From Library Journal
B nffy (1873-1950), a wealthy Transylvanian diplomat and a member of the Hungarian Parliament before World War I, was later foreign minister of Hungary. This book, the first volume of his "Transylvanian Trilogy," published just before World War II, is a huge, historical, romantic novel that keeps the reader involved. Set in the first decade of the 20th century, it portrays a society clinging to an opulent lifestyle of hunting parties and balls and gossip while on the verge of vast change. The two main characters, cousins Balint Ab dy and L szl? Gyeroffy, are studies in contrast. Ab dy leads a respectable life except for a hopeless love affair with a married woman, while Gyeroffy represents decadence, becoming addicted to gambling and alcohol. Good storytelling, solid historical background, and enjoyable drama recommend this for academic and large public libraries.AAnn Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Silver Spring, MD
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
They Were Counted ($28.95 paperback original; Jun. 14, 1999; 596 pp.; 1-900850-15-X): This roomy, eventful historical novel is the opening volume of a celebrated trilogy (A Transylvanian Story, 193440) written by a remarkably gifted (Romanian-born) Hungarian aristocrat (18731950) whose busy career as an influential diplomat somehow left time for B nffy's equally impressive achievements as a painter and designer, musical administrator (who befriended Bla Bartk), and writer. They Were Counted is a Tolstoyan panorama that dramatizes Hungarian and Romanian history in the prewar years 190414 by juxtaposing the sometimes intertwined lives of two highborn cousins: one a heartless sybarite who casually throws his life away, the other a compassionate defender of his country's endangered peasant populace. It's a great work, whose forthcoming further volumes (the whole in English to be collectively entitled The Writing on the Wall) will be eagerly awaited by readers swept up in B nffy's replete, absorbing, and very moving story. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.