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Eclipse of the Crescent Moon by Géza…
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Eclipse of the Crescent Moon (1899)

by Géza Gárdonyi

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As national epics go, it fell a bit flat. I'm not sure if the fault lies with the book or the translation. It's written in a very simple, unadorned style as if it were meant to be juvenile fiction, but on the other hand it is very detailed about siege warfare. Since the translator is extremely knowledgeable about military matters, I suppose it's in the original.
The tale is also extremely long and consists mostly of disjointed episodes from the life of Gergely Bornemissza. None of them is crucial to the understanding of the siege which takes up the last part of the book.
I assume the protagonists are household names in Hungary. For myself I wish there had been more than the slapdash glossary at the back. Ideally, some information about the author, the times in which he wrote this, the historical background of the siege, the workings of the Turkish and Hungarian armies etc. And maps! Decent maps of Hungary and the fortress of Eger!
Sienkiewicz did this much better with “With fire and sword”. ( )
  MissWatson | Mar 18, 2015 |
Geza Gardonyi's historical novel "Eclipse of the Crescent Moon" is thoroughly entertaining. It's action packed and sprinkled with a bit of romance, intrigue, and plenty of fighting between Hungarians and Turks.

Gardonyi takes the real-life seige of Eger Castle and romanticizes the life of one of the Hungarian leaders who defended the fort -- Gergeley Bornemizzsa, a Hungarian who made grenades that were partly responsible for driving the Turks away from the fort after a month-long seige. Gardonyi's story is apparently wholly made up, except for the historical details.

The book is a really fun and easy read, despite its 500-page length. The characters are interesting and there are few lulls in the action. I also enjoyed the way the author winks at his audience every once in a while, with a side comment or two hinting at future details. (Not sure if that was Gardonyi or a result of the translation.) Overall, it was just good fun. ( )
2 vote amerynth | Jul 23, 2012 |
Hungarian - great childhood read ( )
1 vote darkchocolate | Apr 4, 2012 |
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Two children, a boy and a girl, are bathing in the stream.
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Géza Gárdonyi set his Hungarian children's classic in the 16th century during the 150-year Ottoman occupation. Besides the tales of several battles, the novel details the 1552 Siege of Eger, during which Captain István Dobó's 2,000 Hungarian men, women and children inside the county's castle, defeated a Turkish force of 80,000 men.
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