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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
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War and Peace (1868)

by Leo Tolstoy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,439350106 (4.26)27 / 2340
Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle--all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: "To read him . . . is to find one' s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane."… (more)
  1. 160
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (chrisharpe)
  2. 80
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe, longway)
  3. 50
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  4. 20
    History by Elsa Morante (roby72)
  5. 10
    August 1914 by Alexander Solschenizyn (ukh)
  6. 10
    The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy (BINDINGSTHATLAST)
  7. 10
    They Were Counted by Miklós Bánffy (WirSindAlive)
    WirSindAlive: Both works share the thrilling stories in a the historical setting of the hight aristocracy, mixed with some political backgroungd.
  8. 10
    The Dynasts by Thomas Hardy (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Hardy's "Immanent Will" has much in common with Tolstoy's historical determinism. Personally, I'm in that probably quite small minority that prefers The Dynasts over Tolstoy's novel – partly because I find in Hardy's "The Road to Waterloo" scene (3.VI.vii) one of the greatest of antiwar poems.… (more)
  9. 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)
  10. 11
    The Years by Virginia Woolf (roby72)
  11. 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.
  12. 11
    Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (rrmmff2000)
  13. 14
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)
Europe (7)
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Topics messagesLast message 
75 Books Challenge for 2017 : Group read: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 33 unread / 33Storeetllr, February 2017
2016 Category Challenge : Group Read: War and Peace 189 unread / 189mathgirl40, April 2016
75 Books Challenge for 2011 : War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Intro thread (no spoilers) 42 unread / 42jnwelch, December 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
75 Books Challenge for 2009 : Group Read: War and Peace 237 unread / 237billiejean, December 2009
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 2340 mentions

English (326)  Spanish (10)  Italian (5)  Dutch (4)  Hebrew (2)  French (2)  German (1)  All languages (350)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
I knew this would be a challenging read - I've been sort of building up to this by trying to read a few books based in Russia to get an idea of the cultural taste and to get used to the nickname/name structure (I never did get used to it, and am still confused). I was surprised to see how modern the language seemed considering the book was written 164 years ago (ish), Tolstoy was a very good writer and some sentences were pure poetry. Gorgeous prose, though the dialogue was a bit more dated and harder to understand why/in what context somebody would suddenly exclaim something.

I couldn't get connected with any of the characters save for Pierre, who is by far the most interesting, best character in the book. His journey was fascinating, and anytime he was the subject of the narrative, the pages flew by.

Some of the battle sections really reminded of the Civil War Trilogy, good and bad - no doubt the Shaara's got influence from War and Peace. The logistical parts of "soldiers marched here. soldiers ate some food. soldiers slept. orders were given" are still dull as mud, but the inner turmoil of the soldiers, the battles themselves, their outlook on life and the immediate aftermath are terrific.

