An Award Winning Journalist Transforms His Lifelong Fascination With The World Of The Gypsies Into Fiction With This Exuberant, Deeply Enchanting Debut Novel Both Whimsical And Suspenseful Winner Of The European Book Prize, And Translated Into Than A Dozen Languages Worldwide NovemberAs Communism Spreads Across Eastern Europe, Strange Events Are Beginning To Upend Daily Life In Baia Luna, A Tiny Village Nestled At The Foot Of The Carpathian Mountains As The Soviets Race To Reach The Moon And Sputnik Soars Overhead, Fifteen Year Old Pavel Botev Attends The Small Village School With The Other Children Their Sole Teacher, The Mysterious And Once Beautiful Angela Barbulescu, Was Sent By The Ministry Of Education, And While It Is Suspected That She Has Lived A Highly Cultured Life, Much Of Her Past Remains Hidden But One Day, After Asking Pavel To Help Hang A Photo Of The New Party Secretary, She Whispers A Startling Directive In His Ear Send This Man Straight To Hell Exterminate Him By The Next Morning, She Has Disappeared With Little To Go On Than The Gossip And Rumors Swirling Through His Grandfather Ilja S Tavern, Pavel Finds Curiosity Overcoming His Fear When Suddenly The Village S Sacred Madonna Statue Is Stolen And The Priest Johannes Baptiste Is Found Brutally Murdered In The Rectory Aided By The Gypsy Girl Buba And Her Eccentric Uncle, Dimitru Gabor, Pavel S Search For Answers Leads Him Far From The Innocent Concerns Of Childhood And Into The Frontiers Of A New World, Changing His Life Forever Forse anche 1 2 divertente, ironico, bello a tratti Ma eccessivo Non c niente da fare, sono troppo vittoriana, troppo naturalistica Een lastige om te beoordelen Ik kwam moeilijk in het verhaal, waarschijnlijk door gebrekkige kennis van deze cultuur, dit land, deze tijd, maar de toon was echt goed Grotesk, grappig, serieus Helaas voelde het einde gejaagd.Het feit dat ik er wat moeilijk in kwam lag misschien aan mezelf, dus dit laat ik minder zwaar wegen Al met al 3 sterren. At first this book was hard for me to get into, I think due to the history references that I wasn t familiar with, to set up the background Once the stage is set, it s a great story Definitely kept me intrigued and smiling at the end For some reason, this book reminds me of Herman Hesse s Peter Camenzind even though I haven t read that book in nearly 35 years Like a mix of Peter Camenzind and Don Quixote Though the blurb makes this book out to be about gypsies, their plight or lives are really not a part of the book, though one of them is a main character, this book is not about Gypsies really in any way but that they are human and are at the whim of history like anyone else.This story takes place in a small village in a fictitious Eastern European country in the Carpathians The village is a petrie dish of humanity that doesn t seem to be touched as much by the events and history of the communist world during the cold war The lesson primarily being taught is futility and the passage of time erodes everything, but this is a complicated book featuring people of great worth and people who are weak and people who are of little worth and basically are just evil and enjoy hurting people after they ve used them up I think the message I m going to take away is that life is fleeting and one must grab at it and make it the best one can or it will slide away from you and you will end up with just dust.The story is well written, or I should at least say well translated It definitely is written from an Eastern European standpoint that may seem odd to Westerners The characters are complicated and seem to fit into their world which is rather grim with poverty and pastorialism and the threat of losing the little livelihood that they have to communism The mystery of Angela Barbulescu almost enables Pavel to rise above the drab and dreary early communism to turn the world on it s head, but he doesn t seem to have the strength to quite rise above, he struggles but then seems to sink into the normality of country life.This book is bizarre as a quote calls it, but only in the efforts of some people to find answers to why life is what it is It has it s slow spots and is not perfect, but well worth the read. La chiamarono et dell oro , mostrarono a tutti il loro sorridente Conduc tor a bordo di una Dacia nuova fiammante, fecero passare della paccottiglia assortita per le vestigia della Roma antica Sottrassero le madonne e le licenze commerciali, tolsero la forza al popolo con la paura e la tortura.La grande masquerade rumena mi ha fatto ricordare le parole di Flaiano La condanna a sorridere pi feroce, insopportabile, agghiacciante di quella ideata da Orwell, che ci permetterebbe almeno di restare seri Il popolo rumeno doveva sorridere, inneggiare, ringraziare la liberazione era giunta.In questa cornice angosciosa Rolf Bauerdick fa danzare i suoi personaggi un paesino che sembrava una fortunata enclave dentro la macchia rossa, il fantomatico Baia Luna, dove l artiglio della Securitate giunge a compiere subdolamente i suoi misfatti.Bauerdick uno di quei giornalisti che si son fatti le ossa nei campi rom per anni ha documentato la vita degli tzigani nell area geografica dei Carpazi, cogliendone gli aspetti drammatici e poetici A lui va il merito di restituire dignit ad un variegato e affascinante popolo nomade, trattato in maniera semplicemente schifosa dai governi d ogni quando e d ogni dove Un popolo che ha vissuto un terribile olocausto, che oggi pochi ricordano.Il paesino al centro di questa storia carpatica non balcanica, come detto in quarta di copertina un melting pot di rumeni, slavi, tedeschi e zigeuner appunto, in una convivenza non semplice ma estremamente genuina nemmeno le occasionali risse tra promotori del socialismo e conservatori riescono ad intaccare il fortissimo