Cover and Font:
Firstly, you see on the cover of War and Peace, it is Napoleon on a horse and I think that this is kind of an insult to what the book represents to the Russian culture. It is an insult to Tolstoy because if you read the novel you will see what is Tolstoy’s opinion about Napoleon and about Napoleonic War about him as an individual. So, I am really sorry but this cover is not appropriate for the book.
The font was extremely small in the original book. I do not know what they were thinking those people. They were probably thinking that this book will be read by really geek people that have thick glasses. It made it very tough to read due to font.
This is a Historical Fiction book written in 1869. First published many years before about French invasion of the Russia during 1805 and then continues on to 1813. So, this is the War and Peace of that particular time. It follows the aristocratic family during that time. So, there are about 20 to 30 main characters of that family and then lots of sort of side characters. This is a dense and very confusing book.
Original title is Война и миръ
There has been a lot of discussion and debate about what the original right version of War and Peace is. Because whole story had serialized them in magazines in 1867 and only has 7 volumes. Then he revised it and put it together and put like an eighth volume and epilogues and rewrote it many times. There are many different editions even just during his life and then people have obviously translated it and created a lot more of additions too.
The book was amazing. When you to start the book & it seems like you’re just jumping in a wagon. There’s no introduction, you just jump in the action. It is a party & you already meet so many characters in first 50 pages. You may feel overwhelmed by how many characters you see here and there. They had their Russian names, long names which means first name and the father’s name. The good thing was, there were contents of every book which tells you what will happen. So, keep track by the characters with this information. Because otherwise you got lost at when you got at half of the book, you will be already more accustomed to main characters that appeared in the whole book and the secondary characters that came and left.
The author probably knew that we will get so much confused so whenever a character reappeared from first pages, it was given a short description who he is. For example, if you don’t know Denisov, it was explained the soldier from this region or that. That was really helpful so this book. As I was saying you jump right into the action, there is no introduction. So, then at end you also jump out of the action as nothing happened. This made you feel the book has not any plot. Just you jump in the action, you follow along with the history, you follow life of these characters & then you jump off.
There are 2 epilogues at end, in the 1st you discover the life of some characters to eight-nine years. And in the second epilogue you find out Tolstoy’s opinion on history, on freewheel, what is the purpose of life on lots of philosophical ideas. So, it seems like you are jumping in and jumping out. There’s no plot, there’s no conclusion and which makes the book really original what you’ve to say that Tolstoy is a complete master, is character, description and character development.
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I was absolutely amazed of how he described the characters from the beginning, how the life, or how the war, or how external factors influence main characters. How they developed, how they changed, how inconsistent they are or how consistent some of them are. But they are considered traditional and stupid. Also, all these characters look for what is the purpose of life, what is life, what is death, what is love, what is God. So, it was very interesting to read about them.
There are over five hundred but the key characters are Andreich Bolkonsky, Natasha Rostova, Nikolai Rostov, and Pierre Bezukhov. These are like main characters of the plot, of the action that is more personal. But then there is Napoleon, Tsar Alexander the first and Kutuzov which was the general of Russian army. You will find this book has more than 500 characters and at the end of the novel, there is included some of Tolstoy’s explanation & it was too much fun to read them. It was known to him that he would be accused firstly altering the history because he explains in this book that, this is what the historians & this is what actually happened.
So, in conclusion, the historians followed the rational way, the rational thinking but in reality, the war was out of control & it happened this and happened that. It was not Napoleon’s genius or Alexander’s genius or Kutuzov genius. So, he actually reinterprets some historian facts and he knew that he will be attacked on this point. He thought that he will be accused on fact that he’s including many French words in the book. And saying that Russian people or Russian aristocratic people were speaking French.
He also made some justification on this point and he speaks about the characters. He explains that among all the characters Napoleonic and Kutuzov are real characters. But other characters although they sound real they’re not real. Only two characters of the whole book are actually copies of real people. They even have their name & it’s a lady Akhrosimova and a surgeon Denisov. So, it’s really random out of 500 characters two are real.
If I would select a favorite character I would definitely go with Andreich Bolkonsky. I would say that out of all the characters, he is the most consistent. I couldn’t get in contact or I couldn’t feel any kind of connection with the feminine characters. They were very inconsistent, very naïve, and very childish I would say. Even with Natasha Rostova, I couldn’t find any connection with her maybe something with Princess Maria. But even with her, she was extremely religious and extremely naïve. And it really describes the situation of women in that stage. But as a contrast, Andreich Bolkonsky was too much rational person, very down-to-earth. It was a miracle for him to fall in love and then stuff happens, the war happens and everything.
Book had so many passages and chapters where you can meditate and read. You will feel like when Tolstoy prepared this book, he wrote it so that people can read it during half of year and meditate on it. Even when you read it you will feel like taking break and thinking about the decisions that the characters made, what motivates them to do that. Especially at the very end, there’s a whole essay. The second epilogue is a whole essay on truth, reveal, on what motivates people, what is purpose of life. You will definitely feel like you truly need to read those passages again and to think about them and not to pass so fast of course.
There are some other details or chapters that I would cut off like they were describing a hunting of a fox. They found a she-wolf. They were hunting it down and killed her and Tolstoy was describing a step-by-step. Some pieces just because Tolstoy is the real classic and proud representative of the classics, he included just as to give more details of environment or the society. Or I don’t really need to know how Natasha was packing the China or the carpet or how they are preparing the guns. So, there are details which I would really cut. I’m not Tolstoy so I can only appreciate the book. It’s a magnificent book if you have the time and you have and you feel ready to read an epic book, go for it.
Download links to War and Peace PDF eBook
War and Peace a Fiction and historical that will definitely improve your knowledge and you will learn a lot about history. If you are interested to read this educational novel then download links are given below.