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War and Peace
War and Peace
War and Peace
Audiobook5 hours

War and Peace

Written by Leo Tolstoy

Narrated by Neville Jason

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

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About this audiobook

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869. Translated by Aylmer and Louise Maude.
LanguageEnglish
Release dateApr 6, 1995
ISBN9789629545710
Author

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and other classics of Russian literature.

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Reviews for War and Peace

Rating: 4.207964601769912 out of 5 stars
4/5

226 ratings176 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    An epic that spans multiple intrigues of the lives of its principal characters. A story that is remembered for its immensity and scope and recommended to all of those who enjoy to read literary fiction.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I read Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" when I was in middle school at a time I was too young to really appreciate it as anything but an accomplishment that impressed my teachers at the time. And even though I read a ton of Russian novels in college, something about that early experience put me off Tolstoy... (I was definitely more of a Dostoevsky girl.)At any rate, I spent the last couple of months reading "War and Peace" and it was absolutely marvelous... I enjoyed nearly everything about it-- from the ins and outs of the family drama during peace time, to the descriptions of Napoleone's failed march into Russia to Tolstoy's musings on the nature of man and war. Overall, just an excellent book.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    In 1805 Pierre Bezukhov returns to Saint Petersburg to the bedside of his dying father, and ends up inheriting Count Bezukhov’s title and all of his assets. Suddenly, he’s the most eligible (and most socially-awkward) bachelor in all of Russia. All the ladies are after him, and he is very confused, so ends up ill-advisedly marrying the seductive and manipulative Helene Kuragin, who is probably sleeping with her equally debauched brother. Whoops! Meanwhile, war is about to break out between Tsar Alexander and Emperor Napoleon, and all the young men want in on it. Pierre’s friend Prince Andrei Bolkonsky wants to go to war to get away from his very amiable, very pregnant wife. 20-year-old Nikolai Rostov of Moscow wants to go to war to prove he is an adult (and he has a huge platonic crush on Tsar Alexander). Nikolai’s best friend Boris wants to go to war because he’s broke, and in love with Nikolai’s 13-year-old sister Natasha. As is everyone else. These men are all very rich and they think war is very glamorous. Turns out, it is not.The inter-personal plot of this epic tale is quite excellent, but boy is it bogged down by both detailed descriptions of troop movements and battles, as well as Tolstoy’s personal axe-grinding against his contemporaries. It’s possible that it was insightful at the time of publication, but now, not so much. These characters though! The main characters (especially Pierre and Natasha) are mostly boring and insufferable and deserve each other. But the villains and minor characters are so delightful. Boris’ eventual wife Julie (who is only in about 10 pages of the book) is SUPER GOTH - Boris woos her by writing poetry about death and drawing her a picture of a grave. Pierre’s wife Helene is an awful person but boy does she know how to work with what she’s given. She sleeps with EVERYONE – her brother (a great villain), Pierre’s houseguest Dolokov (also a great villain), Boris (boring except for his great taste in women), a government official and a Catholic priest (playing them against each other in an elaborate plot to divorce Pierre), and dies in a botched abortion. Truly a legend. Tolstoy is not particularly great at writing women, certainly not by today’s standards, but just due to the fact that there are 600 named characters in this book, by default some of the female characters have to be unique and interesting. Good job! On the flip side from the villains is sweet Denisov, Nikolai’s mentor and Natasha’s first suitor. His only characteristics are that he is nice to everyone and he talks with a lisp and he likes to eat sausages while writing letters.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    War and Peace focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.I really enjoyed listening to this book on audio. Loved the history and the love stories centered around Natasha Rostov. Tolstoy's writing is very detailed but the information is very interesting. I look forward to reading Anna Karenina. I would highly recommend War and Peace to those who enjoy books about the history, war, love and romance.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Indrukwekkend zonder enige discussie. Vooral door het brede panorama, zowel in de tijd, maar vooral in de geledingen: niet alleen Napoleon, Alexander en hun generaals worden gevolgd, maar vooral de individuen (zij het dan nog die uit de adel).Hoofdfiguren zijn duidelijk Pierre, Andrej en Natasja. Zij evolueren en de veranderingen leveren dikwijls de interessantste beschouwingen op, maar niet altijd is het verloop consistent. Zo maakt Pierre nogal wat "bekeringen" door. Literair munt vooral het tweede boek uit (met enkele van de mooiste bladzijden uit de wereldliteratuur), hoewel het verhaal daar aan spankracht verliest. Het verslag van Austerlitz en Borodino is ongemeen boeiend door de onconventionele invalshoek. Naar het einde toe wordt de schrijftrant langdradig, met soms ellenlange theoretische beschouwingen die dikwijls overlappen. De eerste epiloog moet dat compenseren, hoewel de verhaallijn daar doodbloedt. De tweede epiloog is bijna niet te volgen.Eerste keer gelezen op 18 jaar, erg onder de indruk
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Of course a masterpiece. This is a wonderful translation making the language very readable. Great characters especially the ever seeking Pierre.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Wow - that word pretty much sums up my reaction to this book. My first thought upon finishing was that I want to reread this book sometime soon because I want to revisit the characters that I loved through the last part of the book from the beginning. It is such a long book, and did take me such a long time to get through, that I feel like I would get so much reading through it again.

