Four Soldiers by Hubert Mingarelli (translated by Sam Taylor) is a short novel about members of the Russian Army fighting the Russian Civil War in 1919. Mr. Mingarelli is a French writer, he won the Prix Medici prize in 2003 for this novel.
- 144 pages
- Publisher: The New Press
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1620974401
Four Soldiers by Hubert Mingarelli (translated by Sam Taylor) is a portrayal of four simple men waiting for boredom to break so they can go into battle. Much of the book is spent examining the psychological affects that boredom has on men who are waiting for a fight.
This is a short book, and slow with very little action, simply written and direct. I found the story of this rugged crew of soldiers by choice and circumstance to be haunting and simple. The story, written from one perspective, could have been easily been told in diary form.
This is not a historical novel, it doesn’t cover any battles or historical events, just the challenge of day to day existence and the sheer boredom while waiting for something, anything, to happen. The four friends share their fears, wishes while passing the time knowing it is running out.
The story is told by Benia, a soldier in the Red Army fighting in the Russian Civil War on the Romanian border. Together with his three friends, Pavel, Kyabine, and Sifra, they spend a boring winter in the forest trying to stay busy by gambling, sleeping, and trying to feed themselves.
When spring arrives, the lull in the war is over and the four friends march into battle.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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