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War and Peace Q4 2018 > War and Peace, Books 1 through 5- Fall- Potential Spoilers

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Bonnie This is based on the Maude translation Kindle book JKL classics (which have 15 books, 2 epilogues) and should cover about a third of the novel. If someone with other editions could figure out a third from theirs it would be very helpful.


message 2: by Linda (last edited Aug 23, 2018 10:51AM) (new) - added it

Linda  | 915 comments I've got four books and 2 epilogues, so now I'm lost

ETA: unless the Maude translation calls the "Parts" "Books". Because mine has the 4 books, which have together about 15 "Parts"/


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NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I looked at the bottom of the War and Peace page for past discussions, to see how other groups divided it up. Catching up with the classics has a lot of posts. Here is one of them:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...

There are other discussions too, and some of the reviews discuss the different translations and editions.

One useful bit of advice I picked up: Just power through the big (boring) party scene at the beginning. It gets easier after that. It sounds like that's a common place to stumble because it's impossible to remember all the names.

I didn't check, but there might even be a question in the Q and A that addresses the parts issue.

Bonnie, I added the book link to this topic, and added War and Peace to the subject line to make it easier to find this thread later.

Geez, every single time I type War and Peace, I first type War and Peach.


Bonnie Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "I've got four books and 2 epilogues, so now I'm lost

ETA: unless the Maude translation calls the "Parts" "Books". Because mine has the 4 books, which have together about 15 "Parts"/"


I bet that's right. The parts in yours might correlate with the books in Maude. I think if we all aim to discuss about 1/3 of the book in September it will work out OK.


Bonnie NancyJ wrote: "I looked at the bottom of the War and Peace page for past discussions, to see how other groups divided it up. Catching up with the classics has a lot of posts. Here is one of them:

https://www.goo..."


thanks Nancy. I have read a lot of books with Goodreads but it was whole books, not big books read over months.


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Jerome (tnjed01) | 21 comments Finisthed the first 100 pages, up to Chapter 23 of Book 1. The chapters are short (reminds me of modern page turners), but not much happening other than introducing characters. I'm most interested in Pierre, who is now visiting his dying father.


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Linda  | 915 comments I'm only 53 in atm. Have had a crazy week, sleep's thrown off, and have to read this, a very booooring f2f book club selection for end of September, ILL, and something due today, to see if I want to use it in class (which starts Wednesday). This is why I never have just one book on my "currently reading" shelf. :(


Bonnie Read book 1, chp. 1-5 and while I'm struggling with the characters (and various spelling even) I think I got the main drift of the introduction to them. Plan to read a book at least a week. I'm not clear on Russia's relationship with Napoleon, but Pierre's support and admiration of him seems odd.


message 9: by Linda (last edited Sep 01, 2018 02:10PM) (new) - added it

Linda  | 915 comments they rarely fought together or against each other directly, since they were so far apart........but Russia backed the side opposing Napoleon, so when he won and made himself Emperor, they weren't with him. Napoleon backed Polish state (until then, under the Russians), and that led to his invading Russia. He lost, and later wound up abdicating. What we'll likely see is part of that war, with the French soldiers suffering lots during the harsh winter-cold, starvation, etc. I'm not a history buff, so I'm sure there will be people who can clean up what I've posted here, but in a nutshell, that's it. Yet, there were lots of people who spoke French because of high society and probably also due to interaction with and intermarriage of nobility across countries.

ETA: and, like other countries, the nobility in Russia taught their children French at school, because it was the language of high society, "Culture" and sophistication. That's why you have the switches back and forth from French into Russian. If someone isn't in on the joke, it's a sign that they are neither: 1) of the nobility 2)an artist who has spent time in France


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Colleen  | 47 comments Is this really happening? Uh - oh - I better get started. :)


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Linda  | 915 comments Colleen wrote: "Is this really happening? Uh - oh - I better get started. :)"

Yep! Though per usual, I will have to fight to keep up. Already have 5 books on the "Currently reading" shelf, when I had managed to keep it at 2 or 3 all summer!


Diane Finished 12 chapters of the first book. After reading sections I've been reading the summary in the Cliff notes that were posted on the other War and Peace thread that contained an overview of the characters. It has been helpful to fill in a few gaps of plot/character insights that I missed.


message 13: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess Penhallow | 28 comments I think the plot for this musical is mainly based on later in the book but I found this song to be a fun way to keep track of some of the characters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJug7...


Bonnie I tried watching a movie/series? on amazon prime, which was a part 1 (Andrei Bolonsky) from 1965 but it was oddly dubbed in English (so the Russian conversations and background narration was English) but the French was still French - so I did not understand any of it. It did help me get the characters more solid though.

Not loving Andrey/i so much. He is pretty horrible to his wife IMO and basically women and marriage altogether. Strangely all the negative things he was attributing to women/her seems true more of him.

