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War and Peace (English)

Author: LEO TOLSTOY
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 994 Pages
Publisher: University Of California Press
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War And Peace traces the fortunes of five upper class families in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.

Summary Of The Book

War And Peace opens at a party hosted by a socialite in St. Petersburg. At the party, the readers are introduced to five families whose destinies are followed throughout the book.

The party marks Pierre Bezukhov’s entrance into St. Petersburg’s society. He has been living abroad, and this is his formal introduction into Russian society. He is the illegitimate son and heir of Count Kirill Bezukhov.

The Bolkonskys live at their rural estate. They are a wealthy family whose head is the eccentric Nikolai Bolkonsky. His son, Prince Andrei, is married. Prince Andrei has a sister, Princess Marya.

The Rostovs are an aristocratic family who are in financial trouble. Count Rostov and his wife have four children, Nikolai, Natasha, Vera and Pyotr. They also have an adopted child, Sonya Rostov, who is an orphaned cousin to the Rostovs. There is also Princess Drubetskoy and her son Boris. They are both ambitious and cunning. There is the amoral and unscrupulous family, the Kuragins. The head of the Kuragin family is the scheming Price Vassily. He has three children, Anatole, Ippolit and Helene.

The story is set at the start of Russia’s confrontation with Napoleon’s France. As the political climate changes and peace breaks down, the fortunes of the five families are also affected. Andrei and Nikolai enlist and fight the invading French Army. For others like Pierre, life throws some special challenges. He emerges victorious in the conflict to inherit the family fortunes. But he has married Helene Kuragin and he gets tired of her various affairs. He becomes a Freemason and tries to find some relief through his new faith.

Meanwhile, Andrei is injured and returns home. His wife has died at childbirth and his sister is taking care of his child. Natasha Rostov falls in love with Andrei, but Andrei’s father refuses to give his immediate consent and asks them to wait. During that time, Natasha falls under the spell of Anatole Kuragin and her relationship with Andrei is broken.

The drama grows as the characters try to sort out their relationships and their lives. Andrei becomes obsessed with developing a new system of military discipline. Pierre is driven to insanity by his personal troubles. Nikolai faces a conflict as he has to decide between keeping his promise of marriage to Sonya or marrying Marya to help his family.

War And Peace is one of the longest novels ever written. Epic in its sweeping coverage of the fortunes of five families and allied characters during the French Invasion of Russia, it is ranked among the best of Tolstoy’s works.

About Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was an eminent Russian novelist.

His other works include Family Happiness, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Cossacks, and The Forged Coupon.

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana in Russia in 1828. He was married to Sophia Andreevna Behrs, called Sonya. They had fourteen children. Their later life together was not considered very happy. After the Russian revolution, the Tolstoy family moved to Sweden, UK, and other parts of Europe. Tolstoy’s ideas on nonviolent resistance is said to have inspired people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Specifications of War and Peace (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Author LEO TOLSTOY
Book Details
Publisher University Of California Press
Publication Year 1993 July
ISBN-13 9781853260629
ISBN-10 1853260622
Language English
Edition New ed
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 994 Pages
Series & Set Details
Series Name Wordsworth Classics
Dimensions
Width 4.72 inch
Height 7.67 inch
Weight 658 g
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Book Reviews of War and Peace (English)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (22)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
chirag tapadia
05 Jan 2012
why do they need this

now i won't actually write a review on war and peace simply because i don't consider myself qualified for that (my last name is not nabokov). I read war and peace nearly a year ago and i spent 6 months* reading it which wasn't that much when you consider that tolstoy spent 6 years writing it and this was only due to the intriguing ways in which tolstoy analyses the human heart which can left you spell bound if u are actually reading it(plz don't read this for improving your english and it won't help you much at that as it is translated by constance garnett who was known for her victorian wa... ()

now i won't actually write a review on war and peace simply because i don't consider myself qualified for that (my last name is not nabokov). I read war and peace nearly a year ago and i spent 6 months* reading it which wasn't that much when you consider that tolstoy spent 6 years writing it and this was only due to the intriguing ways in which tolstoy analyses the human heart which can left you spell bound if u are actually reading it(plz don't read this for improving your english and it won't help you much at that as it is translated by constance garnett who was known for her victorian wa...
now i won't actually write a review on war and peace simply because i don't consider myself qualified for that (my last name is not nabokov). I read war and peace nearly a year ago and i spent 6 months* reading it which wasn't that much when you consider that tolstoy spent 6 years writing it and this was only due to the intriguing ways in which tolstoy analyses the human heart which can left you spell bound if u are actually reading it(plz don't read this for improving your english and it won't help you much at that as it is translated by constance garnett who was known for her victorian ways and you will not find her english particularly useful).plz read the epilogue 1 dealing with lives of princess mary and nicholas rostov......you will never ever find a better portrayal of love between two beings even in the most acclaimed romantic novels.....the section about history and its interpretation is also mind-boggling to say the least.
what made me write this review was that there was only one review of THE war and peace here which clearly gives a hints towards the number of its readers in india. i sincerely feel sorry for all my countrymens try to know bout their history and mythology through comic books (the secret of the naNgas).
If anyone who is planning to read this masterpiece i will advise you to read about napolean beforehand it will surely help you
*i had already read midnight's children and LOTR in 15 and 45 days respectively before war and peace