legame di conterraneit.Attorno al giovane protagonista Pavel Botev inizia l oscuro intreccio, che si dipana tra la pista di sangue del montante regime comunista ed una bizzarra indagine teologico spaziale sull assunzione corporea di Maria Vergine tra le silenziose lande della luna Dal programma Sputnik e la cagnolina astronauta Lajka ai celeberrimi primi passi di Armstrong compagnia sul satellite della notte, i co protagonisti della storia Ilja il nonno di Pavel e il vecchio zingaro bilbiotecario Dimitru inanellano una serie esilarante di ipotesi bislacche sul soggiorno lunare del corpo di Maria, raffigurato con procace dolcezza dalla statua misteriosamente trafugata dall edicola sacra in cima al monte.Una storia che sprofonda nel torbido, tragica come la disillusione di una giovane maestra rumena innamorata di un uomo che poi si sarebbe rivelato diabolicamente come il pi crudele tra i predatori.Un po in stile ellroyano, marcatamente esteuropeo guizzi di fiamma sul fondale oscuro della Storia con servizi segreti, morti misteriose e ricatti sessuali questo Come la Madonna arriv sulla Luna di Bauerdick riesuma un pezzo di storia dimenticato della Romania, terminato con l esecuzione show dei coniugi Ceau escu nel 1989.Qualche scorciatoia un po forzata nella trama ma nel complesso una buona architettura, una scrittura agile, un plot avvincente e tanto bel colore zingaro. One of my favorite thing about all books is the way you can be immersed in a completely different world regardless of your own surrounds Buses filled with people, noisy people outside or even your daunting to do list all melt away for as long as you can let them And with an ever growing To Be Read pile, I have in the last few years adhered to the fifty page rule If a book doesn t hook me within its first fifty pages, I set it aside This usually happens about three or four times a year, and this book marks the third and hopefully last book of 2013 that I could not bring myself to finish Like Kent Wascom s The Blood of Heaven and A L Kennedy s The Blue Book, even getting to that fifty page mark became something of a struggle Perhaps my frustration with the novel lies at the feet of the translator Originally written in German, this English version uses words in the rambling prose that greatly contrast with the clearer language in its dialogue Though not all blame should be placed on the translator The concept of a fictional country set in the Cold War era somewhere in the Transylvanian Mountains is disorienting with real, authentic facts and locales mentioned alongside this faux background Marketed as a coming of age novel, its overall point of view is that of an older Pavel looking back on these events, which really takes away from that coming of age feel This coupled with an inconsistent verb tense, an entire village of characters all shallowly described and the odd use of vocabulary all make this book difficult to connect with on any level Maybe someday I will try this one again it certainly seems to have received some rave reviews from other readers but for now, I just can t make myself look at it. As socialism comes marching in to a small village called Baia Luna in the Carpathian s, young Pavel s teacher, Angelina Barbulescu, beseeches the boy as he hangs up a picture of the new leader in class, to send this man straight to hell How can young Pavel accomplish such a thing, and why should he This act of Barbu, sets Pavel on a collision course with the new dictators who are leading the country to a new golden age.Pavel lives in Baia Luna with the tavern keeper, his wonderful grandfather Ilja and his mother Ilja is in cahoots with the Gypsy Dimitru and they get some wonderful, crazy ideas about the Virgin Mary residing on the moon Does the Bible say she ascended and is the Pope correct in his declaration The pair believe she lives on the moon and they set out to prove it.In the meantime, Baia Luna s priest is murdered and Barbulescu meets an untimely end as well The eternal flame is extinguished in the church and the aged statue of the Madonna mysteriously disappears It s up to Pavel to solve the mysteries presented in Baia Luna.At times, The Madonna On The Moon is a light hearted romp in a remote village in the Carpathian Mountains, but at its core, this story is about survival and belief and what lives in the soul.This book is very unique but solidly tells a story of the takeover of socialism It s got some great history of space launches and the space race in the 1960s between the USA and Russia.This is a very enjoyable read It s very hard to categorize and is therefore, very unique and highly readable. Dazzling but I had a problem with the English version of it Khrushchev was never the USSR president I can t think this was a mistake made in the original version Additionally, no version of the Bible used for this translation was given, or I didn t find it It seems a small thing but there are differences between the versions Yes, I am a translator by education and pay attention to those details One of those books that touch the essence of what it is to be human. Young Pavel lives in a small village, Baia Luna by the Carpathian mountains He lives with his grandfather Ilja whom he adores his mother His grandfather has a very close friendship with Gypsy Dimitri Pavel narrates the story of the seriousness, silliness that goes on between his grandfather Dimitri This is during a time when socialism was creeping into all the villages, they always thought they would not be easily found The title refers to how Ilja gypsy Dimitri believe that the Virgin Mary resides on the moon they want to prove it Altogether a great story, somewhat serious, somewhat lighthearted I loved how it ended, sometimes you wish the characters would last forever, but I did like the ending.