I could've done without the 2nd part of the Epilogue, but overall I'm pleased to have read it. I didn't enjoy it as much as many hardcore readers and enthusiasts, but I would say a successful attempt. Certainly one of the most difficult reads I've ever attempted, it did feel like homework at times, but enjoyable homework nonetheless. ( )
  hskey | May 14, 2020 |
There are many lists of "The 100 Best Books Ever Written," or, "Fifty Books You Should Read before You Die," and lists similar to these that show War and Peace as the number 1 best book ever. And there are other similar lists which list something else. Those latter lists are just plain wrong and not to be trusted or consulted.
There is nothing I could say that would add to the reams of paper others have spent talking about this marvel. But I would like to suggest a couple of tricks for a person thinking about reading it or struggling a little with reading it.
First, get a good translation of it. There are many and probably all are good, but the one that works best is one which minimizes the use of nicknames for characters and which also includes a list of characters either at the beginning of the volume or as an appendix. A "too literal" translation will tire you out and justify not completing the book.
Second, the first 100 to 125 pages are absolutely necessary to the book but they are also the place a reader might decide that the book is boring or difficult. Ignore the impulse to quit reading! You'll be glad of those first hundred pages as you move more deeply into the plot and action.
Third, my usual habit when reading a book is to have two or three going at once. I began reading War and Peace as I read two other books. I found that doing that made it more difficult to read War and Peace, harder to follow its storyline and to keep the characters straight and more likely to set the book aside.. So, drop anything else and read War and Peace all the way through and let the other books wait. (Anyway, the other books cannot possibly be a good as War and Peace and reading them along side W & P will make you less fond of them; they simply will not hold up to comparison).
Fourth, read the Wikipedia article about Napoleon before you get too far into the novel. This will help understand the actual historical timeline and give you a basis for how historians view Napoleon compared to Tolstoy's views. Frankly, I think Tolstoy's views are the better of the two.
Finally, underline, highlight, write marginal notes and keep some notes. This book is not a good one to check out from the library or attempt on an reader. And anyway, you'll want to read it again sometime later in your life. (It is one of only a half dozen that I have read three or more times, excluding, of course, the Dr. Seuss books). ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
There are many lists of "The 100 Best Books Ever Written," or, "Fifty Books You Should Read before You Die," and lists similar to these that show War and Peace as the number 1 best book ever. And there are other similar lists which list something else. Those latter lists are just plain wrong and not to be trusted or consulted.
There is nothing I could say that would add to the reams of paper others have spent talking about this marvel. But I would like to suggest a couple of tricks for a person thinking about reading it or struggling a little with reading it.
First, get a good translation of it. There are many and probably all are good, but the one that works best is one which minimizes the use of nicknames for characters and which also includes a list of characters either at the beginning of the volume or as an appendix. A "too literal" translation will tire you out and justify not completing the book.
Second, the first 100 to 125 pages are absolutely necessary to the book but they are also the place a reader might decide that the book is boring or difficult. Ignore the impulse to quit reading! You'll be glad of those first hundred pages as you move more deeply into the plot and action.
Third, my usual habit when reading a book is to have two or three going at once. I began reading War and Peace as I read two other books. I found that doing that made it more difficult to read War and Peace, harder to follow its storyline and to keep the characters straight and more likely to set the book aside.. So, drop anything else and read War and Peace all the way through and let the other books wait. (Anyway, the other books cannot possibly be a good as War and Peace and reading them along side W & P will make you less fond of them; they simply will not hold up to comparison).
Fourth, read the Wikipedia article about Napoleon before you get too far into the novel. This will help understand the actual historical timeline and give you a basis for how historians view Napoleon compared to Tolstoy's views. Frankly, I think Tolstoy's views are the better of the two.
Finally, underline, highlight, write marginal notes and keep some notes. This book is not a good one to check out from the library or attempt on an reader. And anyway, you'll want to read it again sometime later in your life. (It is one of only a half dozen that I have read three or more times, excluding, of course, the Dr. Seuss books). ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
This book was mentioned on Episode 2 of Checking Out. Listen here!
  rachelreading | Apr 21, 2020 |
Narra las alternativas de la vida de numerosos personajes de toda clase y describe como nadie la situación a lo largo de casi cincuenta años de historia rusa, desde las guerras napoleónicas hasta más allá de promediado el siglo XIX.
  katherinevillar | Mar 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
The novel is not just a masterclass in fiction, Ms Li believes, but a remedy for distress. At the most difficult times in her life, she says, she has turned to it again and again, reassured by its “solidity” in the face of uncertainty.
added by tim.taylor | editThe Economist (Apr 25, 2020)
 
I had it on my desk for about a year, and now I've given up and put it back on the shelf.
added by Sylak | editStylist [Issue 338], Paula Hawkins (Oct 12, 2016)
 
Tolstoy’s singular genius is to be able to take the torrent of conscious experience and master it. There are countless moments in the book where this happens ...
 

» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, LeoAuthorprimary 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
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary 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, OrlandoAfterwordsecondary 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
Guertik, ÉlisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartig, K.Cover designersecondary 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, LouiseTranslatorsecondary 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
Sýkorová, TamaraTranslatorsecondary 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
Wilson, A.N.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zveteremich, PietroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Well, Prince, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family."
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141025115, 0140447938, 0451532112

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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