100% of 17 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Jai Prasad
31 Jan 2012
first to review
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Alert on the translation

Please read the review by Adam Thirlwell in the Guardian, publihshed on 8 October 2005, also available online, before you decide to buy this translation of War and Peace by Anthony Briggs. Though I do not have the credentials or the capacity to write a review of the book itself, or its translation, I would like to point out that the translator has blunted the language, and has diluted to a considerable extent the irony and detail best read in translations true to Tolstoy's style. The Wordsworth edition, or the Oxford University Press edition, though slightly costlier, are much better transl... ()

Please read the review by Adam Thirlwell in the Guardian, publihshed on 8 October 2005, also available online, before you decide to buy this translation of War and Peace by Anthony Briggs. Though I do not have the credentials or the capacity to write a review of the book itself, or its translation, I would like to point out that the translator has blunted the language, and has diluted to a considerable extent the irony and detail best read in translations true to Tolstoy's style. The Wordsworth edition, or the Oxford University Press edition, though slightly costlier, are much better transl...
Please read the review by Adam Thirlwell in the Guardian, publihshed on 8 October 2005, also available online, before you decide to buy this translation of War and Peace by Anthony Briggs. Though I do not have the credentials or the capacity to write a review of the book itself, or its translation, I would like to point out that the translator has blunted the language, and has diluted to a considerable extent the irony and detail best read in translations true to Tolstoy's style. The Wordsworth edition, or the Oxford University Press edition, though slightly costlier, are much better translations, and more enjoyable to read. Comparing with the old Wordsworth editions, in the first few chapters itself, you would realize what is lost in translation. This is a novel from a great master, and should be read in reliable translation.

100% of 13 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Saurabh Pal
08 Apr 2012
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Great Book but very small font

The book, of course, is great and a classic but do not buy this edition if you have problem reading small font. War and Peace is a VERY LARGE book in to fit it in just 1024 pages is not possible unless the quality is compromised. I get a headache when I try to read it.
Wordsworth Editions are great but just this one isn't. If you can, buy the Penguin edition, but that is about twice the cost of this one.

8 of 8 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Partha Sharma
01 Apr 2012
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A tour de force of life!!!

"‎"I was then wiser and had more insight than at any other time, and understood all that is worth understanding in life, because...because I was happy."

Words cannot do justice to the words of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

War and Peace is not simply a novel that speaks of these juxtaposed states, but of human existance. It is populated by characters of each and every kind fathomable, whom we seem to know as intimately and closely as ourselves.

Personally, I was most affected by the character of Pierre Bezukhov, one of the novel's protagonists. A wanderer, in the most...
()

"‎"I was then wiser and had more insight than at any other time, and understood all that is worth understanding in life, because...because I was happy."

Words cannot do justice to the words of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

War and Peace is not simply a novel that speaks of these juxtaposed states, but of human existance. It is populated by characters of each and every kind fathomable, whom we seem to know as intimately and closely as ourselves.

Personally, I was most affected by the character of Pierre Bezukhov, one of the novel's protagonists. A wanderer, in the most...
"‎"I was then wiser and had more insight than at any other time, and understood all that is worth understanding in life, because...because I was happy."

Words cannot do justice to the words of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

War and Peace is not simply a novel that speaks of these juxtaposed states, but of human existance. It is populated by characters of each and every kind fathomable, whom we seem to know as intimately and closely as ourselves.

Personally, I was most affected by the character of Pierre Bezukhov, one of the novel's protagonists. A wanderer, in the most poetic sense of the term, he struggles in this novel with society and himself to find the meaning of life, and the reader journeys with him, sharing his realization along each step of the path.

The other protagonists, Andrew Bolkonsky and Natasha Rostova, are just as moving, captivating and endearing the reader in manifold ways.

War and Peace is a must read. A MUST read in the most literal sense.

The Maude translation is effective, with little meaning lost in the course of translation. Much of the French from the original is retained, which makes the novel particularly entertaining for those with a rudimentary knowledge of the language. For those who do not possess it, there are translations for each of the French phrases at the back.

