Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (696 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The radio cabaret style performance of this award-winning book features Eric Bogosian, The Daily Show's Demetri Martin, Tommy Ramone, writer/performer Jonathan Ames, bestselling writers Gary Shteyngart, Arthur Phillips, and Darin Strauss and Pulitzer-Prize winner Samantha Power. With music by One Ring Zero.

Winner of Borders "Original Voices" Book of the Year and a New York Times Editors' Choice, Ballad of the Whiskey Robber tells the hilarious and improbable true story of Attila Ambrus, the Robin Hood of Eastern Europe. He's the onetime pelt smugger, goaltender (possibly the worst in the history of pro hockey), pen salesman, Zamboni driver, gravedigger, church painter, roulette addict, building superintendent, whiskey drinker, and native of Transylvania who's decided that the best thing to do with his time is to rob as many banks as possible.

Welcome to Julian Rubinstein's uproariously funny and unforgettable account of crime in the heart of the new Europe. Part Unbearable Lightness of Being, part Pink Panther, and part Slap Shot, Rubinstein's tale is a spectacular literary debut - and a story so outrageous that it could only be true.

©2004 Julian Rubinstein (P)2006 Time Warner AudioBooks, a division of the AOL Time Warner Book Group

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Achievement in Production, 2007

"Must be heard to be believed." (The Onion)
"Offers that simple pleasure, a great story." (Esquire)
"Outrageously entertaining." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Rubinstein has found a story of the sort that would make even the most dry-mouthed journalist slobber. Sometimes sad, often hilarious and always absurd." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

Average Customer Ratings
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DUH

couldn't stop listening (or laughing), fun, fun, book. it will make root for the underdog.

103 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Truth is better than fiction

I loved this story. Each time I found myself thinking, "This is too farfetched," I remembered that it's actually a true story! The reader is great and even the music, which I usually find distracting, is very professional and adds to the feel of the story.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

liked it

This was a thoroughly enjoyable "lite" read. I liked that different people spoke their parts. Quiky and fun book! It made me want to visit Hungary, and Romania...

11 people found this helpful

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Funniest book EVER

The author/narrator is fantastic. I listened to this book three times and am still intrigued!! I'm scanning audible weekly for new Julian Rubenstein books.

13 people found this helpful

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Everything an audibook should be

I cannot recommend listening to this book enough. The story is very interesting but the varied voice acting, integration of music, etc make this an all around great, highly entertaining experience!

10 people found this helpful

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Hungarian history and a good story to boot

The tale is a good one, one that has its environs in a society under turmoil. If there was ever a case for someone to commit a crime the Whiskey Robber's modus operandi should be followed. The Whisky Robber was a man who became a modern-day folklore hero in two countries because the socio-economic conditions of a post-communist country warrants a man taking the banks, the wealthy, and the government to task with grace. I enjoyed the inclusion of familiar political figures, such as Al Gore. A fantastic look into Hungary’s recent past. Rubinstein was spot on in taking the reader through the complicated times of an unemployed professional hockey player. It makes one think… what would I do in this situation? I recommend this to anyone who wants a well-written view into another world.

10 people found this helpful

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super boring

I couldn't even finish this book, I actually struggled to make it to chapter 6 and that was with me speeding up the audio to 1.5x. The only reason I picked up this book was for my local book club, but I just couldn't do it. It moves slow and goes back and forth for characters.

1 person found this helpful

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A classic tragedy with some humor that grew on me.

The narrator's deliver, the style of writing, the main character. All things I was not a fan of in the very beginning, but it was interesting enough to keep going. In the end I was enjoying every new caper or near-disaster. You keep rooting for Attila, but a flame that burns that bright can last very long. There is also a good amount of Hungarian and Eastern European history and culture in the book. Very interesting and entertaining, though I did wonder about the accuracy or impartial nature of it due to the style of book.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

Well narrated and humorous. The incompetence of a fledgling free market state police force vs a bank robber, with. A drinking problem.

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful, hysterical, historical!

This book is delightful, hysterical, and historical! The well-paced narration sounds like a spontaneous telling of the story. The oddball characters that are voiced are performed convincingly. Thoroughly enjoyable! Though you may not care for him, you will find yourself rooting for the smuggler/bank robber/criminal main character! Surprisingly unusual story! The closest thing to it I can think of is The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. But this Robber story held my interest better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Áine Breen
  • 06-29-20

Told adequately

cracking true story. This book has been a great find. Story told in an unique way.

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  • Andrew Agoston-Jones
  • 05-05-16

Amazing and gripping then you realise it's all true

You read this book and yes it takes a couple of chapters to get going , but once the action begins you really fear for him and laugh out loud at points too. The voices add to the story as well

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
  • 12-11-16

brilliant.!!!!

loved it from start to finish. can't say any more than that. buy it and see