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The Pigs' Slaughter Paperback – November 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145638239X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456382391
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 7.9 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Former Journalist with "Nine o'clock" newspaper in Bucharest, Romania, Florin lives with his family in Japan from where he researched Romanian transition to democracy and journalism.

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Customer Reviews

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Read the book in on sitting, in one afternoon.
DocRus
Being flattered that he valued my opinion I agreed, asking that he return the favor by reading and honestly reviewing my book.
John Beyerlein
Very well written with he added some humor for a tragic time.
marcia d major

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Deeth TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
How long does it take to kill a pig, or execute a dictator? How easily is freedom won and lost in a web of deceit? And who will weep at the funeral of a good Communist?

Author Florin Grancea was a fourteen-year-old boy in Romania, helping his father slaughter the family pig while Ceausescu's regime went to the wall in 1989 and the world looked on. Memory flavors his account in The Pigs' Slaughter with sights and sounds of family farm, gritty and poignant details on pig-killing, sausage cooking, mouth-watering, Christmas-cake-rising delights, all set against the background of a black-and-white TV set and news colored with lies. Hindsight offers truth behind the agony and irony, bitter-sweet as well-boiled wine.

Freedom beckons while father hopes the Russians will stay out and son wishes for shoes. But freedom turns out less sweet that it was imagined. The author salts his tale with the darkness of coming poverty and the death of his country's beloved traditions. Democracy wears fake jeans, as false as imagined terrorists and cruelly staged destruction. His people deceived, the author looks back and invites readers to see the falsehood of our own promises, or at least to open our eyes; remember what we've had before we lose it; and build on solid ground.

The history of two world wars is woven into the tale of five days in December just as seamlessly as the future and present day. The voice is consistent, the opinions fierce, and the facts well-researched by a boy turned journalist. The author's memories seem painfully, achingly real, right to a final scene of death, false victory and true forgiveness. I want to taste those Christmas treats. I mourn their loss and the loss of innocence. And I salute an author whose writing has brought it all to life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Florin Grancea is an unusually fine writer who pounces on the literary scene with a small book titled THE PIG'S SLAUGHTER. It is a pungent and poignant report of the effects of Stalinist Communism on the countries ruled by followers of the Stalinist cadre such as Nicolae Ceaus'escu who served as dictator in Romania from 1965 to 1989. Grancea was born in Transylvania, spent a happy childhood Amish style - lots of books, no TV. He prepared to become a medical doctor but shifted to journalism during final year of high school. After a few years as a journalist 'he decided that he needed a new dream and left Romania for Japan so he can look back and say "Romania wasn't so bad, after all".' He lives in Japan where he teaches communication and media courses and continues to study the effects of the transition from communism to democracy in his native Romania.

Perhaps this background explains why this book has such an impact on American readers who know too little about the Ceau'sescu reign of terror that ended December 25, 1989 with the execution of the dictator and his wife. The story is told by a fourteen-year old lad who as the story opens on December 21, 1989 is taking part in the slaughter of a pig - a custom in Romania that is to provide food in all manner of forms for the coming months. Grancea's description of the killing and the dismemberment and the preparation of every part of the pig's body is at once fascinating as well as prescient. What this story does is to relate the days of the revolution in Romania (December 21 to 25) that lead to the end of the reign of terror. But not only are we given the daily changes in the details of the events of history but we are also introduced to the idea that the entire spectacle was observed in the provinces on television.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ann on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A long time ago in Romania a man planted a nut tree in his garden so that his family would benefit from it's fruits. He positioned it on the boundary of his property so that his neighbours could freely avail of it's bounty. And they did, in fact as time rolled on the neighbours had more of the nut tree than his family. No matter, there was enough for everyone. Now, his grandson Florin has mentioned this in a much bigger story that we are somewhat familiar with, the fall of Ceaucescu in 1989. He is searching for the truth and finding it bit by bit. His story is vibrant and authentic, skilfully smooth yet at times raw and raggedy like a breaking news report. I read it in two sittings because it was unputdownable. Apart from the great storytelling skill this is an important book about our times. Quite simply I think everyone should read it. And I want more, looking forward to his next offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Moskovich on March 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Florin Gracia tells a story about the 1989 Romanian revolution as he perceived it then, at the age of 14, and as he perceives it now, 20 years later. Perception of an event depends both on what is being observed, and on who is observing it. What I took away from this book was a powerful message on the subjective nature of observation via media sources, and on the tension between perceived reality that we see on television (a grand revolution bringing "freedom"), and the actual reality that we suppress (wholescale slaughter of civilians, sometimes very close to home). Because we can never observe this "actual reality", it is told to us by the same character 20 years later, interwoven with that character's biases, perceptions, and conspiracy theories.

The book switches back and forth between descriptions of the main character (a 14 year old boy in a small Transylvanian village), the events as observed by the character (the Romanian revolution as told on an old small TV), and the events as he perceives them with hindsight, as an older, wiser, and more cynical man.

We often hear history told to us in such dogmatic terms, as good guys versus bad guys, or as wonderful triumphs of abstract unquantifiable values such as "freedom", or as great tragedies. The Pig's Slaughter reminds us that, as biased observers, we are all young boys sitting in front of an old TV screen, viewing current events through a glass darkly. The book ends by appealing to the Christman spirit, reminding us that, if we are not to be swept away by the madness, we should never allow our biased third- or fourth-hand perceptions of events to stand in the way of our compassion towards one another as human beings.
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