Item description for Lion of the Balkans by Vladimir Chernozemsky...
There's trouble in the Balkans, the "Powder Keg" of Europe. Prolific Bulgarian-American author Vladimir Chernozemsky takes us back to the bloody Balkan War in his most personal novel yet. The Ottoman Turks occupied and oppressed the Balkans for five centuries until Bulgaria and its neighbors drove them out, only then to fight over the liberated territories. It was a devastating war that still reverberates today.
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Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Vladimir Chernozemsky came under intense political scrutiny while working as a documentary director and poet in Sofia. With Communist State Security agents after him for espionage, Chernozemksy made a harrowing escape to the West. From then on he was constantly on the move -- Paris, Rome, Casablanca, Algiers -- eventually receiving asylum and citizenship in the United States. Chernozemsky is the author of 47 novels, plays and screenplays written by him in five different languages. For his poems in French he has been praised as "the new Paul Verlaine." He has been hailed for his novels as "an exceptional literary talent" (MBR/Bookwatch) and "a talented, accomplished writer" (Bookviews). Chernozemsky is also known for his translations of other works, and as an actor, painter and film/stage director.
Vladimir Chernozemsky currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lion of the Balkans?
Over-valued Work May 28, 2005
I simply cannot understand all of the postive press Vladimir Chernozemsky's "Lion of the Balkans" has received. Perhaps it is because the topic covers a period of history little-known to American audiences. It is, however, the worst written book I have read in my adult life. Mr. Chernozemsky must feel that liberal use of adjectives, overworked cliches, American slang, superlatives, and generalizations can do the work of clear character development and motivation. The list of Principle Characters and maps are only a smokescreen for the muddy writing that follows. Not until the "Epilogue" does the author put aside his purple prose long enough to speak in his own voice. It's too bad he didn't begin on page one as he obviously has an exciting and interesting tale to tell about the ways in which Bulgaria has made disastrous decisions which led its people into even more disastrous wars -- a condition, I might add, not limited to Bulgaria. This review gives "Lion of the Balkans" one star only because I am forced to give it some designation.
sprawling historic drama May 6, 2005
Rebeccasreads recommends LION OF THE BALKANS as a tale about a time & place steeped in history. It is based upon the author's family letters, diaries & tales told by his grandmother who lived during those turbulent times. It is unabashedly passionate & a larger-than-life dramatic recreation of the glory & tragedy of time when horsepower & pageantry dominated. Where the royalty & the military were inextricably entwined, & when courage & honor were beset by subterfuge & alliances.
Better than a history text book, twice as lively, if a bit unedited!
No ordinary war story! Nancy Morris, Allbooks Reviews Feb 22, 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction/War LION OF THE BALKANS AUTHOR: VLADIMIR CHERNOZEMSKY War stories are not usually my fist choice for fiction, but Vladimir Chernozemsky's newest novel, "Lion of the Balkans," is no ordinary war story. It is a wonderful and exciting read, filled with action, intrigue and romance. From beginning to end, it captured my attention, and left me wanting to read more by this prolific author. Using renditions of the events gathered from family members, diaries, and letters, Vladimir Chernozemsky vividly describes the conflict between Bulgaria and Turkey, and the devastation that results. He brings out the true horrors of war, seen through the eyes of those on all sides. Giving this novel a unique quality is the fact that the politics, though certainly crucial to the plot and circumstances, become secondary to the complexity of human relationships, entwined during a time of such turmoil and contradiction. The very long list of characters at the front of the book, with unfamiliar names and complicated titles, may at first appear intimidating, but it is these characters that give the story its amazing richness. From the moral struggle of childhood friends, one the son of a freedom fighting Bulgarian, the other the son of a Turkish officer, who both must choose between the bond of friendship and patriotic loyalty; to the greedy Tzar, so consumed by his own thirst for power and glory that he would rather have all his countryman slaughtered than to admit his mistakes. Opposing him, a patriotic but humanitarian lieutenant colonel, who would risk his life for his country and the men under his command, to become a hero and martyr to the Bulgarian people and his faithful and kindhearted wife, whose work with the wounded men brings her the treasured friendship of the Tzar's beautiful mistress. Add to this multiple romances, trysts, and betrayals, and you have an enthralling, realistic story, that comes highly recommended! Author, Vladimir Chernozemsky, was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He came under intense political scrutiny while working as a documentary director in Sofia, after which he made a harrowing escape to the west. The author of 44 novels, plays and screenplays he has been hailed "an exceptional literary talent." Reviewer: Nancy Morris, Allbooks Reviews Title: Lion of the Balkans Author: Vladimir Chernozemsky Publisher: Triumvirate Publications ISBN Number: 1-932656-01-4 Price: $24.95 Length: 425 pgs
An exciting saga of sweeping conflict Dec 6, 2004
Prolific Bulgarian-American author Vladimir Chernozemsky sets his novel Lion of the Balkans during the bloody Balkan War. Grounded in bitter realism, from the family letters, diaries, and tales told by family of devastating times, Lion of the Balkansrecounts how, after five centuries of rule by the Ottoman Turks, Bulgaria allied with its neighboring nations to drive the Turkish army to the gates of Constantinople. In reclaiming its independence and restoring its territory, Bulgaria became the Lion of the Balkans - although later events of history would surely engulf the Lion in more warfare. An exciting saga of sweeping conflict, fierce pride and unbridled determination in spite of great cost.
exudes the realities of living Oct 4, 2004
How does a war begin? Is it possible to really get down to the very beginning of World War I? How does such conflict come to be? Vladimir Chernozemsky shows us in his Historical Fiction, "Lion of the Balkans."
The Ottoman Turks had occupied the Balkans for five hundred years, until finally, Bulgaria - the lion of the Balkans, and its neighbors pulled together and drove the Turks out. Triumph and peace at last...that did not last. Trouble broke out again when it came to deciding who got what of the territories they'd defended. Hence, the end of the Balkan War became the very beginning of WWI. Through it all though, people lived their lives. People overcame differences and developed friendships. People fell in love.
This epic novel tells of the lives behind the war...from the highest Bulgarian royalty to the simple houseboy. Chernozemsky is the real life grandson of the novel's hero. He has taken from family letters and diaries and the tales that his grandmother told him of the story, and created a fictionalized accounting that you will not soon forget.
Included in the book are several maps and a long list of characters and how they relate to one another. This is necessary as the book is quite involved. The beginning of the book may prove a struggle to some as there are so many people to get to know and numerous plots to follow, however, it is all worth it in the end. The dialogues flow naturally and the author's descriptiveness enchants the tale to life.
For a bit of understanding of our world's war history and perhaps some insight into today's conflicts as well, and a story that exudes the realities of living, "Lion of the Balkans" should be on your "to-read" list.