- File Size: 13694 KB
- Print Length: 1024 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 8, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 8, 2014
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JCDK5ME
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,154 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$13.89|
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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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|Kindle, April 8, 2014||
Audio CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
|Length: 1024 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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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 international reviews
The translation is the Maude translation, mainly, I gather, by Louise Maude, and I think Tolstoy’s preferred version. It is said to be accurate and is certainly readable. The translation seems to be identical to the one used in an awful Penguin Classics paperback that sat on my shelf for years, poor quality yellowing paper and small, unclear font, too fat to read comfortably, constantly trying to close up on me. Yuk. And no acknowledgement of the translator. It seems to be identical also to the two box sets of CDs read by Neville Jason, which also do not name Mrs Maude as the translator. Hm.
This edition breathes readable quality. ‘War and Peace’ needs no review from me, but Amazon lumps all reviews of all editions and translations together, which makes it almost impossible to buy with confidence. I hope this helps. I am truly impressed by everything about this edition. I would once have denied that that could make such a difference, but now find it really does. Enjoy!
My review is on this particular edition. I have given it a 1 star rating due to the tiny font size. The font is considerably smaller than any other novel I have ever read. I actually got a bit cross eyed, gave up, and bought another edition.
If you want to read this masterpiece, and I hope you do, get an edition that you can read without going blind.
I attach a photo to illustrate the font compared to a typical novel.
I started reading the printed version of this and it soon became clear that the sheer weight of the book (and I mean actual physical weight rather than the density of the plot) meant that my forearms were aching after a few hours. I found a good way to counter the impact of the pain in my arm was to intersperse the reading with the Kindle edition. I always prefer an actual physical book but, in this case it was more of a need than a want. I found that this works best when you completely immerse yourself in the world that Tolstoy describes here and read not only the book, but the history of the period and also watch the film and TV adaptations of this epic story.
I will not go into the actual story of War and Peace, suffice to say it is completely epic and you live rather than merely read this classic of world literature.
I thoroughly recommended to anyone who might be, for example, cooped up at home for several weeks with nothing to do.
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 .....
I tried an e-reader some years ago and just couldn’t get on with it.
No such problems with the Kindle and the model I have can easily be used one handed. Useful when one is strap hanging on a crowded tube.
Regardless as to the light conditions the screen is always marvellously readable without eye strain.
There are notes on the text that you can go to easily and then immediately return to your place. You can also highlight or make your own notes. The text size can be adjusted alongside other features to suit each reader.
What would otherwise be a labour of page turning whilst jammed up against a fellow commuter is a doddle one handed. The lack of weight to haul around is also a real plus.
So a great way to read this or any other book.
I was a sceptic but I am totally converted. The Kindle will not replace my “physical” books or my love of them; but it is a wonderful way to enjoy reading when a “real” book might be difficult to read.
For Tolstoy the year of significance is of course 1812. The year the Russian Army was "defeated" by the French at Borodino and that the French entered Moscow. An triumph that quickly turned to disaster. A turning point in history. A "hinge of fate" on which the rest of C19 European history hangs. Tolstoy spends much of the latter part of the book musing on the inevitability of events, turning over and over how a French "victory" led inevitably to the destruction of the French army and ultimately to Napoleon's rout.
Tolstoy muses extensively on the notion of individual freedom concluding that although we like to think of ourselves or our leaders as having free will to make this or that decision, history often implies that those actions were in fact circumscribed by factors largely invisible to us but influencing all that we do.
Tolstoy tries to show that great historical events are cyclical in nature, following a pattern of peaks and troughs and never static. His insights, though weighing rather densely on C21 ears, are not without their value today as we look in helpless horror at the unfolding events in the Middle East and consider the fall out for Europe. Life goes on, people pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and start again, there is a time for war and a time for peace....
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!
The actual copy itself was good quality for a book that cost £2 and the character, contents and history pages are very useful to understanding the book. A quick warning though, the font size is tiny and can be a struggle to read if your eyes are tired or you have poor eyesight.
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.
The scope, humanity and understanding of the writer is phenomenal. Really, there isn't anything like it.
In the beginning, first dozen pages seem tedious, but his description of people and events, and his mastery of human nature is awe-inspiring and really enjoyable as the book goes on.
At points it very funny too. Sometimes bitterly funny. I almost collapsed laughing at the account of an Accountant who was taking part in battle with a small Russian force being attacked by the French because he wanted to see what its like to fight a battle.
It makes you ask: Who was the guy who wrote it? Was he a soldier, was he a count, bureaucrat...what was he? You come to answer yourself that he couldn't have been one of those things but all and many more.
You can tell that a man has written this at the mature years of his life. But how he managed to come so acquainted with so much of life is mind-bongling.
Nearest thing I could compare this to, is Gibbon's Decline and Fall of Roman Empire. Though the prose doesn't compare in creativity with Gibbon's English as its a translation. The scope, humanity, and Tolstoy's understanding of his subject is immense.
Though only a 3rd in, I am already worried of finishing this book. Will read it again.