And, here we go . . . without doubt, one of the greatest chapters written so far.  In a brief, crazy instant, all of Andrei’s dreams comes true, and he gets his big moment.

To say any more, would spoil it – read it for yourself.

Well, okay, maybe one more thing.  Obviously, most of us here are reading our copies of War and Peace, but if you were ever tempted to go for an audiobook version, the unabridged Naxos Audiobooks version sounds quite attractive.  Here is a video of the narrator (imagine the poor bloke sitting in that little studio day after day reading the whole of War and Peace!) reading an excerpt from today’s chapter.

I’ve got to hand it to him – he is an impressive narrator, don’t you think?

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3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 3.16 – Andrei’s Bridge of Arcola

  1. I, too, will refrain from spoiling Tolstoy’s uttrly amazing writing by attempting to comment on his description of Andrei’s great moment – other than to say how unexpectedly he describes it, and how something so “quiet” could have such a massive, massive impact. It’s a passage that I have read and reread many times.

    As for the Naxos audiobook – I actually bought that a couple of years ago and it really is very, very good. It’s on 51 CDs and he reads the Maude translation and really does an amazing job in differentiating the characters.

    I also, incidentally, have the entire audiobook in Russian – on 8 MP3 discs, which run for slightly longer than the English version – a little over three days, all up! My Russian is nowhere near good enough to be able to understand it all – but it’s good practice and I am gradually, slowly, picking up more and more. It, too, is a very good reading. It’s loaded onto my iPod, which, together with the actual book in Russian, provides a great way to get to know the language a bit better on the way to work. I can’t imagine there is anyone else who listens to Tolstoy in Russian on their iPod, at least not on their way to work on a train between Geelong and Melbourne in Australia!! It makes me think that I might be ever so slightly weird.

  2. The fellow reading on this video is just darling – I’d like to hear a few chapters by him. He has a marvelous voice for it too.

    This is an exciting chapter – I’ve read way past this point, of course, but it’s enjoyable doing it all over again.

    It’s so upsetting when you realize how terribly wrong this is going for the Russian fighters . . . it makes you forget that we once considered Russia as being our enemy! And it makes you forget that wasn’t really ‘our’ war! It was ‘their’ war – the Russians, The Austrians and The French!

    I will add the following names to my character count:

    Adjutant –

    “Look, look!” said this adjutant, looking not at the troops in the distance, but down the hill before him. “It’s the French!”

    ………………………………

    Austrian General –

    Kutuzov had stopped and was speaking to an Austrian general.

    ………………………………

    French soldier –

    He now saw clearly the figure of a red-haired gunner with his shako knocked awry, pulling one end of a mop while a French soldier tugged at the other.

    ………………………………

    French soldier –

    And really another French soldier, trailing his musket, ran up to the struggling men, and the fate of the red-haired gunner, who had triumphantly secured the mop and still did not realize what awaited him, was about to be decided.

    ………………………………

    General –

    A mounted general separated himself from the infantry and approached Kutuzov.

    ………………………………

    Lieutenant –

    The French had attacked the battery and, seeing Kutuzov, were firing at him. After this volley the regimental commander clutched at his leg; several soldiers fell, and a second lieutenant who was holding the flag let it fall from his hands.

    ……………………………….

    Red Haired Gunner –

    (I’m wondering if it’s not the same gunner in a previous chapter – remember ‘Freckles’? But I’ll count him in anyway.

    He now saw clearly the figure of a red-haired gunner with his shako knocked awry, pulling one end of a mop while a French soldier tugged at the other.

    ……………………………….

    Regimental Commander –

    The French had attacked the battery and, seeing Kutuzov, were firing at him. After this volley the regimental commander clutched at his leg; several soldiers fell, and a second lieutenant who was holding the flag let it fall from his hands.

    Achh! This thing with the sky, the clouds – Rostov seems to do the same thing – do these two guys have death wishes? They both seem to think dying and going to live somewhere in the sky and clouds is something to strive for!

    …………………………………

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