Monday, May 24, 2010

Week Two Super-Fast Recap



I'll post a more extensive Week Two Thoughts item later today, but here is the super-fast recap of things that happened in our Week-Two reading:
- Old Count Bezukhov dies, after a final meeting with Pierre, where Pierre seems confused and detached, and the Count simply moans, points, and then rolls over and fills his bedpan; there's some bickering about his will, Pierre ends up inheriting a massive fortune;

- Scene moves to the Bald Hills estate of Prince Nikolai Andreevich, Andrei's grumpy father; we meet Prince Nikolai, who spends his days in his 19th century mancave, gardening, making snuff boxes, and giving Andrei's sister, Princess Marya, math anxiety;

- Andrei and his pregnant wife Marie arrive in Bald Hills, where Andrei plans to leave Marie as he heads off for some alone time with his bros in Austria; Andrei's dad makes fun of Napoleon and has problems showing affection to his son; religious Marya gives Andrei an icon to protect him as he prepares to head off to the war;

- The scene shifts to Austria, where the Russian troops are occupying Braunau and preparing to meet the French army; we meet a lot of additional characters about whom I haven't decided whether I should care enough to learn their names;

- Nikolai Rostov is friendly to the locals, speaks some German, gets in trouble with a superior he catches stealing someone's money, and generally demonstrates that he's an innocent soul in a dirty world; and

- We get a few excellent scenes of the Russian troops streaming through Austria, ogling some locals, suggestively offering them apples, and wearing out their crappy boots; we see them massing on a hill facing the opposing French troops; the weather seems very nice, and everyone seems merry and thrilled, even as -- especially because? -- French cannonballs begin to fly overhead, not (yet) killing anyone (important).
The Week Two Thoughts item I'll be posting later will focus largely on the last few pages of this week's reading, and on the book's first depictions of war. And did I miss anything big in the comically truncated summary above?

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