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on 30 October 2013
This is a well known, but perhaps not as well read book as it may appear. It is an effort to get started. It is a thick, small printed book with 1500+ pages ahead of you. Stick with the first couple of chapters and your hooked. True, the litany of Russian names isn't too easy to get a handle on, but as the book opens up you soon recognise those who are relevant and those on the edges. Tolstoy clearly details the monarchist/serf extremes of Russia in the early 1800's. What is surprising is that this system of fiefdom and subservience lasted right up 1917 and the Revolution. Little wonder the country was ripe for change! The characters in the book are fully illustrated by the author and it is impossible not to become embroiled in their everyday problems and situations. There is a deal of satisfaction to having completed the book. Its story is simple. Contrasting wealthy, noble families embroiled in war, honour, money and curious relationships involving rather older males courting girls as young as 14, in an absolutely non-criminal way. It explores their lives, problems and the invasion of Russia by Napoleon and his "Grand Armee". The author provides an incisive exposition of Russian society at this level and the waste of life and fortunes in the name of "honour". Very good reading from an outstanding author. Biggest tip? Once started, keep going. After a few chapters all becomes much more clear, characters are given life and the book really will hold you!
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on 16 January 2013
It's not that I did not expect this to be good litterature, it's just that when you see this book of 1.4k pages, you imagine that you will get tired and bored before the end of it. But I have to say that I did not get bored, and I enjoyed every page of it.
I read the Max Gallo books on Napoleon a few years ago so it was even better to be able to compare the French version and the Russian version of History.
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on 10 June 2017
in good condition
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on 11 December 2016
Great read.
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on 16 January 2015
Looks like a winner! An essential read for the film!
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on 25 February 2015
Fascinating and totally absorbing
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on 22 February 2016
so-so characterisation, would have liked to know more detail
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on 10 February 2015
very good book, as described
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on 11 April 2017
Great thank you
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on 12 April 2016
as expected
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