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The Faraway Mountains by Radu Guiasu, now available from Histria Books
By: Histria Books
The first part of this novel follows the adventures of three young friends during a memorable last mountain climbing trip to a remote area of a country under the control of a ruthless authoritarian regime. During their journey, the young men have to cope with: bear encounters, venomous adders, colorful locals, storms, dangerous climbs, flooded caves, and other challenges, as the main purpose of their trip is gradually revealed.
A second story, intertwined with the first one, focuses on a brilliant young pianist and his ill-fated quest for freedom. Urban life, in the dreary capital where the young men regularly reside, is the focus of the second part of the novel, when the friends begin to go their own separate ways and come to terms with their very different future prospects. The challenges of life in the capital, which include run-ins with feral dog packs and the secret police, are very different than those faced in the mountains, but not less dangerous.
Ultimately, this is a book about friendship, the noble, irreverent and indomitable aspects of the human condition, as well as a dark chapter in recent human history, and the various ways in which different people cope with difficult and unfair conditions. It is an often hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking exploration of the absurdities of life under an increasingly erratic dictatorship which is gradually losing its grip on the people it could never fully control.
Foreword Reviews calls it. "A provocative historical novel. In The Faraway Mountains, men discuss life under their harsh authoritarian government over the course of a perilous hike."
Radu Guiasu was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania during the time of the Communist dictatorship led by Nicolae Ceausescu. He moved to Canada at the age of 18, following his high school graduation. Today he is a biologist and an award-winning tenured Associate Professor in the Biology Program at Glendon College, York University in Toronto.
The Faraway Mountains, 240 pp., ISBN 978-1-59211-