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War and Peace: With bonus material from Give War and Peace A Chance by Andrew D. Kaufman Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00JCDK5ME
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster (April 8, 2014)
- Publication date : April 8, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 13694 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 1735 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,254 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #7 in Classic Literary Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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All I can say is that this is quite the Epoc. War and Peace is not a book that any attempt at speed reading will succeed. This is a book to read thoughtfully & there are many places to re-read, until the light bulb goes off. This is a book to read, when you have no distractions & can give it your complete focus...you just might miss something. I will admit that there were times when I wished Tolstoy would just get to the point! He could say the same thing in many ways, but he was always trying to get the reader to consider all of the information contained.
That is not to say that this is a dry book either! While I was confused by the many Nicholas-es & Alexanders, it would not be long before I was back on track. For me, the repeat names could confuse me during the chapters related to battles.
The mentality of the characters are amazing. To be locked in serfdom because of the belief that change was of the devil & staying in serfdom was better than living in Siberia or death, was not a complete surprise, but I still had to ruminate on the societal beliefs before some scenes could make sense to me. Walking for hundreds of miles because a peasant just did not ride on horses, with feet frozen or bloodied, made no sense to 21st century me. I would have been on the horse!
The higher societal levels absolutely blew me away. No where else have I read such intricate musings of how the rich and powerful thought. I do not believe that things are quite so different there. Societal problems were similar poverty, murder, rape, looting, and mental illness were all very much apparent. The way various problems were addressed, or not, were often more brutal. However, what people think & would accept was much different too.
When people lack communications, such as we have today - or even 100 years ago, they are willing to accept that it's the same everywhere, it's just life. What little one has is considered a blessing, even if they are starving or being beaten by the owner for not producing enough produce, for example. The small village would accept poor conditions faster than they would have been willing to accept extra grain for bread. Acceptance of more than normal was to give the owner even more power over you.
Tolstoy hits the hard questions with a vengeance. Why do men go into battle, even though there is no way to win? What caused society to lean one way or another? What is genius? What compels man to make war? Who is responsible for revolution? Advancement? What is History? According to Tolstoy, history is a fairytale.
I am not doing this book justice. By the way, what is justice and who decides? What is power & how does one achieve it?
I am 61 & I will state emphatically that I was not ready to read this book before. Life & learning has taught me to think about the questions & situations of which Tolstoy has written. Some are able to discern the messages younger, so do not shy away from the critical thinking! Read War and Peace. I highly recommend it to you. I will probably read it again, next year.
Widely recognized as one of the greatest novels ever written, it is also infamous for being one of the longest. For me, going through my life with the usual distractions, it took a few months to make it through the whole thing. But after finishing it, I felt that it was completely worth the effort. Its length may be intimidating to many, but it is very rewarding book to read and ultimately finish.
I have a complaint about the Kindle edition. Although the text of the book is fine, I noticed many spelling problems with the bonus content and footnotes. A minor annoyance.
I would recommend this to those looking for a fantastic, sweeping, and interesting story of war, love, relationships, and life in general.
Top reviews from other countries
I've got such mixed feelings over this book. It's been 64 hours of reading, it's been frustrating, exciting, a snooze fest. An uphill struggle, a downhill cartwheel.
Half way through I has a fully negative review in my head, now at the end I'm back tracking.
Theres no way the amount of words justifies the action in this book, for me it could have been condensed down to 400 pages easily. And if it was 400 pages I'd give this more stars as actually the story line is ok, not amazing, not edge of your seat but it's ok.
I read the translation by the Maude sisters who knew Tolstoy personally, this translation was done in 1922. There are more recent translations out there which I believe have less footnotes, if your planning to tackle this beast, my best advice is find the right translation for you and keeping plodding, volumes three and four are much easier to digest.
My favourite character was the blue / grey dog, who doesn't appear much, but hes definitely the most active, the most lively, gave me the best vibe.
Massive thanks to the gang who read this along side me, its hasnt been fun but I was sure glad of the company!
And now to enjoy reading again .....
This is clearly a masterpiece. The sheer number of characters, changing relationships and political situation, and the amount of historical time covered is truly impressive. The story is compelling, the characters are startlingly human, and the historical detail clearly researched in minute detail.
My one small snag was the amount of time devoted to Tolstoy musing on the psychology of war and sniping at historians in chapters squished between the story. Spoiler alert (and sarcasm alert): Tolstoy says that much of history is inevitable and had to happen for a number of complex and unknowable reasons, and that it is ridiculous to suggest that someone is a good or bad commander because wars are weird and illogical and not subject to whatever made up 'military science' people write about in essays after the fact.
I found this very profound and interesting the first couple of times it was mentioned. Of course Napoleon didn't actually have that much influence on the outcome of a battle which was basically French people and Russian people firing cannons at each other. This idea is constantly alluded to, and shapes how Tolstoy presents his version of the history. Unfortunately, I felt like this simple (and perceptive) idea was repeated ad nauseum, to little gain.
Other than that small niggle, I couldn't recommend this vibrant, well researched and insightful novel highly enough!
Why I dont know as after I started I sailed through the book. It truely is the classic that everyone says.
I watched the great BBC adaption after reading this. Believe me no film or TV series could ever fully convey the full depth and majesty of this book.