or railways. The thing about this book, however, is that it doesn't tell the story of the king, not directly at least, but of his dentist - a young catholic german who is also forced to move to Bucharest.
It's hard to explain the culture clash to someone who hasn't visited Romania, it's easy to explain why the novel is praised as one of the best to come since '89.
For once it has a cat that writes suave love-letters as a characters, a contagious sense of humor and a good douse of historical accuracy and interesting historical details. Enough to give you hope that there are books out there that are just different from everything you've read.
I will not praise the book any more, as I've already read so many reviews in its favor and I'd really want to get to finish an other book before bedtime. I will however dare you, if you had enough patience to read until this point, to read a book that's different. Get out of your comfort zone and read a contemporary novel by someone who's name you can't pronounce. You will not regret it.