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War and Peace (2/2) by Leo Tolstoy
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War and Peace (2/2)

by Leo Tolstoy (Author)

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English (2)  French (1)  All languages (3)
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1805 à Moscou, en ces temps de paix fragile, les Bolkonsky, les Rostov et les Bézoukhov constituent les personnages principaux d'une chronique familiale. Une fresque sociale où l'aristocratie, de Moscou à Saint-Pétersbourg, entre grandeur et misérabilisme, se prend au jeu de l'ambition sociale, des mesquineries, des premiers émois. 1812, la guerre éclate et peu à peu les personnages imaginaires évoluent au sein même des événements historiques. Le conte social, dépassant les ressorts de l'intrigue psychologique, prend une dimension d'épopée historique et se change en récit d'une époque. La 'Guerre' selon Tolstoï, c'est celle menée contre Napoléon par l'armée d'Alexandre, c'est la bataille d'Austerlitz, l'invasion de la Russie, l'incendie de Moscou, puis la retraite des armées napoléoniennes. Entre les deux romans de sa fresque, le portrait d'une classe sociale et le récit historique, Tolstoï tend une passerelle, livrant une réflexion philosophique sur le décalage de la volonté humaine aliénée à l'inéluctable marche de l'Histoire ou lorsque le destin façonne les hommes malgré eux. --Lénaïc Gravis et Jocelyn Blériot
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
The author repeats himself often throughout this novel, but then, if you were writing a 1500 page novel, you probably would too.

There were three separate components interwoven throughout this book. The first is the story of the people of Russia. The loves and lives of the Rostovs and their acquaintances. I really enjoyed this part, especially when I got into the swing of things the way they were in early 19th century Russia.

The second part was a description of the Napoleon's invasion of Russia and descriptions of the battles. While I didn't particularly enjoy this part (I groaned inwardly every time Napoleon was mentioned), it was interesting at times too, and the rest of the story couldn't have moved along without some description of what was happening in the war.

The third part was the part that really made me cringe. This was when Mr. Tolstoy got up on his soapbox and explained at length and repetitively why historians are all wrong and have done a really poor job of figuring out causes and effects throughout history. He started with a few paragraphs of this here and there, but as the novel progressed, his soapbox moments became more frequent and prolonged until the last hundred pages of the book which are almost exclusively devoted to this. It definitely made me glad to finally get to the end of this novel!

I'm glad I made my way through this book mostly because now I can finally say "Yes, I've read War & Peace." If being able to say that isn't on the list of the things that will make you happy, I'd recommend skipping this--I'm sure you can find better ways to spend your time. ( )
  stubbyfingers | Apr 3, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, LeoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Book 3 / Part One / 1: The last months of the year 1811 saw the sovereigns of Western Europe beginning to reinforce their armies and concentrate their strength, and in 1812 these forces - millions of men, reckoning in those concerned in the transport and victualling of the army - moved eastwards towards the Russian frontiers, where the Russians, too, had been massing since 1811.
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This is volume 2 in a 2 volume set. If your copy is here but you have a 3 volumes set, please separate the work and combine with the other volume 2.
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The moment at which Tolstoy's novel begins, the French were overrunning Europe and Alexander was leading his armies against Napoleon.

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