But then , I understand the characters are going to all grow and change.


Bonnie Jess wrote: "I think the plot for this musical is mainly based on later in the book but I found this song to be a fun way to keep track of some of the characters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJug7..."


thanks. Wish it had visuals too :)


message 16: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda  | 915 comments Bonnie wrote: "I tried watching a movie/series? on amazon prime, which was a part 1 (Andrei Bolonsky) from 1965 but it was oddly dubbed in English (so the Russian conversations and background narration was Englis..."

Hahaha, that's a narcissist and projection for you......wish they could change.......but sadly, they do not.


Bonnie Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "I tried watching a movie/series? on amazon prime, which was a part 1 (Andrei Bolonsky) from 1965 but it was oddly dubbed in English (so the Russian conversations and background narra..."

I wonder if that means Tolstoy liked his Andrey character.


message 18: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Sep 03, 2018 02:49PM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Jess wrote: "I think the plot for this musical is mainly based on later in the book but I found this song to be a fun way to keep track of some of the characters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJug7..."


I love this! It's catchy and the repetition helps you remember a trait for each character:

Summary:

Balaga is fun
Bolkonsky is crazy
Mary is plain
Dolokhov is fierce
Hélène is a slut
Anatole is hot
Marya is old-school
Sonya is good
Natasha is young and
Andrey isn’t here

And what about Pierre?
Dear, bewildered and awkward Pierre?
Rich, unhappily married Pierre?


-------------
From the Broadway show

LYRICS

Published on Jun 11, 2017
Original Broadway Cast.

PIERRE: There’s a war going on
Out there somewhere
And Andrey isn’t here
There’s a war going on
Out there somewhere and Andrey isn’t here

ALL: There’s a war going on
Out there somewhere and Andrey isn’t here
There’s a war going on out there somewhere and Andrey isn’t here
And this is all in your program you are at the opera
Gonna have to study up a little bit if you wanna keep with the plot
Cuz it’s a complicated Russian novel everyone’s got nine different names
So look it up in your program
We’d appreciate it, thanks a lot da da da da da da da da da
Natasha!

NATASHA: Natasha is young she loves Andrey with all her heart

ALL: She loves Andrey with all her heart Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here

SONYA: Sonya is good Natasha’s cousin and closest friend

ALL: Natasha’s cousin and closest friend Sonya is good Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here

MARYA: Marya is old-school, a grande dame of Moscow Natasha’s godmother, strict yet kind

ALL: Natasha’s godmother, strict yet kind Marya is old-school Sonya is good
Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here
And this is all in your program you are at the opera
Gonna have to study up a little bit
If you wanna keep with the plot and it’s a complicated Russian novel
Everyone’s got nine different names
So look it up in your program everything will be clear
Da da da da da da da da da
Anatole!

ANATOLE: Anatole is hot he spends his money on women and wine

ALL: He spends his money on women and wine Anatole is hot
Marya is old-school Sonya is good Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here

HÉLÈNE: Hélène is a slut Anatole’s sister, married to Pierre

ALL: Anatole’s sister, married to Pierre Hélène is a slut Anatole is hot
Marya is old-school Sonya is good Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here

DOLOKHOV: Dolokhov is fierce, but not too important Anatole’s friend, a crazy good shot

ALL: Anatole’s friend, a crazy good shot Dolokhov is fierce Hélène is a slut
Anatole is hot Marya is old-school Sonya is good Natasha is young and Andrey isn’t here
Chandeliers and caviar, the war can’t touch us here
Minor Characters!

BOLKONSKY: Old Prince Bolkonsky is crazy

MARY: And Mary is plain

MARY & BOLKONSY: Andrey’s family, totally messed up

BALAGA: And Balaga’s just for fun!

ALL: Balaga’s just for fun!

Balaga is fun
Bolkonsky is crazy
Mary is plain
Dolokhov is fierce
Hélène is a slut
Anatole is hot
Marya is old-school
Sonya is good
Natasha is young and
Andrey isn’t here

And what about Pierre?
Dear, bewildered and awkward Pierre? What about Pierre?
Rich, unhappily married Pierre? What about Pierre?
What about Pierre? What about Pierre?



message 19: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda  | 915 comments Bonnie wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "I tried watching a movie/series? on amazon prime, which was a part 1 (Andrei Bolonsky) from 1965 but it was oddly dubbed in English (so the Rus..."

I've only read 50 pp so far, but I remember thinking that if this book were written these days, Andrey wouldn't be bothered with having a wife, would probably rather have a husband.


message 20: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Nov 12, 2018 10:07AM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: " Andrey... would rather have a husband..."

That's funny, I was just thinking of the first line of Pride and Prejudice. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” I added the thought, "unless he's gay." Of course, many gay men did marry anyway. I have no idea yet, but perhaps "helene is a slut" because she had the bad luck to marry a gay man.

