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War And Peace

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Two false starts till I finally (about 12 years ago) managed to finish this one.

 

I like Russian literature, started reading it as a teenager - Dostoyevsky & Turgenev mainly - but this was one was a hard slog. I think it would be interesting to see how a modern author tackled this, possibly break it down into more volumes, change the pace a little, improve the dialogue. Anybody out there feel up to the task? :D

 

I'll read it again one day but not for a while yet.

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Of course War and peace was not initially one long book but serialised over two years.

I did discover that there are some websites that serialise it from time to time.

 

Lol there really are longer books out there though. It's marked in Volumes and parts so a reader could easily read a chunk between other books.

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How about the War and Peace trilogy?

 

In view of all the comments, I think a telly serialisation over a year is the best way to 'read' it. I'm sure Andrew Davies could fake Moscow and Petersburg well enough. It might even lead some of us back to the translated text - but which one?

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In view of all the comments, I think a telly serialisation over a year is the best way to 'read' it. I'm sure Andrew Davies could fake Moscow and Petersburg well enough. It might even lead some of us back to the translated text - but which one?

 

I've read that the relatively recent translation by Richard Pevear and his wife Larissa Volokhonsky is generally thought to be the freshest and engages the reader more readily.

 

I might replace my 2-volume Penguin Classics edition (trans. Rosemary Edmonds) with it.

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I think my translation is by Louise and Aylmer Maude (Oxford World's Classics) and although not recent it is very accessible. But then I see that even their version has been updated. Perhaps to compete with the Pevear's work. According to the OUP website:

 

The Maudes' translation of Tolstoy's epic masterpiece has long been considered the best English version, and now for the first time it has been revised to bring it fully into line with modern approaches to the text. French passages are restored, Anglicization of Russian names removed, and outmoded expressions updated.

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Of course War and peace was not initially one long book but serialised over two years.

I did discover that there are some websites that serialise it from time to time.

 

Lol there really are longer books out there though. It's marked in Volumes and parts so a reader could easily read a chunk between other books.

 

My original copy of this was a one 'volume' Penguin edition. An unwieldy paperback, similar to the size of A Suitable Boy in paperback. I'm sure within it the text will have been broken down into the various volumes you mention but I just read it in one go.

 

I now have a two volume Folio edition so next time I read it will hopefully be a more comfortable read.

 

How about the War and Peace trilogy?

 

Is this a further reference to the above mentioned volumes? Or perhaps a suggestion that it's turned into a trilogy like 'Star Wars' :D, or should that be double trilogy? ( I hasten to add my dislike of Star Wars and am in no way comparing said great work of literature with the mediocrity of the sci fi film:) )

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Same as a few of you, I have read Anna Karenina and absolutely loved it. I also have read some other Russian novels, so put this one on my reading list last year. Good decision, I also loved War and Peace, in my opinion, they could have done with a little less war, but isn't that always the case? ;)

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I actually really loved the war parts. So much detail I could almost see and smell it all. I read the war parts in their full chunks till my bottom went numb. Exciting stuff.

 

What I didn't like was the endless repetative philosophising. Especially the last 60 pages. He just makes the same points over and over.

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True, the description was amazing. I think it depends on how close you would like to get and how long you would like to hear about the war. I liked the philosophising but then again I enjoy that kind of stuff more.

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I also enjoyed the battle sections. The "Philosophising" was a pain. But I accepted it as a "feature" of 19th Century fiction.

 

I plan to read this again soon so might have a more informed view (doubtful, but possible. The translation that I have previously read is available free for Kindle.

 

I might give Anna Kerinina another go. I gave up on my only other attempt.

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I finished listening to the unabridged audio book about a month ago. It was really wonderful, even the war parts! It was only the very end probably equivalent to the last 60 pages that lost me a bit, otherwise I was totally immersed. The narrator was Neville Jason. Highly recommended for holiday listening.

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I loved War and Peace.  I read it during a summer break, while I was home in Miami, a place where summer break should be spent outside and yet there I was, with my nose in a book.  I thought it was wonderful.

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Cassie, you are quite right about the last few pages. I also thought that Tolstoy spent a little too much time on the epilogue, dwelling on philosophy. For me, War and Peace would always be memorable as it was my first book by Leo. Though, I liked Anna Karenina that I read almost after a gap of one year (you do require a breather after reading voluminous books), much more.

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Cassie, you are quite right about the last few pages. I also thought that Tolstoy spent a little too much time on the epilogue, dwelling on philosophy. For me, War and Peace would always be memorable as it was my first book by Leo. Though, I liked Anna Karenina that I read almost after a gap of one year (you do require a breather after reading voluminous books), much more.

I agree anu, I always try to have a break before attempting another. I read only my usual fix of crime for a few weeks after finishing it. I loved Anna Karenina too, more recently as an audio book.

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I enjoyed this book and am not sure why it has such a fearsome reputation. Is it just the size?

 

I've hear people say they are daunted by the size of the book and the various translations available.

 

I read Anna Karenina last summer and just recently finished reading War and Peace. I do agree that they are different, but I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Anna Karenina was my favorite of the two. I enjoyed Tolstoy's work so I read War and Peace contrary to the fact that I knew I would enjoy the peace more than the war. On the subject of Russia works, has anyone read any Gogol?

I've yet to read Anna Karenina; it's in my pile of "waiting to be read" (which looks like the leaning tower of books and is about to topple over if I don't get reading some soon, lol!).  Has anyone seen the movie with Keira Knightly?

 

I am drawn to reading this, but also a bit daunted.

I'm similarly drawn to doing the Trans-Siberian Railway, and have a vague notion of doing it next summer. If I do, I might be very cliched and take this book with me.

I saw an article in, I think, yesterday's Guardian about the competing claims of the two versions - apparently Tolstoy added the diversions and musings in a second version, so there is a good case to be made for reading the "slimmed down" version which omits these.

Don't know which I'd take - the trip has three straight days on the train, crossing Siberia!

 

 

I've always been taken by the idea of that - I love seeing countries from trains. I'd be interested to hear about it if you go!

I lived in Moscow for a while and always said I'd go back to to this.  In my 20s when I worked and I travelled around Europe on the train and loved the scenery going past the window.  I felt as though my journeys where part of the experience and not a hassle with airport waiting times and delays. 

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Feel a little guilty posting on a book I haven't read. But the recent BBC Radio 4 production has been a delight.

Heartily recommend  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04wz7q2

 

Yes, I've been listening to the Radio 4 production too and it's a treat.  I read the novel when I was 18 (a long time ago!) and think I should re-read it this year.

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