• Children of the Night

  • The Strange and Epic Story of Modern Romania
  • By: Paul Kenyon
  • Narrated by: Paul Kenyon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Children of the Night

By: Paul Kenyon
Narrated by: Paul Kenyon
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Publisher's Summary

A vivid, brilliant, darkly humorous and horrifying history of some of the strangest dictators that Europe has ever seen.

Balanced precariously on the shifting fault line between East and West, Romania's schizophrenic, often violent past is one of the great untold stories of modern Europe.

The country that gave us Vlad Dracula, and whose citizens consider themselves descendants of ancient Rome, has traditionally preferred the status of enigmatic outsider. But this beautiful and unexplored land has experienced some of the most disastrous leaderships of the last century.

After a relatively benign period led by a dutiful king and his vivacious, British-born queen, the country oscillated wildly. Its interwar rulers form a gallery of bizarre characters and extreme movements: the corrupt and mentally unbalanced King Carol; the fascist death cult led by Corneliu Codreanu; the vain General Ion Antonescu, who seized power in 1940 and led the country into a catastrophic alliance with Nazi Germany. After 1945 power was handed to Romania's tiny communist party, under which it experienced severe repression, purges and collectivisation.

Then in 1965, Nicolae Ceaușescu came to power. And thus began the strangest dictatorship of all.

©2021 Paul Kenyon (P)2022 W. F. Howes Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A witty and page-turning narrative full of grotesque characters." (Misha Glenny)

"Kenyon relates all this with verve [and] humour.... He patiently untangles the complicated webs of loyalty and enmity." (Literary Review)

"Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in Romania past and present." (John Simpson)

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The story is concise and informative

Very informative. Pronunciation of Romanian very poor. Would have liked to hear about the current situation as it is possible that there are politicians now that are worthy of trust

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Romania history complete

Excellent. Narration by the author/exceptional. Balanced weight for a knock out body of history. Funny and scary anecdotal stories of human tradegy and farce. Loved this book.

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  • R S
  • 02-11-22

Highly recommended

Audible always ends by saying I hope "you enjoyed listening". No, I cannot say that I "enjoyed" it! For me, as an offspring of a Romanian family, the book is too heartbreaking for that at times. It is well told, both in writing and in the author's reading. The prose is often reminiscent of a thriller rather than a political history but that will probably help keeping listeners engaged.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is not familiar with my poor dear country.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Meurigfa
  • 06-13-22

Best audio book that I have bought!!

I'm always interested in history but I had no real interest in Romania but, having listened to Paul Kenyon's Dictatorland and enjoying it, I thought that I would give it a try and I'm so glad that I did.

It's a tragedy, it's a comedy, it's a soap opera, it's bizarre and it's deeply sad. But it is an education on what life is like living under oppressive leaders who are barbaric and self-serving.

Both the Fascists and the Communist Leaders were equally cruel and it is sad that idealists so often end up as the problem rather than the solution.

Buy this book if you have even the tiniest interest in World history. You won't regret it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-22

A fascinating story well told

My knowledge of Romania’s past and present was woefully lacking - but that isn’t the only reason to read this absorbing account of the country and its past.
It is a fascinating story in its own right. Paul Kenyon writes really well - making the driest details of the ins and outs and ups and downs of the the country’s fortunes into a human drama on an epic scale.
It is read beautifully by the author himself. I am recommending this to my friends.

2 people found this helpful

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  • leonard iancu
  • 04-08-22

Brilliant

Brilliantly researched, dramatically narrated. Captivating and riveting ,I have discovered surprising stories and moments in the history of Romania. Absolutely recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mark
  • 03-04-22

Very interesting

What a page Turner. I really find the way this is written like a novel gripping and hold sure interest throughout.
The history of Romania is very interesting powerful and challenging at times.
At times I had to put this book down. It's truly honorific what people can do to each other's

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris N.
  • 10-09-22

Stunning💥

An extraordinary history told with great verve, humour and insight. Can not recommend it enough.

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  • Mariush
  • 09-29-22

History of Romania (in general)

It's good book, as there are not many dealing with this subject and the author has a good, easy-to-listen style. The same time, I can't rate it with the highest marks, as it is not comprehensive history of Romania, as some subjects are just touched while the others are described in details making it similar to the fiction, rather than to history book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-25-22

Revealing

I knew absolutely nothing about the history of Romania & little about Vlad the Impaler. This expose of political shenanigans by Royal Family & usurping of power by communist & fascist alike & the final descent into the implosion that was the final throws of the 1960-90s. A great narration by the author & the revealing of his mother , father, grandparents etc gives the reader a more personable account.

I thoroughly recommend this book & if I had 6 stars or more I’d give them. Author know this stuff. Excellent

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-03-22

Illuminating!

an eye opener, makes you appreciate own country, flaws as it is. very good read.

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  • D
  • 08-27-22

Best history lesson I’ve ever had

One of the most engaging accounts of Romanian history. As a Romanian living abroad, hearing Paul Kenyon meticulously describe and deconstruct our history made for a fantastic listening experience, which obviously struck very close to home.
I highly recommend his book if you’re interested in learning more about an arguably very interesting country which many times unfortunately has found itself on the wrong side of history.