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Into the Carpathians: A Journey Through the Heart and History of Central and Eastern Europe (Part 1: The Eastern Mountains)

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A compelling chronicle of a hiking and wildlife research expedition along the length of the Carpathian Mountains, from Romania to Poland, some 1,700 miles as the crow flies. (This volume, Part 1, covers the first half of the journey, through Romania and Ukraine.) On the trail of wolves, we are led deep into the dark forests, misty hills, and intriguing history of this fabl A compelling chronicle of a hiking and wildlife research expedition along the length of the Carpathian Mountains, from Romania to Poland, some 1,700 miles as the crow flies. (This volume, Part 1, covers the first half of the journey, through Romania and Ukraine.) On the trail of wolves, we are led deep into the dark forests, misty hills, and intriguing history of this fabled landscape, where encounters with wolves, bears, and lynx; werewolves, vampires, and witches; lumberjacks, shepherds, and recluses; poets, tyrants, and saints; deities, demons, and sirens; and such imposing historical figures as Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler, and Volodymyr the Great provide broad insight into the natural, historical, and mythological forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the cultures, nations, and psyches along the way. 63 beautiful color photographs also emblaze this memorable trek. (We also offer a black & white edition at a reduced price; see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...).


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A compelling chronicle of a hiking and wildlife research expedition along the length of the Carpathian Mountains, from Romania to Poland, some 1,700 miles as the crow flies. (This volume, Part 1, covers the first half of the journey, through Romania and Ukraine.) On the trail of wolves, we are led deep into the dark forests, misty hills, and intriguing history of this fabl A compelling chronicle of a hiking and wildlife research expedition along the length of the Carpathian Mountains, from Romania to Poland, some 1,700 miles as the crow flies. (This volume, Part 1, covers the first half of the journey, through Romania and Ukraine.) On the trail of wolves, we are led deep into the dark forests, misty hills, and intriguing history of this fabled landscape, where encounters with wolves, bears, and lynx; werewolves, vampires, and witches; lumberjacks, shepherds, and recluses; poets, tyrants, and saints; deities, demons, and sirens; and such imposing historical figures as Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler, and Volodymyr the Great provide broad insight into the natural, historical, and mythological forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the cultures, nations, and psyches along the way. 63 beautiful color photographs also emblaze this memorable trek. (We also offer a black & white edition at a reduced price; see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...).

51 review for Into the Carpathians: A Journey Through the Heart and History of Central and Eastern Europe (Part 1: The Eastern Mountains)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nick Jones

    Before you start out on your trek through this review, you should know that I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Into the Carpathians is a dense, thorough book breaking down on a day-to-day basis the journey of Alan Sparks and the team he accompanied across the Romanian and Ukrainian stretches of the Carpathian Mountain range. Entwined with the details of everyday life along a long hike such as suffering wet clothes, wrong turns, poor food, grumpy companions, etc Before you start out on your trek through this review, you should know that I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Into the Carpathians is a dense, thorough book breaking down on a day-to-day basis the journey of Alan Sparks and the team he accompanied across the Romanian and Ukrainian stretches of the Carpathian Mountain range. Entwined with the details of everyday life along a long hike such as suffering wet clothes, wrong turns, poor food, grumpy companions, etcetera, the reader is taken through remote villages to meet the frequently-eccentric locals and exposed to the varied wildlife. In the midst of writing about a day's events an extensive section explaining a referenced bit of history, culture, or mythology will often appear. The transition can be sudden and some people might find it jarring to go from what is essentially a journal entry to a lesson about the region's greater historical context, but I had no problem switching between the two. There's a lot of information that the author wanted to impart, and even with enough condensation to fit into a book it ends up with the journal-style bits, in-entry explanations, seven appendices, a notes section with more than three-hundred entries, and a bibliography, as well as a second book on the horizon. That may sound daunting, but everything's quite accessibly written, with the appendices and notes sitting unobtrusively at the back of the book to peruse at your leisure. This book is also punctuated with color photographs throughout, appearing on the pages where they're actually relevant and relate to the text. I'm used to black and white pictures being scattered through a book, or one big middle section with color photographs, but getting the best of both worlds struck me as a pleasant novelty that you really only otherwise encounter in expensive textbooks. Good stuff. I greatly enjoyed Into the Carpathians, and it felt good to learn about an area of the world that often gets short shrift. This is the first Goodreads Giveaway book that actually has me really interested in the author's other works, especially the second volume that will cover the latter half of this trip.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I won this book on the "Giveaways" contest in May 2016 and finished reading it June 2, 2016. I took my sweet time as I savoured the book, sometimes paragraph by paragraph and at times page by page, reading over sections many times because I enjoyed what was written. What a book! The many descriptive narratives are very interesting and the book brings the reader along on a very interesting and knowledgable journey. It was like being on the journey as well, the only thing missing was the weight of I won this book on the "Giveaways" contest in May 2016 and finished reading it June 2, 2016. I took my sweet time as I savoured the book, sometimes paragraph by paragraph and at times page by page, reading over sections many times because I enjoyed what was written. What a book! The many descriptive narratives are very interesting and the book brings the reader along on a very interesting and knowledgable journey. It was like being on the journey as well, the only thing missing was the weight of the pack on my back ! Incredible read which I recommend to everyone. Alan E. Sparks can certainly write masterfully. Never a dull moment. Thank you to the author, Allan E. Sparks, and the publisher for participating in the "Giveaway" contest !

