War and Peace (World's Classics) Hardcover – 1 Dec 1933
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From the Back Cover
Among the great novels of the world, 'War and Peace' has long held pride of place because it fulfills, in its seamless interweaving of the historical and the personal, and its genius in registering the entire scale of human life, all the promise latent in the art of fiction itself. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Nikolai Tolstoy is a highly recognized and acclaimed historian and biographer. He was the sole beneficiary of his stepfather's will and is one of the trustees of O'Brian's estate. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The two things are: -
1. Slow down. However fast your mind is moving, it’s too quick for the pace of War and Peace’s opening and, rest assured, this is an opening to savour (after all, it must be at least a quarter of the book). If you’ve just finished Proust, you may need to ease up a gear, but no more than that.
2. Keep one finger in the page, near the front, that guides you through the three versions of each character’s name that are regularly used, with a brief description of who they are. This will feel clumsy for the first hour or two, then easier, then you won’t notice and THEN, oh glorious day, you will know each character quite clearly in your mind’s eye. After this, new characters are quickly assimilated.
Finally, why bother? Two reasons: - Pierre Bezukhov and Natasha Rostova,
One more reason; this book has perhaps the funniest scene in all world literature; and to fully appreciate it; you need to read War and Peace first (well, as much of War and Peace as precedes it; which is a good deal)!
You’ll never think of Russia in quite the same way again but be warned; if you investigate Russia’s history, your heart will be broken; Tolstoy’s was, perhaps, breaking as he wrote this. This only makes the bone-dry wit of the book that much more affecting.
War and Peace is one of the reasons you were born literate in this world; don’t pass up the opportunity to be ennobled by it.
One comment on the translation itself though - in many places I found it mellifluous. 'Kapli kapali. Shyol tikhii govor. Loshadi zarzhali i podralis. Khrapel kto-to.' - 'Drops dripped. Quiet talk went on. Horses neighed and scuffed. Someone snored.' Fantastic.
And as others have noted the hardback is a wonderfully tactile object. Well done Clays and thank you Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm going to be honest. This book dragged a lot. Still an amazing piece of literature though. So happy to have finished.Published 6 days ago by Hollie Marsh
An unduly high number of errors in the text towards the end of the ebook, but nothing that inhibited understanding. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazonpenname
Quite an epic read but well worth it as with most classics the book is so much better than any film or TV series. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Mrs C Truman
I read this many years ago, but the recent tv show made me return to it. This is the book to end all books and even though it is challengingly long, it never seems to drag. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Florence R.
Really enjoyed the additional commentary which placed the events and people in some context. An enjoyable mix of military history and social intrigue to keep anyone interested.Published 24 days ago by Alison
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