298 of 312 people found the following review helpful
Simply one of the best books ever written,
This review is from: War and Peace (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I first tried to read War and Peace in High School. A teacher, who had carried the book all through the Pacific campaign in WWII recommended it as a book that had changed his life. I tried three times and couldn't get past a few hundred pages because of the numerous characters - each with multiple names. The fourth time I stuck with it and was rewarded with a reading experience that has seldom been equaled. Since that time I have reread the book every two or three years, so I must have been through it 15 or more times, and each time I find things I haven't noticed before.
This is such a grand book in terms of number of characters in all levels of Russian society, historical scope, period detail, philosophical implications, romance, drama, tragedy, action etc, etc, etc. There is just no way to enumerate all that is appealing about Tolstoy's masterpiece. The main characters are as humanly complex and interesting as real people. I feel that I know them like friends. The plot(s) are involving and get more tight and interconnected as the book progresses, so that there is a great satisfaction as various threads come together, and never with the jarring coincidences that propel a typical Dickins novel.
If I had to pick only one novel that I would ever be able to read again, it would have to be War and Peace. There is so much of interest going on in this book that it would be hard to wear it out in a lifetime.