  3. 5 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    This Part 1 is actually in two parts that covers the complete trip by the author and friends of a tramp by foot and other vehicles through the Carpathian Mountains. The book is 60% trip diary, and 20% semi-reference, and the rest is notes and index. The Countries covered in this section are Romania, Eastern Ukraine and Hungary. This reads like a day-by-day diary and much of it is boring enough to give to Taliban prisoners along with Rap music, to get them to talk. I can't remember how many times This Part 1 is actually in two parts that covers the complete trip by the author and friends of a tramp by foot and other vehicles through the Carpathian Mountains. The book is 60% trip diary, and 20% semi-reference, and the rest is notes and index. The Countries covered in this section are Romania, Eastern Ukraine and Hungary. This reads like a day-by-day diary and much of it is boring enough to give to Taliban prisoners along with Rap music, to get them to talk. I can't remember how many times he wrote about bad roads, mud from rains, antiquated and dilapidated hostels (and such), poor sanitation, etc. I didn't find it very enlightening but some people will. Why did I read it? Because I got a free copy of Part 2 from GoodReads, and I always feel it's a good idea to read the first part first, a stupid idea in this case.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Harding

    I read this because I was visiting the Romanian Carpathian mountains and I was looking for books about the Carpathians to read while I was there. I am not sure I'd have encountered it otherwise. It's about a trek through the Carpathians, starting in Romania, then Ukraine, then volume 2 will be Slovakia and Poland I think. It's all from the perspective of the author, interspersed with history, geography and biology (these were my favourite bits). I'd have liked to hear more from the perspective o I read this because I was visiting the Romanian Carpathian mountains and I was looking for books about the Carpathians to read while I was there. I am not sure I'd have encountered it otherwise. It's about a trek through the Carpathians, starting in Romania, then Ukraine, then volume 2 will be Slovakia and Poland I think. It's all from the perspective of the author, interspersed with history, geography and biology (these were my favourite bits). I'd have liked to hear more from the perspective of other members of the group, especially those who trekked - the author spent a lot of time as support team. It was an interesting book and I enjoyed it, but it's not a patch on Patrick Leigh Fermor!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lori Byrd

    I never thought I'd enjoy a book of travel so much, but this was so well written, you couldn't help but love it. It was fascinating to read about a culture and place you will probably never visit. I was thinking, can such a place even exist? So well written and I couldn't wait to turn the page to see if it had any new pictures on it. I loved that. Excellent!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aureliana Marina

    I live in Carpathians area so reading about nature around me is an interesting topic. It's a way of travelling without leaving your home.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Great book. Not something I would go to a store and buy. Now it makes me think that I need to widen my selection. I truly enjoyed this book and it was nice to learn about places that I will never visit in person.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    So far it is very interesting, still reading. This book was a GoodReads giveaway.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Miroslav Smrtič

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carly

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angelique

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alma Petterson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Frewen Wuellner

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robin E

  15. 4 out of 5

    Orsolya Kiss

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Then history portions are simply fantastic!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 4 out of 5

    Priscillia

  20. 4 out of 5

    George Wehrle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael T. Evans

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alan E.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amie Gibson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  27. 4 out of 5

    A. C. H..

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  31. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  32. 4 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sangeeta

  34. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

  35. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  36. 4 out of 5

    Stella Clarkson

  37. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  38. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

  39. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  40. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

  41. 4 out of 5

    Joy Adams

  42. 5 out of 5

    D

  43. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  44. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Parrish

  45. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  46. 4 out of 5

    Janice

  47. 4 out of 5

    Melitta Cross

  48. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

  49. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  50. 5 out of 5

    Louise Carlson Stowell

  51. 4 out of 5

    Bookwhore Extraordinaire!

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