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> CROSSING THE EASTERN FRONT, Novel about a Romanian SS volunteer
Alan Stroe
Posted: March 21, 2015 05:26 pm
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Available now for pre-order on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SY3COK4
It will be released on May 1st, 2015.

Kidnapped at gunpoint by a German unit from his village in the heart of Transylvania, a devout teenager is starving to death in a POW camp. The only way out is to join a Romanian Waffen-SS unit. As the Anglo-American and Soviet fronts grip Nazi Germany in an ever-tightening vise, the last months of war find him on the losing side, wearing its most hated uniform.

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Crossing the Eastern Front is the evocative, coming-of-age story of John, a teenager from the idyllic hillsides of Transylvania whose world is turned upside down when the Eastern front rolls over his village.

As a kidnapped, half-starved civilian prisoner whose best chance at survival involves joining the losing army, John's untested innocence is put to the trial. His strange new world is colored by a vast array of characters, ranging from the noble-spirited to the morally reprehensible--those in whom war has brought out the best, and those in whom it has brought out the very worst. As the fast-paced narrative progresses, pitting John against one tribulation after another, one cannot help but wonder: will witnessing the atrocities of war and drinking deep of its cold, haunting terrors corrupt him?

And yet despite the bleakness of his circumstances, John's story is a story of hope. Of moral integrity and goodness in the face of destruction, evil, and death. Reminiscent of Dostoevskian heroes, his child-like faith perseveres to the end in the midst of adversity. This is also the story of the plight of a people caught on the wrong-footing of history. The book adds to the ever-fascinating tapestry of World War II chronicles a revealing glimpse into Romania's involvement in the war, shedding light on the internal and external forces that pulled a peaceful people into history's bloodiest fray. Crossing the Eastern Front is a brisk, vivid, and touching narrative--a must read for history buffs and students of human nature alike. --Clara Kristiansen
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Agarici
Posted: March 22, 2015 11:29 pm
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John, the Transylvanian kid? Couldn't you, at least (for the sake of the plausibility) find a Romanian/Hungarian/German name for him? Why do some (Americans?) simplify the surrounding world to the point of transforming it into a cartoon version?
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Dénes
Posted: March 23, 2015 06:20 am
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Good point, Agarici.

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Alan Stroe
Posted: March 26, 2015 04:22 am
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Agarici, I didn't come up with the name. It's my grandfather's actual name (Ioan), but anglicized. I felt it important to respect his memory by using his real name, but decided to anglicize it for literary reasons--to make it easier for a native anglophone audience to identify with him.

Unfamiliar triphthongs seem very challenging to speakers of English, raising a question of proper pronunciation. "Ioan" also looks very much like the female name "Joan", unavoidably triggering the brain of most native speakers of English to expect a female character.

Lastly, Romanian, or Romanian-American would describe me better. :)
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Daniel Focsa
Posted: March 27, 2015 06:01 pm
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Congratulations Alan Stroe for this novel. :roll:

This post has been edited by Daniel Focsa on March 27, 2015 06:05 pm
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Florin
Posted: April 01, 2015 03:55 am
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QUOTE (Alan Stroe @ March 25, 2015 11:22 pm)
.... It's my grandfather's actual name (Ioan), but anglicized. I felt it important to respect his memory by using his real name, but decided to anglicize it for literary reasons--to make it easier for a native anglophone audience to identify with him.

Unfamiliar triphthongs seem very challenging to speakers of English, raising a question of proper pronunciation. "Ioan" also looks very much like the female name "Joan", unavoidably triggering the brain of most native speakers of English to expect a female character.
......

Regarding the average "anglophone audience", either is not that retarded as to matter if the character is "John" or "Ioan", either is so retarded that it does not matter if the character is "John" or "Ioan".
The latter category is about 98 percent of the total, but look at the bright side: 2 percent of "smarties" from many millions can mean a lot a readers.
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Alan Stroe
Posted: April 23, 2015 04:33 am
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