6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: War and Peace (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Since you are reading reviews I would guess you are trying to deciede wether or not to purchase this book. If that is the case then you remind me of myself about a year ago. Since we have something in common (and I like you) I want to be honest with you. Yeah I admit it, im man enought to say, I was scared of War and Peace. Even before I knew what it was about or had read any other Russian novels I had heard of it as this book which eclipsed all other books, a book which had forced some of the mighty to collapse under its collosal size and scope.
Well I evidently like a challenge because I went and bought it.
As with most things the legend has grown beyond the thing in itself. Yes it's long but why is that a problem? How many times have you enjoyed a book only to feel dissapointed seeing the end swiftly rushing towards us knowing that this will not, and cannot last?
War and Peace is a great book, a great story with a great philosopy backing it, and is a very enjoyable read. If however you haven't read a book by an old school Russian author it may be advisable to tackle something smaller, say by Dostoyevsky, first just to get you head around the odd way every person has 3-4 names depending on who is speaking to them as it can get very baffling first off.
Other than this it is nothing other than a very detailed story about a group of people over an extended length of time and how events change them and how they cannot directly and conciously influence events.
History is an inexorable process working its way toward some unknowable destination. It's comprised of billions of individual moving parts (people and their actions) and cannot be understood by any science. It's a organic process of which we are an integral part of.
The worst part about this book is reading it in a public place. It seems it's name and infamy extend beyond just you and I, everyone has a awareness of it and / or a preconcieved idea of what the books like. This can lead to some mighty annoying comments and snap judgements about the reader. Well forget them. Tell them ol' Bobby J.R told you, "you just had to get it"
Buy it, go on. You wont ever know if it was a mistake untill after, and we have all made worse mistakes than this could ever turn out to be.