The Ballad of the Whisky Robber
A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts
This book has one of the best titles ever, for brevity I will refer to it as Whisky Robber. Briefly, this is the true tale of Atilla Ambrus, an ethnic hungarian who escapes from his home in transylvania to budapest and then promptly begins a life of escalating crime, culminating in his position as a hero of the peoples in the exciting and corrupt post-communist Hungary. Every character in the book seems to bubble forth from the mind of a skilled fiction writer, but apparently this is all true, culled from author Julian Rubenstein's extensive interviews with all levels of criminals, hockey players, inept police and others living in Budapest and Transylvania. The subplot, the hero talking his way into a janitorial/goaltender role on a once mighty hungarian professional hockey team, is almost worth a book in itself. Ambrus is an intensly likable character reaching riches and fame despite his position as a penniless immigrant through a combination of chutzpah and hardwork and intense preparation. The book flows along straining credulity at times, but apparently all true and a ripsnorting read. Get it at amazon or your local book shop...
Friday Group Ride #359
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