My Favorite . . Biography

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

Picking my favorite biography is pretty easy. First, I don’t read many biographies. Second, there is one that definitely stands out: Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts by Julian Rubinstein.

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

Elmore Leonard meets Franz Kafka in the wild, improbably true story of the legendary outlaw of Budapest. Attila Ambrus was a gentleman thief, a sort of Cary Grant–if only Grant came from Transylvania and was a terrible professional hockey goalkeeper. During the 1990s, while playing for the biggest hockey team in Budapest, Ambrus took up bank robbery to make ends meet. Arrayed against him was perhaps the most incompetent team of crime investigators the Eastern Bloc had ever seen: a robbery chief who had learned how to be a detective by watching dubbed Columbo episodes; a forensics man who wore top hat and tails on the job; and a driver so inept he was known only by a Hungarian word that translates to Mound of Ass-Head.

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is the completely bizarre and hysterical story of the crime spree that made a nobody into a somebody, and told a forlorn nation that sometimes the brightest stars come from the blackest holes. Julian Rubinstein’s bizarre crime story is so odd and so compelling that it is completely irresistible.

It’s a wild story and even more amazing because it’s true.

I guess there was a movie released last fall in Hungary telling Attila Ambrus’ story . I’d love to see it.

What’s your favorite biography? Join in at Maureen’s Books.

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