Dear Sheila and Jim -
At first I was devouring “Dracula Is Dead” at a breakneck pace, but then I realized that since it’s written largely in vignettes it seems best to be read in smaller doses. I have just passed the halfway point. Certain parts of it I am living with you, as I read it, though my knowledge and experiences are less professional, urbane and lofty than most of yours.
I’ve particularly enjoyed reading about the king’s view of events and your run-in with the infamous Branko (the Chicago restauranteur / Taste Of Romania producer) was also most amusing. It’s also interesting to read that many Hungarian-ethnics realize that re-unification is a dead issue, just as I am sure that the same holds true with Romanian-ethnics in the Republic of Moldova. That ship apparently sailed with Romanian missteps in ’90.
You’ve enlightened me concerning the Ploesti museum with the sections dedicated to the American flyers, bent on destroying their city. (As a side note, I recently finished a book entitled “The Forgotten 500,” about American flyers who had to bail-out over Yugoslavia after they completed the Ploiesti missions and the political quagmire they were a part of while trapped behind enemy lines. www.amazon.com/Forgotten-500-Untold-Greatest-Mission/dp/0451222121)
To be sure all the “discrepencies” (far too strong a word, I am afraid) I have noted in your book are a matter of individual experiences. The one very minor redaction (on page 246) that might be suggested in the next edition is the observation that “the median income is the equivelant of $125 a month.” when clearly you meant “$125 a month at that time.” Sorry to pick at that nit.
I’m looking forward to savoring the last half of the book and I can only wonder how many interesting stories you had to leave on the cutting room floor.