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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace (original 1868; edition 1949)

by Leo Tolstoy

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17,72028297 (4.27)25 / 1957
Title:War and Peace
Authors:Leo Tolstoy
Info:International Collector's Library 1949 Hardcover, 741p.
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Main, Fiction

Work details

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1868)

  1. 120
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (chrisharpe)
  2. 80
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe, longway)
  3. 30
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  4. 20
    History by Elsa Morante (roby72)
  5. 10
    The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy (BINDINGSTHATLAST)
  6. 10
    La Lumière des justes by Henri Troyat (Eustrabirbeonne)
    Eustrabirbeonne: Well, Henri Troyat is no Tolstoy of course, and he did not pretend he was : he described himself as a mere "storyteller". Yet some of his fiction is real good, and this "cycle" is certainly his best. And of course, Russian-born Lev Aslanovich Tarasov had in mind the never-written sequel to "War and Peace" about the Decembrist uprising, which Tolstoy initiates in the final chapters of "War and Peace" with his hints at Pierre's active participation in a "society". Would Natasha, already a mother of four in 1820, have left her children behind to follow Pierre in Siberia, as other convicts' wives did?… (more)
  7. 11
    The Years by Virginia Woolf (roby72)
  8. 11
    Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (rrmmff2000)
  9. 11
    Los mas bellos cuentos rusos. Prologo con resena critica de la obra, vida y obra del autor, y marco historico. (Spanish Edition) by Alexander Pushkin (carajava)
    carajava: Es muy recomendable despues o, en todo caso antes de leer guerra y paz, puesto que, mejorarà tu forma de ver el mundo donde viviàn los rusos, comprenderlo y razonar sus precarias situaciònes.
  10. 11
    World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird by Amit Ray (AlexaHarper)
  11. 13
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)

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Topics messagesLast message 
2016 Category Challenge : Group Read: War and Peace 168 unread / 168christina_reads, Today 10:59am
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Intro thread (no spoilers) 42 unread / 42jnwelch, December 8, 2015
Fans of Russian authors : New edition of War and Peace? 3 unread / 3DanMat, July 2012
History at 30,000 feet: The Big Picture : WWII, from the inside 10 unread / 10cbellia, February 2012
Fans of Russian authors : Who Translated the 1911 Everyman's Library War and Peace? 6 unread / 6DanMat, September 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 3, Part III 10 unread / 10Rebeki, July 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 3, Part II 10 unread / 10Rebeki, July 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part V 12 unread / 12Rebeki, July 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part IV 7 unread / 7Rebeki, July 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Epilogue II 9 unread / 9cushlareads, June 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 3 spoiler thread 13 unread / 13Rebeki, June 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Epilogue I 8 unread / 8JanetinLondon, June 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part IV 7 unread / 7JanetinLondon, June 2011
Book talk : War And Peace 8 unread / 8Sandydog1, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 2 spoiler thread 13 unread / 13Deern, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - "Wrap Up" (spoiler) Thread 6 unread / 6JanetinLondon, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part III 3 unread / 3JanetinLondon, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part II 6 unread / 6JanetinLondon, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 1 spoiler thread 16 unread / 16JanetinLondon, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part I 7 unread / 7JanetinLondon, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 3, Part I 8 unread / 8cushlareads, May 2011
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part III 5 unread / 5Deern, March 2011
Fans of Russian authors : War and Peace 4 unread / 4erinn, April 2009
Fans of Russian authors : Tolstoy's War and Peace: more on the Volokhonsky/Pevear translation 1 unread / 1chrisharpe, May 2008
Fans of Russian authors : Tolstoy's War and Peace: comments on the Volokhonsky,/Pevear translation by Simon Schama, BBC R3 1 unread / 1chrisharpe, November 2007
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» See also 1957 mentions

English (263)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (5)  French (3)  Hebrew (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (283)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
"What is the power that moves people?"
"What force moves the nations?"

Neither as onerous as I feared, or as good as I hoped. Can I say that the great classic, ‘War and Peace’ was… just OK?

Much is made of the book’s ‘epic’ nature, but really, it’s mostly the story of Pierre (think: nerdy trust fund kid trying to ‘find’ himself) and his associates, in Russia during the years leading up to and during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.

Since the book was written around 50 years later, it’s definitely a ‘historical’ rather than contemporary novel – the equivalent to a WWII story released today. Still, it gives a lot of insight into the social realities of a certain time period in Russia – served up with a heaping portion of Tolstoy’s own philosophies regarding war, politics, religion, social issues – you name it. Some of his ideas (especially regarding the evils of war) I certainly agreed with, others I certainly did not (especially the proper role of women). (He’s specifically anti-feminist, and thinks a good woman’s job is to be a good ‘listener’ and helpmeet to her man.) The character in the book whom I liked/sympathized with the most was definitely Helene Kuragin, which, I’m sure, would horrify Tolstoy, who clearly wants his readers to sympathize with Natasha, who is just horribly boring.

Still, there’s a lot of interesting things going on here. The whole dynamic of a nation at war with a country whose culture it idolizes is fascinating. And there’re duels, battles, tragedies, romances… you name it, there are plenty of pages for it. (Although, honestly, plenty of today’s ‘epics’ are far longer, due to this multiple-book thing we’ve got going on these days.)

One thing I did not get. What was up with the whole thing about Marya could not marry Nikolai if their respective siblings (Andrei & Natasha) married each other? Does Russian culture have a taboo on more than one marriage between two different families?

