|Book Reading and Signing by Julian Rubinstein
The HungarianAmerica Foundation
cordially invites you to a
Book reading and signing by
Author of the newly-released book
BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER
A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt
Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives and Broken Hearts
[Photos from the event]
When & Where:
7:00 pm, Thursday, December 2, 2004
Kossuth House, Washington, D.C.
R.S.V.P. by e-mailing to
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Through extensive interviews across Hungary, Rubinstein--a veteran contributor to the Washington Post, New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Details, among other publications--has pieced together the fascinating, widely publicized, and yet little understood tale of Attila Ambrus, sometimes known as the "Robin Hood of Eastern Europe." This is the improbable true story of Attila Ambrus: grave digger, church painter, Transylvanian animal pelt smuggler, professional hockey goalie, serial bank robber and modern folk hero.
The book has received more than 25 positive reviews
and has been hailed as "An instant classic" by the
Globe and Mail of Canada and "Outrageously
entertaining," by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New
York Times wrote: "Sometimes sad, often funny, always
absurd, Ambrus's tale microcosmically condenses the
politico-historic oddities of his place and era into
one entertaining and fairly tidy narrative."
Arthur Phillips, award-winning author of Prague, has called it "a great crime story... very funny, heart-breaking, gripping, incredible, and it implies volumes more: the distillation of a people or an era, or the failings and promise of money, freedom, fame. ...Attila Ambrus deserves to be America's favorite gangster-goalkeeper."
Just a few days ago, the book was picked as the Editors Choice by the New York Times, and Borders named it one of six non-fiction finalists for Original Voices 2004 Book of the Year.
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About the Book:
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Attila Ambrus, the Robin Hood of Eastern Europe. He's the onetime pelt smugger, goaltender (possibly the worst in the history of professional hockey), pen salesman, Zamboni driver, gravedigger, church painter, roulette addict, building superintendent, whiskey drinker, and native of Transylvania who's decided that the best thing to do with his time is to rob as many banks as possible.
His rival: Lajos Varjú, the Inspector Clouseau of the Iron Curtain, whose knowledge of police work comes from Hungarian-dubbed episodes of Colombo. His deputy is nicknamed "Mound of Asshead" because of his propensity for crashing police cars. His forensics expert, known as "Dance Instructor" for his lucrative side career teaching ballet, wears a top hat and tails on the job.
Welcome to Julian Rubinstein's uproariously funny and unforgettable account of crime in the heart of the new Europe. With a cast of backup characters that includes car wash owners, exotic dancers, drunk army generals, cocaine-snorting Hungarian rappers, the Johnnie Cochran of Budapest, and a hockey team that seems to spend as much time breaking the law as they do practicing, Ballad of the Whiskey Robber gives us the most charming outlaw-hero since the Sundance Kid - and the Sundance Kid didn't play hockey.
As the Eastern bloc slips off its communist skin and replaces it with leopard-skin hot pants, Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is here to screw in the pink lightbulbs. Part Unbearable Lightness of Being, part Pink Panther, and part Slap Shot, Julian Rubinstein's tale is a spectacular literary debut - and a story so outrageous that it could only be true.
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About the Author:
Julian Rubinstein has made a career finding and bringing unforgettable characters to life and breaking bizarre and often dangerous stories from faraway places. Whether with a fleeing Indian tribe in Brazil, with the Hell's Angels in Canada, or with John McEnroe in his art gallery in SoHo, Julian has consistently proven able to get the story no one else could. His journalism has earned inclusion in the BEST AMERICAN CRIME WRITING anthology and two citations from BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING. He began his career as a sports reporter and writer, first for The Washington Post and then Sports Illustrated. He has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Arts & Leisure Section, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Outside, Salon, and Details, where he is a contributing editor.
His first book, BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER, was published in Sept, 2004 by Little, Brown. Born in the Bronx and raised in Denver, Julian has reported from more than a dozen countries and his work has been translated in seven languages. He and his wife currently live in New York City.
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