3 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Asim Dagar
23 Jul 2012
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Arguably to some But In-arguably to me the best novel that exists.

Many people on reading or hearing or just looking at this towering work would feel awestruck and say - what can we, mere mortals, say about this novel! its a work of genius! written by a genius!

But that would be going against the very philosophy that Tolstoy expounds in this work. One of his primary line of attack is against the so called men of genius and through this book he successfully dispels the myth of "Men of Genius". in a blow by blow analysis he shows that the men who are portrayed as genius (Napoleon) and the men of power (the generals as well as the Russian Czar) ar...
()

Many people on reading or hearing or just looking at this towering work would feel awestruck and say - what can we, mere mortals, say about this novel! its a work of genius! written by a genius!

But that would be going against the very philosophy that Tolstoy expounds in this work. One of his primary line of attack is against the so called men of genius and through this book he successfully dispels the myth of "Men of Genius". in a blow by blow analysis he shows that the men who are portrayed as genius (Napoleon) and the men of power (the generals as well as the Russian Czar) ar...
Many people on reading or hearing or just looking at this towering work would feel awestruck and say - what can we, mere mortals, say about this novel! its a work of genius! written by a genius!

But that would be going against the very philosophy that Tolstoy expounds in this work. One of his primary line of attack is against the so called men of genius and through this book he successfully dispels the myth of "Men of Genius". in a blow by blow analysis he shows that the men who are portrayed as genius (Napoleon) and the men of power (the generals as well as the Russian Czar) are but mere puppets playing their small part like any other man in the drama of life.
People believe that men of power (like president's and prime ministers of modern day, and kings of ancient time's) can control entire populations and their word holds sway over all. however tolstoy proves that nothing can be far from the truth. these men of power are themselves subject and enslaved by the very power they falsely assume they wield. their actions are more predictable that the actions of a random person on street. in fact the higher a person rises in the public imagination, the more predictable are his actions and his doings.

another major theme running through this novel is that how should we view history. The Author debunks various theories of history that exist and evolves a fresh and admirable view of history that to me is as near the "Truth", as history can aspire to be.
surprisingly the famous quotes regarding history that exist in public imagination comes from none other than Napoleon whom tolstoy thoroughly and most appropriately derided. napoleon's import is that history is no more than a mere fable that is agreed upon by everyone. reading tolstoy is enough to bring out the hollowness that exists in such quotes. they are but empty glistening shells that attract superficial attention and lack all depth.
Depth and profound thought form the basis of this work and it is but natural that it is as voluminous as it is, as clearly all themes that exist or can exist are discussed in this novel.

i can go on but it would rather be best if you see it for yourself.

About Translation - As almost any literary student would tell you, choosing the best translation (especially for this work) is most essential. since you cannot taste the original language (Russian in this case) it is important that you taste the next best thing, else the taste may be entirely lost.

i myself first read the penguin red classics translation of anthony briggs which though quite good, did not appeal to me.
Reason- he broke down the continuous sentences into smaller ones and changed some archaic word with some modern one's, that though easy to understand lacked the style and old world charm of tolstoy.

Next i read this barnes and noble( books by these publishers are an absolute delight, though a bit expensive, i hope the price goes down) edition translated by Constance Garnett (who is one of the earliest translators of tolstoy, you may pick up any other edition that features her translation)
it was an absolute delight. i took a whole year to complete this book and i rather it had never ended.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
SYLAR
25 Aug 2014
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Must be read at least twice !!

Not becoz you wont understand it the first time , its just that you need to spend more time to truely appreciate the classic by tolstoy..the epilogue is so true that even after more than 100 yrs since this book was written the validity of what has been written in the book still hold s true (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
abhishek anand
07 Aug 2014
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war and peace

i really find this book boring and the there are so many charecters.english is bit tough and needs hard work to understand (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Naveen Vignesh
05 Jul 2014
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Lifechanging read...

Don quixote was termed as a novelthat must be read before one dies...I believe that war and peace undoubtedly is worthy for such an accord. A book that you must read before you die. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Saurabh Gautam
25 May 2014
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War and Peace - Greatest Novel

Hell! This book just cant be described in words. A mind-boggling piece of work! Hats off to the masterpiece. Definitely worth it. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Yogesh Kumar
06 Apr 2014
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Great read

Very well translated. Leo Tolstoy is a great story teller. It will take a while to read it, but its worth. (View complete review)

    Book: War and Peace (English) by LEO TOLSTOY
    ISBN Number: 1853260622, 9781853260629, 978-1853260629

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