Monday, July 13, 2015

145. War and Peace

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy
Around 1500 pages

The Book argues that this book is too often seen as a test of endurance for dedicated readers rather than the masterpiece it is.  I happen to see it as both.  To be honest, after Remembrance of Things Past, this seems like a magazine.

Since this book is approximately a million pages long, I will not go into a lot of detail about the plot.  The story follows a whole myriad of characters, including Pierre Bezukhov, a socially awkward illegitimate child, Natasha Rostova, a non socially awkward romantic, Napoleon, I assumed I don't need an explanation for, and Prince Andrey, a philosophical military officer.

Certainly you can argue that this book tends to get tedious.  Particularly in the War part of War and Peace.  But honestly, I didn't want it to end.  There is so much depth here that I would highly recommend reading it with a friend to help unpack some of the content.  Rich characters, rich experience.  It's nice to know that some of these epic doorstops can be worth it.  I am stressing the word "some," Herman Melville.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Any thoughts on the movie?  Here's a trailer:

Praised by...well, everybody.  Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, etc.

UP NEXT: He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope.  It is supposed to be around 850 pages.  Someone take his typewriter.


  1. I haven´t seen the American version, but I´ve seen the Russian and the "European" version (2008 I think) and they both were great. Of course, I read the book (I think 3 or 4 times) and I´m still in love with Andrey. This book is really perfect, especially about picturing the characters. I recommend everyone to read it!

    1. I agree. Andrey was hunky. So was Anatole but let's not go there.

  2. "It's nice to know that some of these epic doorstops can be worth it. I am stressing the word "some," Herman Melville."

    Awesome, as always. You're my spirit guide through the 1001 books quest.

    1. Thank you so much Masanobu! That means a lot!

  3. I read this book. It took me two years to chip away at it. Tolstoy is great at making you understand the essence of an individual but can be so long winded about everything. His 3 page analogy between post- evacuation Moscow and a dead Bee hive was particularly bizarre.
    If remember correctly, Tolstoy was very prescient in his philosophy of history. He was one of the first to shy away from the Great Man theory and understand that history is influenced by each individual, not just a handful of men.

    1. That's really interesting! For some reason I don't mind when Tolstoy or Fielding rambles but I get mad when Melville does.

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