The Days of the King

The Days of the King

Joseph Strauss (a dentist and bachelor, client of the Eleven Titties brothel and of Der Große Bär beer cellar) leaves Prussia in the spring of 1866 and follows a captain of dragoons to Bucharest, where the officer is to ascend the throne as prince of the United Principalities of Romania. War is imminent in central Europe, but the company of a special tomcat, a guardian angel of sorts, helps him to overcome all dangers. In Bucharest, Joseph will meet and fall in love with an attractive nanny, while the prince distances himself from the dentist, seeking to erase all stains from his past, particularly his involvement with a beautiful blind prostitute. But unbeknownst to him, she has given birth to a baby boy with a suspiciously aristocratic nose . . . Nations are invented and dissolved overnight, kingdoms are for sale, Bucharest grows from a muddy pigsty into an elegant capital city, and love turns everything upside down in The Days of the King.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547549026

  • ISBN-10: 0547549024

  • Pages: 224

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 08/16/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

Filip Florian
Author

Filip Florian

FILIP FLORIAN is the author of Little Fingers which was named Best Debut Novel from the Romanian Writers' Union. He has also worked as a journalist and reporter for Radio Free Europe. 
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  • reviews

    “Blyth spins out Florian’s second novel in sinuous prose . . . It’s testament to the story’s sharp humor and crisp voice—even those amorous passages narrated by the cat—that the reader lingers in each scene, sharing them with the characters moment-by-moment.”

    -Publishers Weekly

    "A genial tale about fate and romance..."

    -Kirkus

    "Readers on the lookout for unique European literary voices and historical fiction fans looking for a challenge may be charmed by this poetic yet chaotic novel...[Florian] revels in the sensual details of Bucharest street life, food, sex, and dentistry..."

    -Booklist

  • excerpts

    1

    Farwell

    The farewell evening in Berlin concluded just as it ought to have concluded: with the scrawny body

     of the dentist sprawled across the bed, his head buried in that moist, gigantic breast whose pair had

    long ago been sliced offby the saber of a drunken hussar. Previously, he had drained six mugs of

    beer, bought a drink for anyone who entered the tavern, clinked glasses, hugged friends and strangers

     (what a hubbub!), and won one last round of whist to the cheers of the kibitzers, mainly because his

    fellow card players had connived to make him emerge triumphant, not cheating in broad daylight but

    by the light of the candles on the tables and shelves. He departed from Der Große Bär after nightfall,

    letting them think that he would quickly return from the latrine and order another round for one and

    all; in any case, he left behind his coat on the back of his chair, a scuffed overcoat, rather short in the

    sleeves, which had not found a place in his luggage for Bukarest, but which eased his exit from the

    scene. Later, at the brothel, they welcomed him with whoops and tears, in the way whores do when

    they take an occasion to heart. The establishment did not shut up shop in his honor, it is true, but the

    girls were able to bid their farewells one by one, plundering Eleven Titties brothel. It was not until

    April 14, when the daffodils were in bloom and his tomcat had wounded his muzzle and paw in one

    of the neighborhood cat fights, that he read to his astonishment a short item in a gazette about the

    holding of a plebiscite: “Today, the lieutenancy and the ministry have proclaimed, by means of bills

    posted on the streets, the candidacy of Prince Karl of Hohenzollern to the throne of Romania. The

    event seems to have filled the whole nation with rejoicing.” That evening, as the jovial Karl of

    Prussia bantered with the other Karl (now at last a captain) in the foyer of the Berlin Opera House,

    addressing him as “Turk”, the dentist felt no inclination for mugs of beer, for chatter and whist at the

    bar, or for the eleven titties, two per five lively wenches and the one huge one on the chest of Rosa.

    Frequently refilling his glass with schnapps, puffing his pipe and gazing through the open window at

    the stars and the eaves of the houses across the way, Herr Strauss regretted not having taken the

    young officer seriously. He fell asleep dreaming of beautiful women and impatient crowds waiting at

    his door for him to quell their toothaches. A few days later, a courier of the dragoons regiment

    handed him a yellowish envelope with a crest and the seal of the House of Hohenzollern-

    Sigmaringen. It was raining buckets, but the envelope was dry when it emerged from beneath the

    military cape.

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547549026

  • ISBN-10: 0547549024

  • Pages: 224

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 08/16/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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