EPIC. That’s the most suitable word to describe this book. The amount of pages are enough to make most people runaway, methinks. The essence, however,...moreEPIC. That’s the most suitable word to describe this book. The amount of pages are enough to make most people runaway, methinks. The essence, however, with the details, the characterization, the plots, the parlance (with occasional French); this book has everything needed for a great literature.
The story is Russia during the Napoleonic War. The novel has two main plots. First, the historical description on the military (and diplomatic) effort conducted during the invasion of Napoleon to Russian soil, representing the titular “war”. The details presented by Tolstoy were incredibly vivid, comprising of battle tactics, debates between generals/marshalls, the heroic acts, the troops movement, all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) things coming from a war; all will bring the reader into the front line, feeling what the soldiers feel at famous events like the battles of Austerlitz and Borodino, and of course the occupation of Moscow. Napoleon himself was one of the main characters and a lengthy analysis was given for his actions. Hence, a very enlightening reading.
Representing the titular “peace”, the second plot was about the lives of four families, most importantly the Rostovs and the Bolkonskis and how they, as part of the high society in Russia then, coped with the war situation. Romance, misery, and most importantly, both their internal and external struggles to face with the people surrounding them, I think I’ve never read an epic novel with this kind of personal touch before.
The readers will find themselves associated or symphatized with one of the characters. The noble one, the vivacious one, the idealist one, the pragmatist one, the nationalist one, the seductive one… just name it. Colorful and memorable characters, period.
Furthermore, this is not just a story-telling novel. Tolstoy has included some of his (philosophical) thoughts here. Do not hesitate to ponder them all. His analysis on historical events was extensive and has its own unique logical reasoning.
Was Napoleon a genius commander? Were his victories inevitable? Was the abandonment of Moscow the right call made by General Kutuzov? Back to basic, what is power? What force produces the movement of nations? Tolstoy had his own answers. Combination of all forces, no event can singularly affect another, no such thing as an isolated cause and effect, so says this maestro.
I applaud Tolstoy for this work of art. It took me almost years to "really" read this novel and to get a firm hold on its essence. I think I came into a moment of silence after finishing the last page. Not easy to describe what I felt at that time, now I can only say that I feel blessed to have such an epic ‘experience’ and will be glad if I can share it with everyone.(less)
What a captivating read. Truly hypnotic. The movie was awesome, but the book...well, the depth is unmeasurable. This is one of those books with many t...moreWhat a captivating read. Truly hypnotic. The movie was awesome, but the book...well, the depth is unmeasurable. This is one of those books with many thought-provoking layers.
Imagine an 'English patient', a Canadian nurse, an Indian Sikh sapper and an Italian thief seeking refuge in an abandoned villa in Southern Italy at the end of the Second World War. Imagine the (possible) relationships and interactions that (could have) occurred between them.
The characterization is superb (none of them were undamaged by the war - spiritually and physically), the prose is enchanting and the description of the surrounding environment is surreal.
And thanks to this book, I shall try to re-read Kipling's Kim again, since the English Patient explained that one must read Kipling slowly, for when one does, Kipling’s phrasing reveals the power of his prose. Will do as advised, Sir!(less)
I feel good after reading this book. It's as good as the movie (yay! usually the movie version is worse), I'm talking about the one with Ralph Fienne...more I feel good after reading this book. It's as good as the movie (yay! usually the movie version is worse), I'm talking about the one with Ralph Fiennes and Juliet Binoche.
Anyway, now I know why I dislike Jane Austen's novels. Wuthering Heights offers a more interesting theme, it does not focus in Victorian culture and ways of society *cough* which is boring*cough* and it has more intriguing characters.
The romance is just awesome. Who could forget Heathcliff's dedication and undying love for Catherine? I think after Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is my most favorite romantic couple.
Heathcliff is an orphan, a vagabond, taken to live with the Earnshaws in Wuthering Heights. He grew up with Catherine, who was the only person in the world that could understand him. Vice versa. Both developed a unique, unbreakable relationship, ranging from best friends, brother and sister, and finally ... love.
Unfortunately, things did not work out well with them. Catherine married someone else, she had a daughter, named after her. However, Cathy Linton was different from her mother, although her charm (and heritage) made Heathcliff forced her to be his daughter-in law.
Heathcliff never forget Catherine. Not ever. I shall not spoil it here, but there is one certain scene when Heathcliff pronounced his love to Catherine, which made me shudder and gave me goosebumps. Every woman in the world probably would kill to have a love just like what Heathcliff had for Catherine. That fiery, passionate, insatiable love...hmmm...(less)
Okay, this is definitely not my genre. I mean, I love watching Jane Austen novels’ adapted movies, but reading the novel(s) itself is rather tiresome....moreOkay, this is definitely not my genre. I mean, I love watching Jane Austen novels’ adapted movies, but reading the novel(s) itself is rather tiresome. Trying to be as objective as possible, I’ll say for a 19th-century English romance, this book is okay.
The story, although not so special, is not bad. It is mainly about the love life of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. One represents “sense” (logic, reason) and the other represents “sensibility” (emotion). The novel teaches us that in order to be truly happy, a person should find balance between those two things. Elinor, for instance, should not have been too self-reserved and restrain her emotion. Marianne, on the other hand, should not be too eager and passionate because she can be easily deceived.
Right. Perhaps the conversations in the book are too “difficult” for me. Do people in that era always spoke and behave like that? Haha, I just don’t get it why it’s so difficult to deal with the love cases in the book. Thank heaven I don’t live in that era.
This is Jane Austen’s first published book. Later came Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, etc. I’ve read Price and Prejudice (only abridged, fortunately) and I think it just does not suit my taste. I’d prefer to watch the movies. The adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (directed by Ang Lee, starred by Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet) is good, methinks.(less)
There is just something I could not get about this final installment of my four year love affair with this series. Was it less epic than ex...more3.5 stars.
There is just something I could not get about this final installment of my four year love affair with this series. Was it less epic than expected? Maybe. Was it because the villain(s) were not interesting? Perhaps. Was it because the man Sookie sort of end up with was not my choice? No, actually my wish has come true *smirk*
It was lackluster. It feels more like a filler than a finale. The suspense feel that I get when I read the first three or four novels (even the last one, Deadlocked) was no longer there. Well at least Pam still rocked my socks.
For some weird reason, I feel that I need to go back watching True Blood after missing the last two seasons. Geez what is happening to me?(less)