Samantha, just Samantha (samantilles) wrote,
Samantha, just Samantha

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another struck off my list...

Immediately after posting my journal entry on the completion of The Importance of Being Earnest I decided it was quite time to strike another book off my "waiting list" as the five books I've read have definately NOT been on my list. So I picked up about ten minutes after my most previous post Hadji Murat, the last book written by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1912, about a year and a half after his death. The story is of a warrior and a leader, Hadji Murat, a Muslim Chechnian, who has spent most of his life fighting in vengence of deaths to family and friends, fighting when necessary against the Russians. No, this story doesn't take place in modern times, though a quick look through them major stories in the St. Petersburg Times might indicate otherwise. The story, while published in the first decades of the twentieth century, takes place in December 1851/January 1852, only about three years before the publication of Tolstoy's epic War and Peace. The story is this: the great Hadji Murat, the right-hand to Shamil, the Muslim leader in the Holy War against the infidel Russians, has defected to the same Russians and pleaded for asylum. However, his family was then taken captive by Shamil and threatened to be blinded or killed if Hadji Murat didn't return to him. From then, our protagonist and antonist were defined, but as is normal with Tolstoy, two characters certainly aren't enough to make his story, even in one that can be published in only 125 pages. A plethora of Russian civil servants and beaurocrats (not to mention counts, princesses, princes and barons), a gaggle of army officers, including a supposed russian named "Butler" (which bothered me to no end, as I could not tell of any British connection to this character, though other characters did have some connection with Britain), and even a strange company of loyal soldiers to Hadji Murat color the story in a variety of perspectives. The story could be classified as a short story, if it was told from only one perspective. It might have only been twenty pages if that if told in one or even two perspectives. But Tolstoy mastered the art of panoramic perspective, as I might term it. Each seemingly unimportant character had his or her own perspective to the story, and and throughout the short book there were no less than at least a dozen narrators, and many tangents along the way. But then again, as I remember from War and Peace that might be a talent of Tolstoy's as well.
All in all, I think I managed to pull through the story more on the want that I wanted to strike off another book off the list rather than a deep interest in it... There were a few times I felt like putting it down, and certainly I did not read the story stright through in the seven hours I picked it up... My mother and I went out to dinner, as we both were kind of in the mood for pancakes, and naturally with only about thirty pages, I felt the absolute need to take another shower right in the middle of a reading session... *going on a tangent here myself* I don't know what it is with me and reading and wanting to take a shower... the books don't make me feel skeevy, but none the less, perhaps its the most "unlazy" means of procrastinating, even if it is my second or third shower of the day. *sigh* Back to the book; I found it interesting in that even if it is fiction, Tolstoy prided himself as an historian, and as such, we can take the attitudes persuaded, the mini history of Nikolai, or Nicolas 1, Tsar of Russia after Aleksandr 1, the primary Rex in War and Peace, and even the historical basis in what is happening in Chechnya today as good history.
*yawn* and its time for me to take a nice long nighttime nap!
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