Forget Moby-Dick marathons, Russia is reading War and Peace.

More than 1,300 readers are taking part in the project, which the organizers state “has no parallel in the whole world.” Starting on December 8 at 10 a.m. Moscow time, the reading is going to last four days, covering one volume per day. At over 580,000 words, War and Peace is more than twice as long as the American marathoners’ novel of choice, the 200,000-word Moby Dick. Unlike any English-language stunt reading I know of, it will be broadcast both on the web and on national television. Some people are going to be reading from places associated with the book—from the Throne Room of the Hermitage and Tolstoy’s country estate Yasnaya Polyana, as well as venues in London and Paris. Oh and also from space, where cosmonaut Sergei Volkov will read his assigned section. 

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