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The Three-Arched Bridge (Vintage Classics) by [Kadare, Ismail]
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The Three-Arched Bridge (Vintage Classics) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 176 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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The year: 1377. The place: the Balkan peninsula. Here in Ismail Kadare's novel, The Three-Arched Bridge, an Albanian monk chronicles the events surrounding the construction of a bridge across a great river known as Ujana e Keqe, or "Wicked Waters". If successful in their endeavour, the bridge-builders will challenge a monopoly on water transportation known simply as "Boats and Rafts". The story itself parallels developments in modern-day Eastern Europe, with the bridge emblematic of a disintegrating economic and political order: just as mysterious cracks in the span's masonry endanger the structure and cast the local community into a morass of uncertainty, superstition and murder, so the fast-changing conditions in the 14th-century Balkan peninsula threaten to overwhelm the stability of life there. Dark as the story itself is, Mr. Kadare's prose, skilfully translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson, is elegant, witty and deft. And with so many twists and turns in its carefully constructed plot, this political parable keeps the reader's interest to the very end.


"A vivid, macabre and wise novel" (New York Times)

"His ability to spin eerie parables out of a little-known national history makes his books an addictive pleasure" (Jonathan Romney Independent on Sunday)

"A compelling investigation into language and myth, politics and power, by the renowned, infinitely talented Albanian novelist" (Booklist)

"[Kadare] is seemingly incapable of writing a book that fails to be interesting" (New York Times)

"In Ismail Kadare's fictional worlds creation and destruction are entwined, and how he illuminates the human cost of their varied pairings is the source of his greatness as a writer" (Chicago Tribune)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 438 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (13 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VS7E1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #394,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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I went to Albania last year, and have read a number of Ismail Kadare's books, this being the latest one. I thought the story very interesting, with obvious parallels to more recent political situations. I assume it was written in French, and the translation is very well done.
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By A Customer on 1 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most sublime reads I have had in an awfully long time. Within this gentle feeling of being lifted away to some other country, some other century, this short novel also manages to be one of the most harrowing reads I have ever experienced. The effect is achieved by the subtlety of Hodgson's evocative and sparse translation, conveying the full horror of the situation the book descibes.
The legend of the three brothers, who immured one of their wives in a constantly sabotaged wall, is brought to a horrible reality as the company constructing the new bridge offer substantial renumeration to those that would sacrifice themselves for the sake of progress. Set in the late 14th Century, the book echoes down the corridors of time, realising several modern day parallels which are frankly enough to frighten one into putting the book down. Yet I urge you not to; this is an important landmark in world literature, and one of the best novels I have read in a very long time. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Not as rich as the 2 later parts of the trilogy, The palace of Dreams and The Niche, but an essential insight into Kadare's vision of Turkish conquest, Europe divided between Christian and Muslim and his central theme, tyranny. Here the tyranny is for the future, a matter of premonition. It is symbolised by the immuration of a man in a bridge dividing the 2 cultures and opening the way for one to conquer the other for centuries. No-one writes more powerfully or beautifully about how the acts of the powerful are felt and understood by the weak.
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