One note - although the portrayal of the complexities of social interactions and the forces that work together and against each other to form history is a great strength of this book - the writing is not. The phrasing is frequently surprisingly awkward and repetitive. I wondered if it was due to the translation, but I checked several passages in different translations, and retained my opinion. I did also read an essay on Tolstoy that noted that he was not known as a prose stylist. Ah well.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I am so glad that the group read afforded me the opportunity to finally buckle down and tackle this one, which has been an albatross of sorts of my previous reading failures. If you, like me, have repeatedly struggled and abandoned reading this one in written form, may I suggest you consider attempting an audioread? Listening to the story as opposed to slogging through a physical read has made all the difference for me. Yes, the story is rather long-winded and I really found the war/battle scenes started to get to me - as did the sections where Tolstoy waxes philosophical on various topics - but I was rather surprised to discover that: 1) Tolstoy has a sense of humor; 2) he does an excellent job conveying his historical analysis of the Napoleonic Wars and where he differs from the viewpoints of historians of his era; and 3) he really knows how to present well-rounded characters for his readers. I admit that I didn't take to all of his characters - thank goodness, I had plenty of characters to develop any love/hate relationship with! - prime examples in the first half of the book being a decided dislike I developed for Natasha and Nickolei. Okay, I admit that it was their youthful idealism that grated with me so I was glad to see then transform into characters worthy of some attention. I really enjoyed witnessing the transformation of a number of characters as the story progressed. I admit there were times when I had a bit of difficulty keeping all of the characters straight in my mind - seriously, the pet names, etc just added to my overall character confusion! Tolstoy, when in story mode (not waxing philosophical or in historical analysis mode), tells a really good story, filled with romance, social status and even a tiny bit of intrigue.

... but I still don't understand why the story had to be so darn long! Seriously, by the time I had reached the epilogues, I was done. That being said, I will probably re-read it at some point, with a focus on the philosophical aspects. Tolstoy does present some interesting arguments. I just wasn't in the mood to focus on those parts on this read.

Overall, really glad to finally be able to strike this one off my reading Bucket List. I think I am now ready to consider tackling Moby Dick. ( )
  lkernagh | Feb 6, 2016 |
Rarely has a novel with such a thumping thesis (Tolstoy’s rejection of the so-called great man theory of history) been so affecting, so charming at times, and so brutally honest at others. Once you give yourself over to it, it is engrossing and the pages (the many, many pages) seem to fly by. And perhaps not surprising for such a long and complex work, your allegiances to characters develop and shift over the course of the novel. Whether it is the moral development of the seemingly dense Pierre, or the reclamation of the overly proud Prince Andrei, or even the dizzying excitement of Natasha and its aftermath, the care that Tolstoy takes with his fictional characters helps humanize the necessarily violent battle sections of the novel. Despite the frequent authorial disquisitions on the impossibility of the will of one man, be that man Napoleon or Alexander, directing the outcome of huge events, Tolstoy regularly brings the focus down to single individuals in the midst of a battle and we see how personally meaningful their individual actions are for them.

There is no need for me to recommend this novel. It stands as one of the bulwarks of imaginative fiction and for that reason alone, if no other, it deserves to be read. But what I would say is how surprisingly funny and charming and at other times heart-poundingly tense it can be. So as well as being an important, possibly a necessary, read, it is also a good read. Enjoy! ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Feb 4, 2016 |
Love Russian literature ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
Since I have been thinking about reading the classics and then discovered that all the classics are available on Kindle and they are FREE I felt it a sign. During the holidays I a couple of "bookies" and I had a great conversation and I became inspired. So, here we go. ( )
  LouisaK | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
[Note: This review refers mainly to the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation in comparison to other translations.]

The Russian language is the real hero of Tolstoy’s masterpiece; it is his voice of truth. The English-speaking world is indebted to these two magnificent translators, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, for revealing more of its hidden riches than any who have tried to translate the book before.

» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, Leoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, MortimerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alcántara, Francisco JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andresco, IreneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andresco, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bahar, NurettinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bell, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergengruen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boutelje, A. E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cadei, ErmeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conrad-Lütt, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, HjalmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunnigan, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eberle, TheodorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faber zu Faur, Christian Wilhelm vonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Figes, OrlandoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foote, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freedman, BarnettIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, EdmondEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibian, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gifford, HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grusemann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hilbert, ErnestIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hockenberry, JohnAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchins, Robert M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kúper, LydiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kropotkin, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laín Entralgo, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malcovati, FaustoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, AylmerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maude, Louise ShanksTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maugham, W. SomersetEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mongault, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pacini, GianlorenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Papma, DieuwkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascal, PierreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Röhl, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rho, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sýkora, VilémTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibaldi, IgorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibley, DonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomassen, EjnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Topolski, FelixIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verestchagin, VassilyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, H.R. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, René deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitman, J. FranklinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Well, Prince, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family."
Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. (Maude/Maude)
War is not a polite recreation but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to understand that and not play at war.
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This is the complete work "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. Do not combine with single volumes of the work, or with abridgments of the work.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307266931, Hardcover)

From Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the best-selling, award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov, comes a brilliant, engaging, and eminently readable translation of Leo Tolstoy’s master epic.

War and Peace centers broadly on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the best-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves behind his family to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman, who intrigues both men. As Napoleon’s army invades, Tolstoy vividly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers—as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature.

Pevear and Volokhonsky have brought us this classic novel in a translation remarkable for its fidelity to Tolstoy’s style and cadence and for its energetic, accessible prose. With stunning grace and precision, this new version of War and Peace is set to become the definitive English edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:19 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

From Pevear and Volokhonsky, the bestselling, award-winning translators of "Anna Karenina" and "The Brothers Karamazov," comes a brilliant, engaging, and eminently readable translation of Tolstoy's master epic.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 34 descriptions

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12 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141025115, 0140447938, 0451532112

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