I wonder how often I missed this subtext in stories because it just didn't occur to me.


message 21: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda  | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: " Andrey... would rather have a husband..."

That's funny, I was just thinking of the first line of Pride and Prejudice. “It is a truth universally acknowledge..."


I dunno, something about constant look of disdain that he's described as wearing, the air of insouciance, and his seeming lack of interest in the fact that other men are fauning all over his cute little wife, made me think that. He seems in many ways to be a person "going through the motions"--he's going to war because it's expected, not because he's passionate about the issues.....so why not the same with the marriage, because that's what the times called for? Anyway, you guys are farther along than I. This is the first week, so I'm pulled 16 different ways.


Bonnie NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: " Andrey... would rather have a husband..."

That's funny, I was just thinking of the first line of Pride and Prejudice. “It is a truth universally acknowledge..."


that makes sense to me based on book 1 anyway.


Bonnie I have started using the highlight feature on my kindle, making little notes, and reading ones other people have made. This is a first for me. It is interesting, though, to see what other people think is noteworthy or important reading this classic.


message 24: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Sep 21, 2018 07:14PM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Bonnie wrote: "I have started using the highlight feature on my kindle, making little notes, and reading ones other people have made. This is a first for me. It is interesting, though, to see what other people th..."

Yes, the first time I saw something with dashed underlying, I thought it was a mistake! (Like, how did I get a "used" electronic copy?) Then when I started highlighting a book, I noticed the option to show common highlights. In one book, it seemed like people were just underlining facts or plot points (as if they are studying for a test), When I read Their Eyes are Watching God, I used post-its to mark particularly interesting or beautiful sentences. Then when I got the kindle, I noticed a lot of people marked the same things I did.


Bonnie Mine was here on Goodreads. Under where your currently reading books are it says if you have highlights and such. Then if you click into yours it has "community highlights" Pretty neat.


QNPoohBear | 16 comments The musical takes the soap opera plot thread and seems to exaggerate it. Helene is unlikable but everything she does is hearsay.- even at the end. Everyone says.... or so and so says. The men are seen actively consorting with prostitutes!

I've heard the best film is the Russian version from 1967. The miniseries that aired recently on American TV was pretty good but once again Andrew Davies took the hints of sexuality and ran with it.

The main cast of characters includes

Pierre Bezukhov-illegitimate son of a nobleman; a lost soul searching for meaning in his life but acts like a frat boy with his buddies

Boris Drubetskoy-a wannabe soldier with a pushy mother who uses her connections

Nikolai Rostov-another frat boy turned soldier; son of an upper class family; brother of Natasha

Natasha Rostova-Young woman coming of age during a time of war; innocent and sweet

Sonya-Nikolai and Natasha's cousin; very good but secretly in love with Nikolai

Andrei Bolonsky-a soldier; at this point he has a pregnant wife he sends off to stay with his family she's never met

Lise-his wife and rather insignificant (view spoiler)

Marya-Andrei's sister; very pious/religious, serious and intelligent; afraid of her father

Prince Nikolai Bolonky-crazy, stubborn old man; father of Andrei and Marya

Later
Helene and Anatole -siblings in love with themselves and possibly with each other; they are both out for fun and money. They have a crazy, pushy father


Bonnie QNPoohBear wrote: "The musical takes the soap opera plot thread and seems to exaggerate it. Helene is unlikable but everything she does is hearsay.- even at the end. Everyone says.... or so and so says. The men are s..."

Yes, just read that gross gossip of Helene and Anatole- and Pierre is still interested. Hmm. The men all seem kind of closet gay so far though.


Bonnie Finished books 1-5 which shows up as 30%. Not bad. The names were the hardest thing for me and I still get them confused, especially since they switch from first to last name/nickname at any point in a chapter. I found the spark summaries helpful.

Where is everyone else? Are you enjoying it? Hating it? Gave up already? I admit, I'm doing some skimming.


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Jerome (tnjed01) | 21 comments Just finished Book I. Wonderful descriptions of character and dialogue, but not much happening. Very "soap-opera-ish".


Diane I'm in Book 3 - Chapter 3. Book 2 was focused on the war. Book 3 has returned to the characters back at home. I wonder if he will keep going back and forth like that.

I agree with Jerome - not too much happening - but it has picked up some in Book 2 and 3. I haven't given up yet - but was hoping for something a little more engaging. I'm reading it on my phone - the big book seemed too intimidating and I felt like I wasn't making much headway.


Bonnie Jerome wrote: "Just finished Book I. Wonderful descriptions of character and dialogue, but not much happening. Very "soap-opera-ish"."

It is, even when you get into the war stuff a little later, it seems a lot about the men's relationships to each other and status and such.


