Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once a historical war epic, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Noted for its mastery of realistic detail and psychological analysis, it follows the metamorphosis of five aristocratic families against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.
Individual stories interweave as each of Tolstoy’s memorable characters seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by war in different ways. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process.
Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers: “To be played upon by the animal keenness of this eye, the sheer power of this creative attack, the entirely clear and true greatness…of this epic, is to find one’s way home...to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
A Blackstone Audio production.
Read the book.
War and Peace is a pretty difficult, complex, and at times antiquated novel. I found it took a full concentration, and many trips to the dictionary, to really understand and comprehend it. If this was listened to there would be less time to think about the previous lines, less opportunity to link the whole plot(s) together, and it may just move to quickly. Then again, if reading it is not an option, go for the audio book, just listen carefully. Aside form my grievances with the audio format, this is an amazing book. It captures such a immense story, yet at the same times goes into such minute detail in all that it covers. Also it’s just an accomplishment to finish - it’s a long read, but a memorable one. Enjoy.