Title: War and Peace
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Method of Reading: Audiobook via Overdrive
Thoughts: It’s a classic for a reason. Take the plunge…it’s worth it.
Synopsis: Napoleon follows his hubris into Russia, where the military sets up massive conflagration. In the wake of war, five aristocratic families try to find peace, with themselves and their fellow men.
Recommended To: Everyone. Just…Everyone.
Song for this Book: For a work like this, I think an entire playlist is appropriate. But that’s for another blog.
Y’know those books that perpetually sit on your “to-read” list/shelf? You have every intention of tackling them, but ultimately get squirreled away with a more tantalizing choice?
If “War and Peace” is on this list for you, I really don’t blame you; reading this bad boy is no small task. I’ve spent most of my life intimidated by it and then the past two months tackling it. Now it’s on my “have read” list and I can confidently say this: it’s not a classic piece of literature because of its length: this book is..well..a masterpiece.
At its center, War and Peace is the story of life, love and family amidst the swirling environment of Napoleonic invasions. Life and love and all of its intricacies, joys and heartaches moves on despite the outside world.
Though the characters live in a completely different time period, their challenges mirror those of today. Take Natasha Rostov: she’s just trying to find “the one”. Dating is rough, and you do a lot of growing up when you find that handsome, rich men aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Pierre Bezukhov just wants to have fun until he realizes fun ≠ fulfillment. Andrei Bolkonski is haunted by his past and confused about his future. And Dolohov…he just wants to partaaay.
Most of the commonly accepted drawbacks of “War and Peace are the lengthy expositiories into war strategies as well as the social and political issues of the time. Though the story does need some of this for adding meaning and the motives of the characters, large portions of the novel could be removed without compromising the plot.
But for real. Put yourself in Tolstoy’s position. The poor guy lives in Russia before centralized heating and Amazon deliveries. Other than drinking a (likely) ready supply of vodka, what else is this guy supposed to do during the long, dark Russian winter? Obviously, writing deep thoughts.
War and Peace started out as one of the classics to check off my list. (What kind of book blogger would I be, if I weren’t well-read?). This book turned out to be more than a bucket list experience and more of one that I will take with with me in years to come.
Don’t be intimidated by the length, the number of main characters, or the sweeping expanse of Russian countryside. This book is well worth the time invested.
Tips: Read at 1.75 speed and check out the 2016 Lifetime mini series.