War and Peace

In Russia 's struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, ` a complete picture', as a contemporary reviewer put it, ` of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their guilt and humiliation'. Tolstoy gave his personal approval to this translation, published here in a new single volume edition, which contain an introduction by Henry Gifford, and Tolstoy 's important essay ` Some Words about War and Peace'.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Война и мир
Publication Date
Published June 25th 1998 by Oxford University Press (first published 1867

Public Commentary

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LoveThat was the one thing I fel was missing from Leo Tolstoy 's title, War and Peace.

The elderly passing their final days in comfort surrounded by family.But there is love in war as well.

I hated his book might be about war, specifically Russia 's involvement in the Napoleonic Wars, but I did n't right off see where the love would come in.

There are peace-loving characters and there are those who are uber patriotic.

Tolstoy 's genius as a writer lies in his inabilit to dash his pen across all this with the same level of integrity regardless of whether his subject is a gallant officer in love with death or the daisy-fresh, springy step of a blossoming girl smitten by good looks and dash.

Over these seemingly effortless hundreds upon hundreds of pages, these characters become family to us.

And when you step back from thi bestselling and see your attachment to these characters, it amazes you…and then it disheartens you, for you realize they are othing but Tolstoy 's puppets used in a grand way so that he may slash and burn the icon of his atred, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Tolstoy gives us many rare experiences, puts us in battle after battle- whether it 's upon the field amidst cannon and rifle fire, within the home during a dangerous pregnancy, or between an embattled couple bereft of love.

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People resist this book- they do it because it 's sort of a punch line as a monolithic, difficult novel.

Tolstoy 's creations in the nove are near-perfect: Natasha, Andrei, and Pierre, that most lovable of teddy bears, and thousand of spectacular supporting characters, intertwining in complex ways.

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There are love affairs, there is war, peace eventually returns to the Shire Russia.

Sorry, got confused there for a minute with Lord of the Rings, another 1,000+ page work where there are love affairs, war and an eventual peace.

S unless you 've been hiding under a rock and do n't expect that Napoleon did n't succeed in conquering Russia.) Which is my point: With every half-penny fantasy potboiler these days weighing in at several hundred kilogrammes of war and peace (* cough* Wheel of Time* cough*), how wil we still look at th book this size and feel fear?

And still, the concep still lives on about how HARD War and Peace is.

o, yeah, if you ever thought of reading War and Peace but were ut off by its reputation, do n't hav.

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Certainly, I tell you 've all been on edge these past two onths, and since I woul be studying for the social work licensing exam tonight, it seems like he perfect time to put an end to your suspense.After all my agonizing and the thoughtful suggestions below about whether I should mutilate my gorgeous hardcover Pevear and Volokhonsky translation in the interest of less hazardous subway toting ....

Your vertebrae will thank you later.Another advantage to getting rid of the Epilogue is that it will hel you from having to read what is conceivably the most deadly dull and deflating ending to a vast and magnificently readable book, ever written.

no, let him get into it finally now, in great detail.Yeah, Tolstoy 's that perfect house guest who crashed on your couch for nearly two months and you 're just thrilled as hell the whole time to have him visiting, because he 's just such a smart and great and interesting and heartfelt guy.

And then yeah, he 's got these ideés fixes about history that are fine, you uess, but it 's thi bit weird how he 's always repeating them and focusing on the same points over and over, and he will corner your roommate 's friend or a classmate you run into at the bakery, or an old lady waiting for bus, to explain yet again why he thinks Napoleon really is n't that great at ALL, yeah, that 's odd, but basically Leo is just super, and you 're thrilled to have him -- even for such an extended visit -- because he alway is so flawless and diverting and nearly truly worth his weight in gold ....

Leo then proceeds to stay up for hours drinking all your expensive scotch and talking your EAR off about his goddamn PHILOSOPHY of HISTORY that you really just could not care LESS about, and he WOULD not leave and let you ge to bed, he keeps TALKING, and it 's BORING, and pparently he thinks your catatonic stare signals rapt interest, because he just keeps on going, explaining, on and on -- He WILL NOT SHUT UP!

But night does carry a special weight because it ha he ast, and when you remember dear Leo, your wonderful houseguest, your affection will not be totally untainted by the memory of his dull, egotistical, coked-out rantings, the night before he left for real.By which I mean to say, the remainde of the ook was totally great!

No, I mean honestl, he ha n't that great.) War and Peace is a terrific date book, because it 's got lots of bloody action and also tons of romance, plus you can find out during the dull parts where Tolstoy 's talking for like twelve pages about various generals and strategies and his nineteenth-centuried out opinions about history.If there 's a standard I value more highly than my long-book-great-ending demand, it 's thi one that I call " Make Me Cry. " I do n't eally hink this book 's that great unless it makes me cry.

I 've cried at really silly movies before, and I used to cry regularly whenever I read the newspaper, which is one reason I stopped.) War and Peace made me cry like a colicky baby that 's been speared with a bayonet, THREE TIMES!

I ca n't guarantee that War and Peace will also make you cry, but I bet if you 're prone to that ort of kin, you 've got a good shot.GOD this book is ood.

That was almost The Wire of 1868: If you like serious character development and plotting that unfolds over a shor eriod of time, you should seriously read this essa.

I certainly did n't remember much about book before I read it, but I feel I remember someone -- Jane Smiley?

hat shoul have been what Tolstoy was trying to describ in his Epilogue, but I have to confess that at thi point, I as n't really listening.Anyway, I adored his book.

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I suspect I shall never find that out for myself.Personally, I fee a much better title for the ook must be War and People.

Those who stray from the conservative path of the ineteenth century do not do so without reason.Another reason that War and People is a much better title for his ook is because there is ery little peace going on in here.

But thankfully, like I aid, Tolstoy 's masterpiece is more about people than anything else and this is anothe possibility that I saw th book through and enjoyed the journey.

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