Bonnie Diane wrote: "I'm in Book 3 - Chapter 3. Book 2 was focused on the war. Book 3 has returned to the characters back at home. I wonder if he will keep going back and forth like that.

I agree with Jerome - not to..."


yes, I am on kindle or the kindle app (which is why I can read at work sometimes too.) I also don't tend to read as close/carefully on Kindle, but with this huge book, I am OK with that.


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Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Bonnie wrote: "Finished books 1-5 which shows up as 30%. Not bad. The names were the hardest thing for me and I still get them confused, especially since they switch from first to last name/nickname at any point ..."

I haven't been able to start it yet.


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Colleen  | 47 comments J. wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "Finished books 1-5 which shows up as 30%. Not bad. The names were the hardest thing for me and I still get them confused, especially since they switch from first to last name/nicknam..."

Me neither. I think I'm totally not ready for this - ??? Maybe I could read it amongst other books. I'm going to try and psyche myself up for it.


Bonnie Colleen wrote: "J. wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "Finished books 1-5 which shows up as 30%. Not bad. The names were the hardest thing for me and I still get them confused, especially since they switch from first to last n..."

I've already finished this months third of it and considered going on. I am determined to finish. But it's not a book I can't pick up and put down either- so I'll wait until October to read the middle third (and spark summaries) and post a thread for it. No hurry.


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Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Colleen wrote: "J. wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "Finished books 1-5 which shows up as 30%. Not bad. The names were the hardest thing for me and I still get them confused, especially since they switch from first to last n..."

You can do it!


message 37: by Charley Girl (new)

Charley Girl (charleygirl9) | 24 comments I'm on page 6...I'll get to it.


Diane Finished Book 1 - 5. Thought I'd be a lot further along at this point since I started Aug 24th - but it was slow reading for Books 1 - 3 (easy to put down). Getting somewhat better now. At least I can follow the characters better (or have figured out which ones seem to be more important)!


Bonnie I find it a lot easier to read the spark notes/summary first and then read the books.


Jacinta | 70 comments I just finished Volume 1...I'm not entirely clear on different labels for different editions, but that was Book 1-3 for me. I kind of understand what people mean about the names, but I haven't been finding them too difficult to keep track of so far. The social (nonwar setting) parts of the book remind of Wharton and Austen, which for me is a plus. The war part feels different from any other war novel I've read. The men's attitudes are unfamiliar and ring both true and false to me. It's a weird feeling, but I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop in Volume 2!


Jacinta | 70 comments Now I'm finished 1-5. I mostly like it so far. The characters are all pretty complicated...not easy to love, hate, or pigeonhole. I like that.


Jacinta | 70 comments Sorry for the triple post, but is this the spoiler thread/is there one? I don't see any discussion of the book other than how far everyone is, and I don't want to put spoilers if people haven't read yet, but it would be nice to have somewhere to talk about the content of Books 1-5.


Bonnie Jacinta wrote: "Sorry for the triple post, but is this the spoiler thread/is there one? I don't see any discussion of the book other than how far everyone is, and I don't want to put spoilers if people haven't rea..."

I didn't put up spoiler threads but I would say since September is done, the first third of the book is open game. If you want to be sure, you could post on the October (middle third 6-10) part.


Bonnie ps- I actually added that to the October section post- also spoilers from 1-5. I could do the same in November for the middle, and maybe a final discussion post up for those who finish sooner than the end of November.


message 45: by Joy, Your Obedient Servant (last edited Oct 04, 2018 05:56PM) (new) - added it

Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
If you're posting from a computer on the website they also give you instructions above the dialog box to hide a spoiler if you want to do that as well!


Jacinta | 70 comments Oh right, I forgot about hiding spoilers. 🤦 Thanks, J!

I want to avoid 6-10 until I've gotten through those books so I don't see spoilers either, so this should work!


message 47: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Oct 07, 2018 10:08PM) (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I've got an abridged audio in the car, so I have no idea how far along I really am. I love the narration and story, but I'll have to go back to read the book to fill in the pieces.

I really liked some of the war scenes. One of the men (I think it's Andre), is learning how incompetent some of the top officers are, and he seems to really make a difference. It seems that many officers got their positions just by being in the nobility, regardless of experience, skill or merit.


Diane I was surprised by how much the soldier's admired and adored their leaders - Napoleon and Alexander. I hadn't noticed that devotion in other novels I have read.


Bonnie Diane wrote: "I was surprised by how much the soldier's admired and adored their leaders - Napoleon and Alexander. I hadn't noticed that devotion in other novels I have read."

Maybe partially because these were the elite of Russia, not the common man soldiers.


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Joy (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
I started this last week and it is slow going. I don't know if it's because it's a translation, all the French, or the zillion names everyone has, but I'm reading at about half my usual pace. I'm just over 100 pages in thus far.


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