Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Three-Arched Bridge” as Want to Read:
The Three-Arched Bridge
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Three-Arched Bridge

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  756 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
This elliptical novel chronicles the events surrounding the construction of a bridge to illustrate the bitter history of cultural enmity in the Balkans.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 18th 2011 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1978)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Three-Arched Bridge, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Three-Arched Bridge

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
راضي النماصي
يا للعظمة ويا للفن الجميل.

أكتفي بالكلمات الواردة أعلاه.
In 1377 a monk, Gjon [John] Ukcama, begins his chronicle of the events of that time in his corner of Albania. What follows is a mesmerizing, frightening tale. It can be read on several levels; the straightforward narrative of a bridge being built over a raging river, the Ujana e Keqe ["Wild waters"], its construction undermined by sabotage and bitter rivalry between two entities: Boats & Rafts and Roads & Bridges. Byzantium is crumbling; the Ottoman Empire encroaches on Albania; Gjon wri ...more
Muhammed Hebala
Apr 08, 2017 Muhammed Hebala rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
لم تعجبني الرواية
و برغم صغر حجمها إلا أنني أحسست بالملل الشديد
و برغم استغلاله لاسطورة من المفترض أن تكون شيقة إلا أنه لم يحسن استخدامها
لم تعجبني
Only red blood in common.

A babble of languages. Their music ‘this stupor, this hashish dissolved in the air in the form of song'. Their dervishes with ragged clothes that look like hair, and with hair that looks like rags. The differences between Europe and Ottoman Asia, suddenly at Albania’s borders.

But more differences between ‘us' and ‘them' come before that--among people of the Balkans themselves. Obscured competition for the profits of commerce come to this small principality from outside,
فهد الفهد

كاداريه من جديد، اقترب متهيباً، فالذروة التي وصلتها مع (الحصار)، أعقبها هبوط مع (قصة مدينة الحجر)، فما الذي يخبئه لي كاداريه في جسره؟

صفحتين فقط، كل ما كان كاداريه يحتاجه ليشد أذني قبل انتباهي، وكأن الألباني العجوز الذي أمتعني في (الحصار) و(دورنتين) و(الوحش) غاضب من تشكيكي بقدراته، في هذه الرواية تتردد كالعادة موضوعة كاداريه الأثيرة الأسطورة عندما تمتزج بالواقع، لتصنع عالماً خاصاً.

تدور أحداث الرواية في ألبانيا القرون الوسطى، على ضفة نهر الأويان يصرع رجل غريب، فيتحدث الناس عن أن هذه إشارة
An short book based around various legends of interning a body into a structure (in this case a bridge) as a type of sacrifice. But the story is more about the various Albanian clans whose petty in-fighting are carried out instead of focusing themselves on the real threat of the burgeoning Ottoman Empire. The bridge is a metaphor for the Turkish invaders - it is strongly built, replaces the old and will last for centuries.
Oct 14, 2012 Gurldoggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story is set in 1377, and our narrator is an Albanian monk, who watches as the Turkish armies gather over the Balkan Peninsula. With a few deft strokes Kidare conveys the great extent of political and economic shifts occurring in Europe in the late Middle Ages: the collapse of Byzantium, the spread of an international currency and the formation of large financial conglomerates, some of them complicit with the emerging Turkish imperial expansion.

A picture is created of a community in the grip
I thought this book was fantastic. Kadare's story is short, almost a novella, and yet it is layered with issues of every shape and size, from mythology and religion to war and architecture. There are hints of fable and satire in this story, and while it is set in the medieval period its questions about authority and deceit feel targeted toward the modern day. I am fully impressed by Kadare's ability to write such a multi-faceted tale.
Mérita Selimi
Oct 16, 2013 Mérita Selimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My rating may not be totally objective (I was about to give it four stars actually) but this novel's core is a legend my father told me when I was a little girl (the legend of Rozafa) so I guess it really resonates in me, on a personal level.

Anyway, in this novel Kadare analyses the relationship between legends and reality. He tends to demonstrate how legends can be (have been?) used for treacherous purposes (conceal a crime for example...).

But as a master of allegories and metaphors, Kadare dev
Hani Abdulkarim
May 06, 2017 Hani Abdulkarim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية على لسان راهب ألباني في القرن الرابع عشر الميلادي تتحدث عن بناء جسر على نهر الأويان - أو نهر أويان اللعين - كما يطلق عليه و ظروف إنشائه وبعض من الأحداث التاريخية التي سبقت اجتياح الدولة العثمانية لألبانيا
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Three-Arched Bridge, written in Albania between 1976 and 1978, is based on a myth of sacrifice and creation, which also appears in other works by Kadare, and is present in different versions throughout the Balkans.

