War and Peace

War and Peace

Book - 1994
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Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle--all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: "To read him . . . is to find one' s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane."

Uniform Title: Voĭna i mir. English
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1994.
ISBN: 9780679600848
0679600841
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: vii, 1386 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Garnett, Constance 1861-1946.

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I’ve always thought this would be a daunting and difficult read – and it wasn’t. It was actually a very interesting look into Russian life during Napoleon’s time. He shows the upper class, lower class, peasants, soldiers of all ranks by weaving an exciting and interesting story. The characters are dynamic and portray Russian society at all levels. Even the names of the characters are fairly easy to follow – for a Russian novel anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this book was, and I highly recommend it! (submitted by NB)

" On the 3rd of March every room in the English Club was abuzz with conversation and the members and guests, resplendent in uniforms or morning dress, some of them even with powdered hair and wearing Russian kaftans, were like busy bees in springtime, coming and going, siting and standing, settling together and flying apart. Powdered and liveried footmen wearing stockings and buckled shoes stood at every doorway, anxiously watching for the slightest gesture from a guest or member so they could offer their services. Most of those present were old and distinguished people with beaming, confident faces, podgy fingers, powerful gestures and strong voices." "Like any good valet Tikhon had a flair for following his master's thought." " Julie would go to her harp and play Boris the most plangent nocturnes. Boris would read aloud to her, more than once breaking down half-way through Karamzin's romantic story, POOR LIZA, choking with emotion and unable to continue."

c
charlietychen
Aug 02, 2018

something random i read this when i was 11

d
democard6
Jul 18, 2018

i should have read this years ago .

g
gomiami1972
Jan 17, 2018

This book requires great patience due to its length. Don't look at it as a book with 1000 pages. Read 20-30 in a sitting. There are really three separate grades for this book. First, the development of the Tolstoy fictional characters I found somewhat boring. For a book almost universally lauded as a great Western classic, I was disappointed in this aspect. Second, his description of historical characters (such as Napoleon and Kutuzov) and the Napoleonic Wars was enjoyable and utterly first rate. Finally, his analysis of the ways of the historian (as a profession) is fascinating...although I disagree with several of his conclusions. Overall, 4 stars seemed appropriate.

w
wangbal28
Oct 19, 2017

Um do you think a middle schooler should read this? Is it suitable

m
Mrucks
Sep 07, 2017

This is my favorite translation! VERY WELL DONE!!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 24, 2017

With Napoleon declaring war on Russia, this book focuses on families of different backgrounds. With a wide variety of characters the book covers the grand scheme of things, however, it was incredibly lengthy. As loved as it was, I had the author interrupting the story to add in his own commentary on the historical events.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

ArapahoeSteffen Nov 22, 2016

This book got me interested in the Napoleonic wars with Russia for the first time, much in the same way that Gone With the Wind encouraged me to learn more about the American Civil War.

This book strangely reminded me of the Game of Thrones series - a lengthy epic full of rich characters whom you fluctuate between loving and hating.
Man, I really hated Nikolai and Princess Marya for most of the book and then they both did something I admired, then I hated them again at the end!
The treatment of cat-like-Sonya, my favorite character, is one of the biggest upsets in Classical fiction in my opinion.
Also, the War parts are as good as, and often better than, the Peace parts - which I did NOT expect. In fact I was convinced to read this largely because it was described to me as "a large bit of it takes place in drawing rooms." My favorite scene in the whole book was this description of this small Russian artillery unit shelling this little town in the middle of this awful battle, whose soldiers then got into trouble for disobeying orders even though you can tell Tolstoy thinks they were the participants most worth admiring.
Tolstoy interrupts his narrative often to comment and criticize on history and the study of history and how we remember history, which I found interesting. Did I mention I listened to this on audiobook? 60 HOURS!

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

A rambling mess of a novel done in a way only Tolstoy could get away with. War & Peace is peopled with an excellent cast of characters who are weaved into a story that is interesting and beautiful.

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blue_cat_17689
Aug 21, 2018

blue_cat_17689 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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gomiami1972
Feb 19, 2018

gomiami1972 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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blue_fish_825
Mar 26, 2016

blue_fish_825 thinks this title is suitable for 99 years and over

blue_monkey_3158 Nov 17, 2015

blue_monkey_3158 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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janari96
Jun 15, 2012

janari96 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

c
classicalcollege
May 17, 2012

classicalcollege thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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LE_Draqonoviicht
Nov 13, 2010

LE_Draqonoviicht thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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LE_Draqonoviicht
Nov 13, 2010

LE_Draqonoviicht thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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c
classicalcollege
May 17, 2012

This translation of War and Peace gives life to one of the best pieces of literature written by Leo Tolstoy. Anthony Briggs does a great job choosing words to convey what is being said, and nothing is vague or hard to understand. This is by far the easiest to read and understand copy of War and Peace that I have come across.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

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