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War and Peace (Vintage Classics) by Leo…
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War and Peace (Vintage Classics) (original 1868; edition 2008)

by Leo Tolstoy (Author), Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,840378104 (4.26)27 / 2375
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)
Member:tagallant
Title:War and Peace (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Leo Tolstoy (Author)
Other authors:Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
Info:Vintage (2008), Edition: Reprint, 1296 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1868)

  1. 170
    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
    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. 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)
  8. 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.
  9. 10
    The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy (BINDINGSTHATLAST)
  10. 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.
  11. 11
    The Years by Virginia Woolf (roby72)
  12. 11
    Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (rrmmff2000)
  13. 02
    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (fulner)
    fulner: rich people sit around and talk about war as if it didn't matter
  14. 14
    Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (chrisharpe)
Europe (7)
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part III6 unread / 6EMS_24, Saturday 10:21am
 75 Books Challenge for 2017: Group read: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy33 unread / 33Storeetllr, February 2017
 2016 Category Challenge: Group Read: War and Peace189 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 inside10 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 III10 unread / 10Rebeki, July 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 3, Part II10 unread / 10Rebeki, July 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part V12 unread / 12Rebeki, July 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part IV7 unread / 7Rebeki, July 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Epilogue II9 unread / 9cushlareads, June 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 3 spoiler thread13 unread / 13Rebeki, June 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Epilogue I8 unread / 8JanetinLondon, June 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part IV7 unread / 7JanetinLondon, June 2011
 Book talk: War And Peace8 unread / 8Sandydog1, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 2 spoiler thread13 unread / 13Deern, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - "Wrap Up" (spoiler) Thread6 unread / 6JanetinLondon, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part III3 unread / 3JanetinLondon, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part II6 unread / 6JanetinLondon, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 1, Part 1 spoiler thread16 unread / 16JanetinLondon, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 4, Part I7 unread / 7JanetinLondon, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2011: War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 3, Part I8 unread / 8cushlareads, May 2011
 75 Books Challenge for 2009: Group Read: War and Peace237 unread / 237billiejean, December 2009
 Fans of Russian authors: War and Peace4 unread / 4erinn, April 2009
 Fans of Russian authors: Tolstoy's War and Peace: more on the Volokhonsky/Pevear translation1 unread / 1chrisharpe, May 2008
 Fans of Russian authors: Tolstoy's War and Peace: comments on the Volokhonsky,/Pevear translation by Simon Schama, BBC R31 unread / 1chrisharpe, November 2007

» See also 2375 mentions

English (348)  Spanish (11)  Italian (6)  Dutch (6)  German (3)  French (2)  Hebrew (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (379)
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
Believe it or not, I read this back in high school (or was it college) on my own w/o having it assigned. I may have a different take on it if I reread it, but its monumental scope, breadth of characters, and depth of characters make it moving and more than a story--more like a set of true autobiographies. ( )
  quantum.alex | May 31, 2021 |
I spent nearly a full year reading War & Peace, taking it one chapter a day. This beautiful book. It's going to take me a while before I can write anything much about it; I'm in mourning that I have to leave Pierre, Natasha and all the others to finish their stories without me. I've never spent so much time with so many richly drawn characters.

In the epilogue, Tolstoy wrote: "For a historian, considering the contribution rendered by some person towards a certain goal, there are heroes; for the artist, considering the correspondence of this person to all sides of life, there cannot and should not be any heroes, but there should be people."
( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
An intensely mediocre book, sliding to bad in a few places.

I have often been told that classics are classics because they posses some characteristics which enable them to transcend their time of composition and appeal to readers across time and space. If this is true, War and Peace is not a classic.

This book essentially seeks to deal with the period from roughly 1805-1812 and focus on the Napoleonic conflicts in Europe as well as the fortunes of a few Russian families.

First, the stuff that I liked - The first 20% of the book is very good. Tolstoy does deft social satire and critique. The writing is compact and witty. The battle descriptions are graphic, powerful and carry a flavour of authenticity.

Unfortunately, all of this goes rapidly downhill as the book progresses.

My biggest problem with this book is the dominance of Tell vs Show. Tolstoy loves to Tell. He embarks on long lectures and these go on for pages and pages and get extremely tedious. There are essentially three types of lectures:

Philosophical: These became more common in the latter half of the book and is Tolstoy musing on life, human nature, history, ethics, god etc. They can be extremely tedious.

Historical: In these Tolstoy sums up and narrates historical events to move his story along. While these can be informative, they are very clumsily integrated into the book and therefore make the narrative more cumbersome. To make matters worse, Tolstoy starts spouting of on long rants against Napoleon and on the virtues of the Russians.

Story Based: These are the worst. Tolstoy really does not do a good job writing character changes and transitions over long periods of time. So he resorts to character narration. For example: "X decided his life was going badly. So he listened to Y and Z. He thought deeply on their advice. He realized [Insert badly written internal monologue here]. Therefore X started doing a, b and c, and Started visiting P." These character passages in passive voice were intensely irritating and seemed to be a symptom of the authors inability to internalize his own characters and instead use them as convenient mouthpieces.


Apart from the dominance of Tell, a major problem I faced while reading was the intensely bad dialogue and the even worse internal monologues. A significant portion of dialogue is inane and seemed to serve no purpose. This was quite puzzling for me as the dialogue in the initial parts of the book was pretty good.

Also Tolstoy does not seem to understand the point of having an epilogue. He takes this opportunity to wax eloquent about his own rather idiotic ideas about the nature of history, how Napoleon the man had no redeeming features and how Tsar Alexander was a misunderstood genius. My favourite was when he defended the suppression of liberalism in post-1815 Europe. To him if following reason, freedom and equality had been allowed this would have made the various liberal revolutionary movements in Europe unnecessary and destroyed their potential. Therefore history governed by reason is somehow antithetical to life.

So, to conclude, War and Peace is an unwieldy, clumsy, tedious preachy accumulation of ideas. It does not really need to be read. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
Whew. I read somewhere, #tolstoytogether perhaps, that reading this one is alternately “yes, exactly!” Or “wait, what??”

Yup. Both sublime but also rooted in so much mid-1800s Russian cultural context that flew right past; still wonderful. ( )
  _janson_ | Jan 22, 2021 |
That epilogue tho ( )
  mitchanderson | Jan 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 348 (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 (234 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
Christian, R.F.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conrad-Lütt, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, HjalmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunnigan, AnnTranslatorsecondary 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.
Last words
(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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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."

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Haiku summary
There's a bear in there
and people as well. Stories
to tell, and a war.
(alsoCass - with apologies to PlaySchool)

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War and Peace Group Read 2011 - Vol 2, Part III in 75 Books Challenge for 2011

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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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