The legend is about three brothers, all masons, whose efforts to build a castle were in vain because everything built during daytime was destroyed by an unknown force at night. After having unsuccessfully worked for a long time, the masons are told by a wise man that the construct
Gray Side
May 26, 2013 Gray Side rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

رواية تاريخية تعتمد على أساطير ألبانية قديمة، الجسر هو العنصر الرئيسي الذي تدور حوله الأحداث، يظهر بناء الجسر متحدياً نهر الأويان اللعين وينفر الناس من هذا المخلوق الغريب وتشاركهم جنيات الماء هذا النفور.

المد العثماني هاجس يرعب أهل أربيريا -اسم ألبانيا القديم- وتوافد جواسيس الأتراك إلى البلاد ينذر بكارثة قريبة، تتضارب مصالح بناة الجسر مع أصحاب العبّارات وينتهي الأمر بأضحية بشرية تُحبس في بناء الجسر لتحميه من هجمات عفاريت المياه، تتعاقب فصول السنة وانحسار النهر وامتداده على أهالي البلدة ونذر الحر
Moira McPartlin
Set in 1377 and narrated by an Albanian monk, this at first doesn't seem an attractive read but I'm a fan of Ismail Kadare so gave it a go. It didn't disappoint. In his usual style of weaving Albanian folk tales with history The Three-Arched Bridge tells of the invasion of the Ottoman empire into Europe and the threat to Christianity. But it is also a story of small town politics, fear, ignorance and greed. It is, in essence, an allegory of modern times. Very clever.
A different bridge, a different river and a different time but the story of this book's bridge and the story of the bridge depicted by the Bosnian author Ivo Andric in The Bridge on the Drina are ultimately the same. I prefer Andric's story. There is a beauty in Andric's story that shines. Here desolation is the prominent tone. I was haunted by the similarity. How can one author copy another like this?! Read the original by Andric.
Alex Panait
„Eu, calugarul Gjon, fiul lui Gjorg Ukcama, stiind ca pre limba noastra inca nimic nu s-a scris despre podul de peste Ujana cea Rea, ba chiar continua sa se vorbeasca despre el vrute si nevrute, multime de scorneli si vorbe mincinoase, acum, cand podul a fost deja ispravit si chiar stropit in trei randuri cu sange, la temelie si pe culme, m-am hotarat sa-i astern cronica pe hartie…“
Sorin Hadârcă
Ismail Kadare poate fi genial dacă vrea, nu și în "Podul cu trei arce". Romanul de față face parte din seria de exerciții mitologice, prin care autorul ia câte o legendă veche și o întoarce pe față și pe dos găsindu-i noi dedesupturi. Un fel de a coase dosar penal Meșterului Manole.
Aug 28, 2016 Ivona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Alexiada” Anei Comnena mi-a starnit curiozitatea fata de Albania. M-am mai mai intalnit apoi cu cateva referinte despre Albania si albanezi in minunata carte a lui Charles King, “Marea Neagra. O istorie” si apoi in jurnalul de calatorie al excentricului Sacheverell Sitwell, “Calatorie in Romania”. Mi-am dorit sa aflu ceva mai mult despre aceasta tara – despre care cunoasteam, in mare parte, doar locul pe care il ocupa pe harta – si mai ales despre legaturile vechi care leaga Romania si Albania. ...more
May 24, 2015 Bbrown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely enough, this is not the first book I've read where the central focus is on an arched bridge in the Balkans: I've also read The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric. That work was more ambitious than Kadare's The Three-Arched Bridge, as it sought to encapsulate four hundred years of history of the town of Višegrad in Bosnia. The Three-Arched Bridge is likewise doing more than just telling the story of the construction of a bridge, but at its end I feel like this is one of Kadare's less imp ...more
Feb 13, 2016 Melania rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Istorisită de unul dintre călugării sfătuitori ai contelui, Gjon, cel căruia i se pare necesar să spună adevărul unor fapte petrecute sub ochii săi, mai cu seamă că vremurile și conducătorii se pot schimba de la o zi la alta, povestea începe cu un fapt prevestitor de rău augur, prăbușirea unui om, lovit de epilepsie, chiar pe locul unde se va construi podul cu trei arce (admirabil reconstituit pe coperta volumului). Într-o Albanie aflată la răscruce de timpuri ș
As the title of the book says, Ismail Kadare's De brug met drie bogen is about a bridge. It is constructed in the period 1377-1379 in a small Albanian village. The narrator, a monk named Gjon, intents to chronicle the construction of the bridge during bleak times.

I am a proponent of a political reading: the bridge is constructed at a time when the Ottoman Empire expands on to the Balkan and threatens the people of the village. This is also a time of flowering capitalism. The bridge connects the
Mar 27, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the narrator says, this is a simple but complex story. The narrator, a monk, called upon to translate for the rulers of his tiny universe, watches and reports on the building of a bridge and the changing landscape.

There is the imagery of the middle ages, its superstition, its brutality, its insularity and the, perhaps, self fulfilling outlook that the world is beyond their control.

