Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die discussion

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Specific List Books > War and Peace

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message 1: by Cecilie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Cecilie | 13 comments hi i just wondered if any of you are done with this book? and if you are how long time did you use on this book? i have started now, but i feel i never will finish it :(


message 2: by Kim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Kim (kimbobo) I finished it about 10 years ago when I was still in high school. (yes, I was a book geek then too!) I remember it taking me FOREVER to read. Because it went so slow I also kept reading other more fast-paced books at the same time. I would say it probably took me a good 6-8 weeks to read the darn thing. =)


message 3: by Yelena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Yelena Malcolm | 110 comments It's wonderful, though. I read it many years ago and was assigned it for a course in college as well. The essay question assigned for it, by an especially lovable curmudgeon of a teacher went, paraphrastically, something like this:

"Write about something you found interesting in War and Peace. If you found nothing interesting in War and Peace, go outside, dig a hole, and lie down in it - you're already dead."

Keep with it, it's fantastic!


message 4: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:56PM) (new)

Norman Though I enjoyed the book overall, I found some sections rather tedious to get through. Rather than write one book of fiction and another of non-fiction, Tolstoy included treatises on war among the chapters of quite good storytelling. I didn't mind the first couple of times (poetic licence and all that) but eventually it started to bother me - if I had wanted to be lectured to, I would have just picked up a text on Russian or European history!


message 5: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) I finally read the book this past summer. The back of the book wasn't kidding when it described this book as all-encompassing because it really was, I was impressed by the scope Tolstoy had of the period. I admit, there were some chapters that were pretty slow to get through, but it was well worth the read! :)


message 6: by Dimitra (new)

Dimitra | 9 comments I read War and Peace last year, it took me three months to finish. There were some parts that were hard to get through, but I liked Tolstoy's psychology overall. Even if I don't agree with it.


message 7: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (lolosrun) | 151 comments I'm planning on reading this in December and I really can't wait. I love vast, all-encompassing books like this. There are few better ways to settle into the nice lull of Winter reading than with some Russian Lit.


message 8: by Kara (new)

Kara Logan, thanks for reminding me about the December War and Peace Read. I know a few people were talking about doing it, and I was planning on joining in, but I'm not even sure if I can finish Anna Karenina by December! :)


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 301 comments I'm still trying to finish reading it. Keep fingers crossed.


message 10: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) one of the best books I've ever read.
don't be discouraged by the thickness of this book.

Tolstoy's analysis on the historical events was extensive and has its own unique logical reasoning.
The details presented (war-related) were incredibly vivid, you almost feel like you're in the front line.

Moreover, the readers will feel associated or sympathized 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.

Great plot.A true work of art.


message 11: by Stacie (new)

Stacie | 143 comments Thank you Silvana for your comments. I am going to be taking on this masterpiece very soon and was feeling a little worried about it. However, your comments have now reignited the excitement I was feeling.

I still look at it and get the anxiety tingles, but it is now mixed with truly looking forward to it.


message 12: by Chloe (new)

Chloe | 3 comments I read this book from January to March or April of this year. It was well worth the journey, and it is one of the few books from this list that I intend to read again someday.


message 13: by Erica (new)

Erica I studied Russian Lit in college, yet I didn't manage to pick this up until after I graduated--I think maybe professors are afraid it will scare off the non-Russophiles who sign up for the classes. (And rightfully so: Anna Karenina is much more palatable and has some similar themes.) But it really is an "encyclopedia of Russian culture," or at least the top tier of it. If I read it again, I think I'll keep a running list of the characters; I started to lose track of some of the minor ones and had to to flip back a few times to remember who someone was.

Like several of you, I was more interested in the "peace" (i.e., life in the drawing rooms of Moscow) side of the story than the war scenes. Tolstoy's take on social behavior is always surprisingly spot-on--even his description of the women--and it's easy to find yourself "rooting" for a character.

Though I kind of trudged through some of the war scenes (then again, maybe that was actually Tolstoy's intent!), when I visited a WWI museum recently I wondered if maybe some of the soldiers would have paused upon hearing Prince Andrey's story before they ran out to enlist. I don't really know, of course, but I would bet Tolstoy gave us a pretty accurate depiction of how a soldier's perspective changes after a few years on the front.


message 14: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Schroer I began the book when i was in high school and i got within 200 pages of being done but i never finished it. Now it seems ill have to start over because Ive forgotten so much of it. Its kind of sad.


message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam I read it a few months ago - took me about 4 weeks to finish. Highly recommend!


message 16: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (lolosrun) | 151 comments I really can't wait to dive into this. I've set aside all of December for Tolstoy and I am chomping at the bit to get started.


message 17: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 30 comments TOLSTOY KNEW HIS CLASS & ENVIRONMENT. He could portray the aristocracy, to which he & his family belonged, & their manners, values & belifs but was less aware of the realities of "his" serfs, the peasants & the working class. His understanding & portrayal of the upper middle class; the higher ranked priests,diplomats & professionals ie lawyers, doctors, academics & "men of business" was somewhat better than his understanding & therefore his portrayal of the lower classes. An enjoyable writer for the most part both in the novels & short stories.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (anzlitlovers) | 11 comments Miscellaneous thoughts, with some beaut you Tube videos!
http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/200...


