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War and Peace Hardcover – January 19, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tolstoy was born on 09 September 1828 in Yasnaya Polyana, the family estate in the Tula region of Russia. The Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility, and he was connected to the grandest of Russian aristocracy. He was the fourth of five children of Count Nikoláj Illjìsch Tolstoy, a veteran of the campagne against France of 1812, and Countess Mariya Tolstaya. Sadly, Tolstoy's parents died when he was young, so he and his siblings were brought up by relatives.

<span>In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University, but left in the middle of his studies and returned to Yasnaya Polyana. In 1851, after running up heavy gambling debts, he joined the army and began writing. His first novel of his autobiographical trilogy</span>Childhood<span> was published in 1852 in the magazine </span>Sovremennik<span>. It was highly lauded and Tolstoy was encouraged to continue with </span>Boyhood<span> and</span>Youth<span>.</span>

<span>In 1857 Tolstoy started a school for peasant children and realised that the secret of changing the world lay in education. In 1862 he married Sonya Andreyevna Behrs and the couple had thirteen children together. Sonya Tolstoy proved helpful to her husband’s writing career, organising his rough notes, copying out drafts, and assisting with his correspondence and business affairs of the estate. Thus Tolstoy plunged into his writing. He started </span>War and Peace<span> in 1862 and its six volumes were published between 1863 and 1869. His next epic novel was </span>Anna Karenina<span>which was published in 1878.Amongst his other published works are </span>The Death of Ivan Ilyich <span>(1859) and </span>The Cossacks

<span>Tolstoy died of pneumonia at Astapovo railway station on 20 November 1910, after leaving home in the middle of winter at the age of 82. His death came only days after summoning the nerve to abandon his family and wealth and take up the path of a wandering ascetic, a path that he had agonized over pursuing for decades.</span>

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Lits (January 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160942168X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609421687
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By R. Horick on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
New translations of War and Peace appear from time to time, each with its own virtues. Sometimes what one reader calls virtues, another finds to be deficiencies. The now-venerable Maude translation, in the splendid Norton Critical Edition, is sometimes majestic, always readable, and, most important, conveys to most minds the story Tolstoy told. The breathtaking, awe-inspiring power of Tolstoy's storytelling and his burning insights into the quandaries of the human condition are what is important about War and Peace. The Maudes' translation brings all this to life. Norton's editorial supplements help the newcomer to things Russian fight his/her way through the thicket of Russian names and mid-nineteenth-century literary mindset to get comfortable with Pierre, the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys. Once you get to know these unforgettable people, you are hooked for good.

I have read this book many times in Russian and in the Maudes' translation. I always end by thanking Tolstoy for writing the best novel of them all, and the Maudes for their tireless work in translating it for those not fortunate enough to read it in the original.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought the Maude translation in a Wordsworth Classic edition-- 1000 pages of Very Small Letters. It took me a while to get up the nerve to try and read it. Although I have loved everything else by Tolstoy that I had read, this seemed like a bigger challenge. Furthermore, I was concerned because I have not done very well in the past with books that contain a large number of battle scenes. Somehow I do not have a very visual imagination, and it can get very tricky if I have to really picture the relative location of troops and characters.

I have to say that I spent far too much energy worrying. War and Peace is extremely readable and once I got over the initial "how many pages?" response, it actually flew by too quickly.

I generally hate it when a review of a book says that it has "something for everybody". But I guess that when a book is this long, you can actually make that claim without being ridiculous. This book is so many things-- a love story, a story about war, a comment on Russian society at the time of writing, an observation of social/class change, a meditation on politics, and (last but not least) an attempt to define this notion and nature of history. It is hard to imagine that any reader could fail to find something that moved him or her. I found that I enjoyed all of it, even the battle scenes, in more or less equal measure.

In short, do not be put off by the daunting size! It is deservedly called a classic, and a book that should be on every readers must-read list.

I liked the Maude translation, I have to say. I found it clear and very readable. I chose it because it was the translation that had been approved by Tolstoy during his lifetime. That at least made it seem to be a safe place to begin.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ryder on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
"War and Peace" is undeniably epic, and consequently a prodigious read. But as anyone who has finished it will tell you, it's well worth it (and more). When deciding which translation to opt for, do yourself a favor and get the Maude translation (Norton), edited by Gibian. Only in this edition will you find the interesting and invaluable scholarship Aylmer Maude so painstakingly assembled.
If you are poised to read "War and Peace" for the first time, the last thing you need is a wordy review by some git on, so I'll exercise modest brevity. There's no need to mention the love triangles, mystical persuasions or the finely wrought battle scenes, all of which are so prominent in "War and Peace." This book is, simply, life. Like the course of time, chugging it's way ad infinitum, the truths, ideas and emotions in this monumental work are universal; like earth, fire and water, Tolstoy is elemental!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Reader on November 24, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Great classic book. Well done job by Forward2, easy to read and navigate. No bugs. Definitely recommend this Kindle Edition and publisher.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James W. Picht on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I approach writing a review of War and Peace like I'd approach writing a review of the Bible. Everyone has heard of it, most people have some idea of what it's about, and who am I to say anything except that it's brilliant? Certainly the case could be made that War and Peace is the finest novel ever written. I won't presume even to try to make the case, but I do believe it must certainly rank among the finest. And that's in spite of Tolstoy's frequent forays into the philosophy of history when he should be telling his story. Tolstoy writes his characters beautifully. Even those with minor walk-on parts are, in very few words, fleshed out into people more life-like than you'll find starring in the works of lesser novelists. Unusually for a man, his female characters are as vibrant, complex, strong and convincing as his male characters, and they're absolutely feminine. His skill with characterization is as luminous when his characters number in the hundreds, as in War and Peace, as when he focuses on just a few, as in Anna Karenina.

My real comments are about this translation and Norton Critical Editions. Aylmer and Louise Maude had both the mastery of Russian and English and the literary taste and skill to write an extraordinary translation. They did it several decades ago, so the language had become a bit dated. Greg Gibrian revised their translation for this edition, and he brought it up to date without damaging the subtlety and grace of the Maudes' work. Even so, there are other good translations out there. I'm sold on the Norton edition because of the fine essays that are included in it. War and Peace isn't a difficult book to read or understand, but its scope is vast, its importance in Russian and world literature beyond reckoning.
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