Kids Those Days . . .
Don't expect new book reviews any time soon, as I am re-reading War and Peace . . . super-translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky came out with a new translation a few years ago, and even though I'm familiar with the characters, the first scene, at Anna Pavlovna's soiree, is still brutal: full of French dialogue and explanatory footnotes, historical references, and loads of characters with long Russian names, but if you survive, then Tolstoy rewards you with something more exciting-- a night of drinking and debauchery, including a drinking challenge (Dolokhov chugs an entire bottle of rum while sitting on a ledge) and a prank . . . after the party the Dolokhov, Pierre, and Anatole tie a policeman to the back of a tame bear and toss the pair into the river, so that the policeman flails about while the bear swims . . . and that sets the bar pretty high for drunken idiocy . . . I've never done anything THAT stupid and I doubt my kids will either, so if they ever commit any drunken shenanigans, I'll take a deep breath and remember to compare it to the bear and the policeman.