The ruler of this area refuses a good strategic marriage for his daughter without concern for the wider world and
Hugh Coverly
Oct 09, 2016 Hugh Coverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Three-Arched Bridge is one of my very favourite novels. It is the first Ismail Kadare novel translated from the original Albanian by John Hodgson. Hodgson has also translated The Fall of the Stone City, The Accident, and, most recently, A Girl In Exile. I have read all four in succession over the past week or so.

Envisioned as an ancient chronicle, the story tells of the building of a bridge in the year 1377 over the Ujana e Keqe. At the centre of the story is the murder and immurement of a
This short, atmospheric novel is narrated by a fourteenth-century Albanian monk as he observes the construction of a bridge across a river. The construction arouses curiosity, skepticism, and even fear in the inhabitants of the nearby village, especially once the construction process takes an unexpected turn that echoes an old, sinister legend. This all occurs across a backdrop of bickering nobles, a weakening Byzantine Empire, the encroachment of the rising Ottomans, and rumors of war and plagu ...more
May 28, 2016 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful tale dating back to 1377 in Albania on the Balkan peninsula, when the very idea of a ‘bridge’ was loaded with fear, superstition, old legends, and just maybe, human sacrifice.
It’s is a scary time anyway. There are signs and portents of doom everywhere, most notably the growing menace of the Ottoman Turk Empire. A bridge over the river Ujana e Keqe will bring who knows what?
The local liege has been duped into allowing the bridge to be built. But construction is sabotaged, by the wat
Jan 31, 2010 Leon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel succeeds the most, I think, in depicting a bleak world full of hearsay, rumour and confusion created by its inhabitants. People naturally create myths, stories and rumours as they struggle to interpret things beyond their control. Even Gjon's writing, though he strives for objectivity and truth, is full of knowledge gaps, conflicting symbols and confused feelings.

Many reviews stress that the "political" importance of the book, especially now that we've all been over-sensitised to Isla
Feb 01, 2016 Cornelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nu pot să explic de ce îmi place Ismail Kadare, poate proza îmbibată cu nostalgie sau influența trecutului...

Ne întoarcem în timp, în anii 1300. Un călugăr relatează detaliile înfricoșătoare ale modului în care a fost construit podul. Contextul politic era tulbure, turcii se apropiau de Constantinopol și Albania știa că va urma și ea curând.

Mi s-a părut interesantă existența unei legende apropiate de Meșterul Manole (cu diferența ca era vorba de un pod). Prezența sacrificiului (se pare recurentă
Wijnand Marchal
Mar 19, 2016 Wijnand Marchal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start of my "summer reading pleasures", as one of my American professors used to call the books he saved for his summer holidays. I've read several books of Ismael Kadare. In "The three arched bridge" he describes the construction of a bridge in medival Albania, which he combines with local legends and customs, historic events and an exciting plot. He tells the story through the eyes of a local monk who is involved as a translator, observer and confident for rulers, strangers and villagers - all ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Gordon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A simple story, really, and not particularly long - I'm a fan of heavy tomes - but even so it's utterly captivating. One reviewer compared Kadare's work to the "magic realism" of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but I was left with a totally different feeling: Kadare is far more believable and although the novel is haunted by a sense of doom the author doesn't leave us without a gleam of hope. This book is insinuatingly meditative and clearly historical yet at the same time full of living detail. I stron ...more
خلود بن خميس
رواية رائعة جدا رغم تحفظي على الجزء المذكور به الأتراك..سلاسة وجمال يصوغانها ، بها من الأساطير والمواعظ اشئ الجميل. ربما هي اشبه بحالنا الآن . هي باعتقادي عبارة عن تاريخ يعيد ويكرر نفسه ولكن بحلة جديدة .
اشعر بالأسى تجاه مرّاش زينيبيس واعتقد انه كبش فداء وليس أضحية ساقتها قدماها لقدرها
استمتعت بقراءتها لم تخدش عيني ولا فكري كبعض الروايات.
اريد ان اقتنيها واقرأها اكثر من مرة
انصح بها

ودمتم بود
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Children in Reindeer Woods
  • The Highland Lute
  • I humburi
  • The Sleep of the Righteous
  • O Cobrador
  • Scars
  • A Thousand Morons
  • Fantomas contra los vampiros multinacionales
  • The Golden Age
  • The Planets
  • The Campaign
  • Stone Upon Stone
  • Hasta La Vista
  • A Dictionary of Maqiao
  • The Canvas
  • The Novices of Sais
  • The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers
  • Things in the Night
Ismail Kadare (also spelled Kadaré) is an Albanian novelist and poet. He has been a leading literary figure in Albania since the 1960s. He focused on short stories until the publication of his first novel, The General of the Dead Army. In 1996 he became a lifetime member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of France. In 1992, he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca; in 2005, he wo ...more
More about Ismail Kadare...

Share This Book