The novel shifts to the beginning of November, where we are introduced to 14-year-old Kolya Krasotkin.
Krasotkin is popular among his peers and respected for being a daredevil. In the previous July, he had lain down on some railroad tracks on a dare as a train passed over him. The story spread, and his reputation was sealed – but his widow mother was utterly distraught, so he had to vow never to pull such a dangerous prank again.
Kolya also has an intellectual streak in him, reading books from his father's library and showing off in class, particularly in Dardenalov's history class. This is in part because Dardenalov has the hots for his mom, which Kolya tolerates.
Kolya also has a dog, Perezvon, who he picked up a month ago. He keeps the dog in the house, teaching it all kinds of tricks.
Oh, and Kolya's the kid that got stabbed by the sick boy Ilyusha in Book 4, Chapter 3.