Friday, February 22, 2008

The Road to Calvary (part II) - post I

The story picks up with the civil war entering its last stage. There is a bit of description that makes you feel slightly disappointed reading when Tolstoy introduces Stalin as the great military tactician who alone has the foresight to order the manoeuvres that smash the White’s. That’s what the prize must have been given for along with the complete absence of Trotsky, who from my schoolboy recollections was pretty important in keeping the Red Army going.

Dasha is picked up by the Reds and she gets closer to being reunited with Telegin, who is running an artillery battery and fighting alongside the campaign being handled by Stalin.

There is no sign of Katia and Roshchin but you know that no doubt just as Telegin or Dasha are about to meet they will be introduced to break up and slow down the move to the conclusion.

This is almost 19th century in its style but with both eyes on a different master and as a result it is hard to believe all of the historical context giving pieces of text. Still enjoyable but this might get classed as a bit of a ‘plodder’ if you were trying to describe it to a friend.

The one thing however that it has to be applauded for it’s the fantastic descriptions of the confusion of civil war and the penalties of not only making the wrong political decision but also the costs of becoming popular in an age of jealous hatred.

More soon…

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