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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a guide
This is a book is not just about Romania but about the Romanian people and their culture. It is indeed, an "insider's" view, at it looks to me that the author was quite successful in understanding what Romania is all about.

I've left Romania for Canada more than fifteen years ago and I wish I had a similar book about Canada and Canadians. Now, with a good...
Published on December 27, 2010 by Adrian G.

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Travel Guide
Buy this book if you are moving to live in Romania. Do not buy this book is you are taking a trip to visit Romania. It's nothing like the usual travel guide which tells you what to visit, gives you a choice of hotels and restaurants, etc. It's an overview of life in Romania and what you can expect if you are living there.
Published on August 6, 2011 by Patricia D. Griffin


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a guide, December 27, 2010
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This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
This is a book is not just about Romania but about the Romanian people and their culture. It is indeed, an "insider's" view, at it looks to me that the author was quite successful in understanding what Romania is all about.

I've left Romania for Canada more than fifteen years ago and I wish I had a similar book about Canada and Canadians. Now, with a good understanding of how westerners live and socialize, I can see how confusing Romania can be for them. As I was reading this guide and its various amusing chapters about how a foreigner would perceive various Romanian customs, I had many moments where I would chuckle and think "OMG, this is so true, I've never seen it that way!". I can tell that the author had many patient guides himself, guides that introduced him to all that's good and bad about Romania, from the sweet taste and fragrance of the wild strawberries, the welcoming people and sights taken from fairy tales, to the mind boggling bureaucracy and the scary night traffic on country roads.

As a Romanian, I would have very little to add to this book and I would recommend this book to all that want to not just visit Romania but to also understand the people and enrich their experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and valuable at the same time, December 4, 2010
This guy is an amazing writer. Written with a sense of humor, this book will reveal all the stuff you don't get from regular guide books. If you want to understand Romania from an insider's view read this! Full of interesting information and entertainingly done. A good read whether you're going to Romania or not.
Well worth the price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good and HONEST guide, August 8, 2011
By 
Viorel Anghel (Bucharest, Romania) - See all my reviews
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Being a Romanian, I can afirm this is a good and HONEST guide. The author made efforts to really understand Romania, with good and bad and to accurately describe it. Even the few mistakes I have spotted are harmless.

Highly recommended if
- you are a Romanian - it won't hurt to understand your country
- you are a Romanian in exile - it won't hurt to understand what you left behind
- you came to live here - this is your best starting guide
- you travel in Romania and would like to "see" deeper than the usual turist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed Information from a Guy Who Loves Romania, August 30, 2011
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This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
If you live in Romania, or will be visiting for more than a few days, this is the book to have. It is a walk through the country and its culture, by a guy who knows the country -- and loves it. That last part is important, because a lot of people (especially Romanians) like to focus on the bad bits, which range from stray dogs to a dysfunctional government. Sam knows about those things, and can write about them, but his emphasis is always on the things that make the country so remarkable: its natural beauty, its distinctive culture, and especially the many warm and hospitable people who live there.

One reviewer expressed her concern that this isn't a standard traveler's guide, with street maps and hotel recommendations. That is absolutely true, and one of those can be pretty handy. But I own a bunch of those, and while I certainly do use them, Sam's book is the one I use when I am trying to understand Romania.

Another reviewer suggested that the book has a bias against missionaries. I'm not so sure; I am a missionary in Romania myself, and get along with the author pretty well. (We live in the same town, and know each other socially). If I had to guess, I would say that Sam has a bias against the stereotypical rude foreigner, who travels through a country without paying attention to the customs, and the feelings, of the local population. He wrote the book to help keep that from happening, and I for one am grateful that he did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best guide to Romania out there, December 6, 2010
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
The author is a talented writer who has lived in Romania for several years and shares his experiences in this book. If you are travelling to Romania for business or pleasure pick this up before you go. It will describe how to deal with the culture shock from the perspective of a westerner who has learned the culture and the language.

Forget about your typical crappy lonelyplanet guides and pick up this book, written by a romanianized American who lives, eats, dates and writes in Romania. You will not regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informally informative, January 14, 2012
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
First, let it be said that if you are looking for a polished guide book with references, maps, and specific recommendations for your quick stop in the country, then, as the author himself notes, you should perhaps choose another title.

However, if you are planning on a longer stay in Romania or the region, this book is an excellent look into the culture. It reads rather like a blog--emoticons, occasional typos, and all--but the way in which the information is divided and presented (concise, anecdotal) makes it exactly the sort of blog you would wish to consult when learning about or visiting Romania. I'm sure the fact that the book is occasionally politically incorrect will put off some people, but don't let that prevent you from enjoying the book as a whole. (As someone who works in a Roma community in neighboring Bulgaria, I admit that I cringed when reading the "Gypsy" section, which is based purely on stereotypes. Sure, it's funny and not totally inaccurate, but I would strongly recommend supplementing your knowledge of Roma culture elsewhere if you'd like a more in-depth understanding.)

All in all, the book provides a handy look into the country, and is a smooth read that can be read in one sitting or in theme-specific chunks. Again, living in nearby Bulgaria, I found many parts of this insightful to the region as a whole, and was interested to learn of some similar or shared traditions with my adopted country. (Some of these included holidays like Martisor/Baba Marta, foods like mici/kebabcheta and ciftele/kyufteti, shared words--Slavic, Turkic, or otherwise--and even commonly held beliefs; the chapter titled "Moving Air: Bringer of Sickness" made me guffaw, as it perfectly reflects the mindset where I live as well.) That said, if you're interested in Eastern Europe or the Balkans as a whole, this book will be of interest to you as well.

On another note, I'd like to give kudos to Sam R. for his self-published endeavor, not just for the reasons above, but because this is truly the sort of book that's great for people contemplating a long-term move to Romania. Most guide books and histories are meant for tourists and short-term visitors, but this book really caters to those who have an interest in immersing themselves in the culture for a much longer period of time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive and Insightful, December 6, 2010
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
I always like to read about the country that I am going to visit. To have the experience of one who has seen and done it all, beats getting little help from your typical travel book. These often have material woefully out of date which has been edited over and over with little real comprehension of the place in question.

The style of writing makes this an enjoyable read. It also creates a visual image of the places, customs and characteristics of each of the different areas of the country so that you have a context for your travels.

Extremely well done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, loved it!, May 18, 2012
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
Even if you're NOT going to Romania, read this book. You'll want to go after reading it. Definitely not necessary for a 2-day business trip, but if you're planning a longer visit and don't want to appear as (1) a fool (2) a jerk (3) an ugly American or (4) all of the above, I highly recommend this book. And the humor is delightful. If you've ever traveled abroad, you'll appreciate his humorous comments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best guidebook on Romania I have ever read, December 23, 2010
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
While other guidebooks on Romania are written by people who visit here once every few years (like the Lonely Planet or National Geographic), Sam R actually lives in Romania, he speaks the language and understands the culture.
I got the book today and I simply couldn't put it down until I finished it. All I can is: awesome!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Travel Guide, August 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 (Paperback)
Buy this book if you are moving to live in Romania. Do not buy this book is you are taking a trip to visit Romania. It's nothing like the usual travel guide which tells you what to visit, gives you a choice of hotels and restaurants, etc. It's an overview of life in Romania and what you can expect if you are living there.
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The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011
The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 by Sam Cel Roman (Paperback - December 1, 2010)
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