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|Print List Price:||£10.99|
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War and Peace (Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection) New , Kindle Edition
|Length: 1390 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Set between 1805-1820 a lot of the book takes place in Petersburg and Moscow, as well as some other places at times and of course battles and the front line of the warring with the French. Taking in both fictional characters as well as only too real people this is a book that once you start reading you just have to finish, indeed I have lost count of the number of times I have read it over the years. And if you are coming to this for the first time, don’t worry about the number of characters. When we are talking about so many people who populate the pages of this some only appear very briefly, with cameo roles as such, either to move an event along, or to report a certain happening. The main characters we follow here we see grow up, get married, have affairs and so on. It is these characters that form the main element of this tale, as we see mirrored people, who whatever station of life they come from make mistakes and have the same pleasures and ideas as we all have. Of course weaved in with this are the battles and the fate of Russia as Napoleon and his forces move in.
With some great set pieces here this is a tale that certainly weaves its magic as we read it. With characters enjoying themselves with simple pleasures, to marriages falling apart and Napoleon at Moscow we see some great contrasts. As Moscow lays open to the French it doesn’t stop the continual round of salons going on in Petersburg.Read more ›
I also wanted to read War and peace as its one of the world’s great literary epic's that calls out to be read. There are a few novels out there which are longer but are generally obscure by comparison, so War and Peace is the one to read.
The book is generally divided between the personal lives of the main characters, the battle scenes and the political situation in Europe and Russia around the turn of the century. Not being a military strategist I found many of the battle scenes a little difficult to follow and was more interested in the lives of the main characters.
On a practical note, the Russian names can be a bit confusing and make it difficult to follow, Petya is sometimes referred to as Peter or Petyr, Prince Andrei is sometimes called Andrew, and surnames are sometimes extended with 'i', and 'ya', but I found that after watching the BBC drama it was easier to put faces to names which helps to follow the storyline. There are a few genuinely heart-warming scenes that Tolstoy captures brilliantly, when Pierre comforts Natasha after her loss of Prince Andrews affection and the closeness between Andrew and his sister while Andrew lies on his death-bed. It is these vignettes that lift War and Peace above the level of a soap opera.
Having said all that I am not quite as enraptured as many other reviewers.Read more ›
So I concentrated on the personal stories of the main individuals and, these I found fascinating.
Some are lovable while others are detestable, but all complex, proving how brilliantly Tolstoy creates and develops the individuality of his characters.
It was hard work at first simply remembering who was who, especially as each person has an official title, a less formal title, and one less formal still, none of which are easily pronounceable for we who's native language is English. But with perseverance I became gradually familiarised and then engrossed to the point where, for several weeks, this was the only place I wanted to be.
It's a challenging read but something I've wanted to master for many years. I do feel that I've been a party to a very special piece of literature, the characters of which I feel I've known intimately and will never forget.
Obviously a very hard one to follow !
Most recent customer reviews
Simply the greatest book I have ever read. Wanted to read it again the moment I had finished it.Published 13 days ago by G S Sidhu
A worthy replacement of my elderly translation that simply makes it very much easier to be 'just a good a good read' rather than some sort of an exercise in digesting pages of... Read morePublished 27 days ago by alan george thompson
Better translation than other versions. A bit tedious and very worthy. Stuck with it to the very end. Description of battles very good, you feel you are really there. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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