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War and Peace [Kindle Edition]

Leo Tolstoy , Ernest Hilbert , Aylmer Maude , Louise Maude
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £1.99
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Book Description

It was acclaimed author Leo Tolstoy's finest literary achievement. War and Peace, the story of five wealthy families of the Russian aristocracy during and after Napoleon's invasion of Russia, is also considered to be one of the finest novels of all time. This new Canterbury Classics edition opens with an introduction by a leading literary critic who sheds light on this complicated yet ultimately rewarding and fascinating work.

Perfect for Tolstoy devotees as well as those new to this legendary work, this edition of War and Peace is sure to be a classic.

Lexile score: 1180L

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Product Description


"There remains the greatest of all novelists--for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?"
--Virginia Woolf

"From the Paperback edition."


`reveals Tolstoy in his majestic scope and precision to this reader for the first time...ringing with mastery and truth'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2410 KB
  • Print Length: 993 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1853260622
  • Publisher: Canterbury Classics; Lea Rep edition (15 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,100 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before travelling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879-82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home 'leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude'; dying some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how is should be done........ 6 Feb. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has been on my reading list for a long time, but for some reason I have avoided picking it up - Perhaps because of the size (I am against Kindles in principle), or perhaps because of the stigma attached to this mammoth classic, I just assumed it was going to be beyond my mental faculties and I was certain I was never going to be able to finish it.

I could not have been more wrong. It took me a month to read, it was never a chore to pick up and now that I have finished it, I miss it.

This book is many things - It is a study on how war affects life of men and women, it is a detailed analysis of the was tactics during the Napoleonic war with Russia, it is a family saga, a coming of age tale, a quest for the meaning of life, a romance, an ode to Russia and, above all, a 900-odd page tale of what makes us human.

Don't let the huge cast put you off, as the central cast is small enough, and the characters vivid enough to pose no problem in telling them apart. We have large, awkward, well-meaning lost soul Pierre, illegitimate and massively wealthy, and his devastating and unfaithful wife Helene. Then we have Prince Andrew; moody, elegant, intelligent, capable, vulnerable, a perfect masculine hero. His pious sister Princess Mary is one of the strongest female characters; She starts out plain, timid, terrorized by her father, resigned to her destiny as a spinster, but as we get to know her we see she has a heart of gold and incredible strength. Then we have the Rostovs, with the distre Count Ilya at the head of the family slowly driving them to financial ruin, the over-bearing and hysterical Countess and her children - Nicholas, Petya and not least, Natasha - Enchanting, innocent, impetuous, full of life and energy and vivacity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All-Time Great 15 July 2010
The scope of this book is what makes it so marvelous. That murderous lunatic, Napoleon Bonaparte, has romped through Europe and Africa, leaving behind the carnage of war, and now turns his attentions to Russia. This is where Tolstoy picks up the thread of his tale. It revolves around some 5 families who, in one way and another, are profoundly affected by the ensuing events and the chief protagonist is Pierre. It is through his eyes that we experience the consequences of a Nineteenth Century war.

The characterizations are all meticulously drawn. The common soldier and the general are equally attended to, as are the plebian and emperor. Napoleon and Alexander represent the pinnacles of both armies and one expects that historians only will remain to clinically commentate on the actions of each. But Tolstoy brings them to life in a way that the reader, unnoticed, can reach out and touch them. Not only they but every character is beautifully portrayed. Laugh at Denisov with his amusing lisp. Growl at Helene the man-huntress. Sympathise with Andrew who is in a marriage he despises. Hug Pierre for being so human. Be blown away by the descriptions of battles both in drawing rooms and fields.

War & Peace is a book that no serious reader of literature should overlook. I only wish I could read it in Russian because translations are so inferior to the original. But even the translations cannot hide the fact that this is one of the all-time greats.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Terrible Publisher! 4 Oct. 2011
First of all I'd like to make 1 thing clear; WAR AND PEACE is absolutely fantastic. Wordsworth's publishing of it is not so fantastic.

If you buy Wordsworth's edition of this book be sure to find it riddled with spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, capital letters in the middle of words and other obvious mistakes that the editors really should have picked up on.

Thankfully, it's quite a popular book so there are many publications out there.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserves its acclaim 12 May 2001
War and peace is without doubt one of the best novels of all time, and though admittedly I began reading it just to say I had, it soon gripped me and took over a few weeks of my spare time. The history was new to me as was the country and period so that was very interesting, as was Tolstoy's unashamed cheek in attacking historians and opposing theories. The only let down was that it felt a little too prolix, especially as time went on. The second epilogue is the peak of that effect where a good fifty pages are taken to cover a topic Tolstoy spent most of the novel trying to prove. It is indeed a great shame that the excellence of the battle descriptions and family storylines, had to be diluted by Tolstoy's attempts to outwit and mock historians of his time. All in all, with enough effort this is a great novel, though I can't see myself picking it up again!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I understand why people are put off reading this book. It's a mammoth undertaking just in page count, and the language is not as quick to read as 21st century English. Russian names make the mind reel to grasp some idea of pronunciation and the immense geography can be muddling.

But, and it's a very big BUT, if you can put aside the latent fear of commitment to such a book, you will not be disappointed.

War and Peace describes the years of war in Russia against Napoleon. Naturally the War proportion is dedicated to this. The Peace proportion revolves around a number of families, their ups and downs, all of whom have some tie to the war in that they have loved ones in the military, are involved in an official capacity, or are off to war themselves. Tolstoy weaves all together beautifully and simultaneously provides us with a valuable source on the history of the Russian Napoleonic wars, with the occasional short chapter given to discussion and analysis of war and of spirituality. He made great effort to ensure the accuracy of his facts, dates, and characters such as the Tsar and Napoleon.

It is a book from which you establish favourite characters and favourite situations. Some will love the Austen-style sub-plots of romance and emotional turmoil. Others will love the military aspect - battles and strategies and how they came into effect.

War and Peace is engaging, illuminating, and gives an incredible insight into the times in which it's based. There are some quite amusing observations of national identity and they ring true against today's perceptions. The descriptions of certain illnesses suggest first hand experience of them, at least as a witness.
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