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War and Peace (Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection) by [Tolstoy, Leo, Louise and Aylmer Maude, Amy Mandelker]
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War and Peace (Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection) New , Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 943 customer reviews

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Product description

About the Author

Amy Mandelker has taught at UCLA, University of Southern California, Columbia, Brown and Princeton Universities. Her books include Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the Woman Question and the Novel of Adultery (1993) and Approaches to World Literature: Teaching Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina' and she has introduced the Barnes and Noble edition of Anna Karenina.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4884 KB
  • Print Length: 1390 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New edition (14 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005X3S9J8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 943 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When asked what his best novel was Tolstoy stated Anna Karenina, as he thought of War and Peace as something that was larger in scope and not what we usually think of in terms of the novel. Of course he was right, as this book is just so large in scope and has so many characters (around five hundred) that it falls into a tiny group of books that are more than they seem.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was inspired to read 'War and Peace' after watching the 2016 BBC 6-part drama. The BBC version is very good but I imagined the book would be better, would give more detail and shine some light on parts that a condensed television drama cannot possibly squeeze in.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Probably the best option for Kindle users. This is the classic Louise and Aylmer Maude translation - the same as in my Everyman hardback. It seems to avoid the typographic and layout problems that are annoying in so many Kindle books. I notice that it has 'enhanced typesetting'. Perhaps that is the reason. My only complaint is that there are no maps. That's a big advantage of the Everyman print edition, though maps are always illegible in Kindle editions. This Collins version doesn't have Everyman's handy dates lists either, but the essential character list is included.
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I should have read this year's ago but the sheer volume put me off. Also I remember trying to read a very old translation of Anna Karenina and the archness of the translation made understanding very difficult. But with the advent of the TV adaptation I thought the time had come for me embark on this epic read and I am not disappointed. The translation is very good - shame about some of the typos, - but the feeling of life in Russia in the early 18th century is very well captured. There is more war in the book than on TV but again the emotions this provokes amongst the civilians and those engaged in military action are very well expressed. The additional notes are also extremely useful in setting the scene and preparing the reader for what is to come and should not be missed out.
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I have to admit I skipped about half of this very lengthy tome. I tried to appreciate the war scenes and the dozens of various Russian military personnel, and the different campaigns and strategies, but descriptions of armed conflict makes my brain hurt.

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 !
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