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard H (richch) | 1 comments Took me 9 months, 28 days... did it take anyone longer?


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 301 comments Richard wrote: "Took me 9 months, 28 days... did it take anyone longer?"

Yes, about a year and a half. Maybe even longer


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

It took me only about 6 weeks. I paused all other readings and grabbed the P/V translation and didn't stop. It was an amazing experience. I'm also following the discussions with the Russian group though they haven't finished it yet. Highly recommend!!!


message 22: by Grant (new)

Grant (GHizzle) | 8 comments Woot! I've got 200 pages to go!

Really great book! Too bad I've been reading the history lecture for the last 5 chapters. They are slowing me down right now.

I also intend to read this book again one day. I think it will be even better in a re-read.


message 23: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nlgeorge) | 27 comments I chose to begin reading the Kindle version of War and Peace due to its size. I love reading physical books, but find that a heavy book lessens my enjoyment because it's heavy to lug around and hurts to hold in different reading positions. I am hoping that others can relate to this. I have chosen versions of books simply because the size created a better reading experience. I have passed up many collections because the books hurt my hands to hold for hours. Who's with me on this one?


Elizabeth (Alaska) I haven't yet passed up on anything, but I have begun to notice the hand discomfort and am pleased when I can choose a Kindle instead of paper.


message 25: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Provost | 3 comments I've read War & Peace twice so far, and the second time I found many things to enjoy that I missed the first time (though I must admit I still have to grit my teeth through one or two sections). It may have helped that I read different translations each time... I much prefer the P/V translation.


message 26: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 154 comments Loved War and Peace - totally get how the kindle versions prevent your arms/hands falling off!


message 27: by Mark (new)

Mark Vickers | 5 comments I tried to read War and Peace multiple times but, like others here, never succeeded till I got my Kindle version. I'm not sure if it was the size of the volume (I've got big enough mitts) or just the intimidation factor. It just *looked* like a slog, especially when I was in the middle of one of those soiree chapters. In the end, though, I was sorry to leave those characters. They'd started to feel like family, however dysfunctional.


message 28: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 154 comments Mark, as a physical book it looks more like something you use to prop open a heavy door !


message 29: by Mark (new)

Mark Vickers | 5 comments Mandy wrote: "Mark, as a physical book it looks more like something you use to prop open a heavy door !"

Agreed. It's scary looking. I think someone could use it as a murder weapon in a mystery story.


Stephanie "Jedigal" (Jedigal) | 271 comments Some odd thoughts:

Just finished this last month. Listening to Tolstoy's pet theories about history and event causality created a strange diversion in my head: I now am itching to re-read Asimov's Foundation series (or at least the 1st one, two or three books).

Tolstoy really seemed to have something to prove with that discussion. It seemed like he wanted to make sure once and for all he ground (some particular?) historians into the dust, and so included every fine detail and point of his thoughts and refutations into W&P. Hmmm..... that aspect rather reminds me of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. Except Tolstoy annoyed me less somehow.


message 31: by Judith (last edited Sep 07, 2013 09:34AM) (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Stephanie "Jedigal" wrote: "Some odd thoughts:

Just finished this last month. Listening to Tolstoy's pet theories about history and event causality created a strange diversion in my head: I now am itching to re-read Asimov..."


I think you make some interesting points here, Stephanie. I had never compared the two, but maybe I should! I think I'll put Asimov's "Foundation" higher on my list as well...never read it.


message 32: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 154 comments Mark wrote: "Mandy wrote: "Mark, as a physical book it looks more like something you use to prop open a heavy door !"

Agreed. It's scary looking. I think someone could use it as a murder weapon in a mystery st..."


Col Mustard in the library with war and peace...


message 33: by Asselle (new)

Asselle | 1 comments It is one of my favorite books ever! Although I must say that it is much easier to read in Russian. I got curious once and tried reading it in English, and it was way more tedious than the original.


message 34: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (J_from_Denmark) | 355 comments I am fighting my way trough War and peace. Looking for a relevant map, I found this one
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?... quite helpful.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Stephanie "Jedigal" wrote: "Tolstoy really seemed to have something to prove with that discussion. It seemed like he wanted to make sure once and for all he ground (some particular?) historians into the dust, and so included every fine detail and point of his thoughts and refutations into W&P. Hmmm..... that aspect rather reminds me of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. Except Tolstoy annoyed me less somehow.
"


It's been years and years since I read Atlas Shrugged. I don't recall having a moment of annoyance, but time dims memory. I did not care for those portions of War and Peace in the least, and because of them gave this 3 stars. Actually, those parts were 1 star parts. The other annoying part (in the P&V translation at least) was all the untranslated French that required referencing a footnote to know what the people were saying. Lucky for those of you who read more than one language - I envy you.


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