War and Peace
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Perhaps one of the most revered works in all of literature, Tolstoy's War and Peace is an epic story of Russian life in the days of Napoleon. Here are the sagas of five families who must face the ups and downs of history's wheel of fortune. As the French invade Russia, the continuing heat of battle throws human dramas into sharp relief, bringing essential experiences, struggles, and questions of life and death, love and loss, spirituality and despair, to the forefront.
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Born into an aristocratic Russian family, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was able to enjoy a life of luxury from the very first. Throughout his life, however, and perhaps inspired by personal losses from which even his financial comfort could not protect him, he remained intrigued by philosophical questions about the nature of human existence. Through military service and well into his career as a writer, Tolstoy sought higher truths and found the materialistic lifestyle of many around him to be quite empty. Best known for his novels Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy was an extremely prolific writer, with a full catalog of short stories, plays, and non-fiction to his name.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist--I really believe he is Antichrist--I will have nothing more to do with you ...Back to top
Reviewed by jjhanson on Nov 28, 2011
Completing a tome like War and Peace is an accomplishment. But it was also a very captivating novel--at least in parts. Some parts were quite dry, but others were riveting . Definitely worth the effort.
Reviewed by hawkinsond on Nov 10, 2011
Read in the winter
Make sure you have plenty of vodka with you--to stay in the Russian frame of mind.
Reviewed by lunardust on Sep 10, 2011
A must for any lover of literature
Initially I thought the length and some of the text to be intimidating. Very good read. This is the kind of story that can be read several times and the reader will learn something new.
Reviewed by gssq on Jul 11, 2009
Good if you want to know what courtly/aristocratic life was like but not much else, it seems
Reviewed by ilavenil on Aug 15, 2011
Too much on God, inaccurate history, sexist
The book seems good at the beginning, and actually gets interesting by the time Napoleon's 1812 invasion begins. But, there are too many inaccuracies in the account. The Moscow fire started due to arson, not 'inevitable conditions.' Tolstoy seems almost apologetic in places where the gospel is mentioned. The description of Natasha becoming fat and ignoring everything but her family is sexist in the extreme.
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Ratings for 'War and Peace' by Tolstoy, Leo