    There is not much more to say about it that hasn't been said hundreds of times by countless others. I enjoyed the characters, love stories, war stories, the plot, and even the diversions into farming and war theory. The last thirty pages were tough because they deal with Tolstoy's views on why history happens. It was tough because I wanted more about the characters and their lives.

    I would recommend this to anyone who has the discipline to read a book of this size. It is well worth your time.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    tedious at times
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Indrukwekkend zonder enige discussie. Vooral door het brede panorama, zowel in de tijd, maar vooral in de geledingen: niet alleen Napoleon, Alexander en hun generaals worden gevolgd, maar vooral de individuen (zij het dan nog die uit de adel).Hoofdfiguren zijn duidelijk Pierre, Andrej en Natasja. Zij evolueren en de veranderingen leveren dikwijls de interessantste beschouwingen op, maar niet altijd is het verloop consistent. Zo maakt Pierre nogal wat "bekeringen" door. Literair munt vooral het tweede boek uit (met enkele van de mooiste bladzijden uit de wereldliteratuur), hoewel het verhaal daar aan spankracht verliest. Het verslag van Austerlitz en Borodino is ongemeen boeiend door de onconventionele invalshoek. Naar het einde toe wordt de schrijftrant langdradig, met soms ellenlange theoretische beschouwingen die dikwijls overlappen. De eerste epiloog moet dat compenseren, hoewel de verhaallijn daar doodbloedt. De tweede epiloog is bijna niet te volgen.Eerste keer gelezen op 18 jaar, erg onder de indruk
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Good, but no Anna Karenina
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I finally read this in the space of 26 days after it had been sitting on my bookshelf for a decade. For the most part, War and Peace is simply brilliant. The main characters are wonderfully drawn, and I loved getting inside their heads and rooting for them all the way through. I also felt that I got a good sense of what it was like to be in (or on the edges of) the upper echelons of Russian society in the early 19th century through the descriptions of various social scenes and the viewpoints of minor characters. I also enjoyed the war scenes involving the main characters.However, I didn't quite get on with some of the other war parts and the various passages ruminating on history in general, especially towards the end. I was also a little let down by some of the main characters' fates as described in the first epilogue (mainly the way in which the female characters are depicted), but I recognise that this is partly due to the era in which the novel is set/was written.Despite that, I'm really glad I finally read War and Peace, and will be looking up some of Tolstoy's other works in the future.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    It took me a long time to finish this. It is a very good book. The 2nd epilogue is Tolstoy's thoughts on history and how it is viewed.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    It's known that it took Tolstoy six years to write War and Peace. It took me almost two years to read it - not because I didn't enjoy it, but just the way my reading time was used. I liked this book. It's many characters were interesting, diverse, intertwined in many cases, and individual. Tolstoy did a great job of making each one different from the others. There was no way I could keep remembering who every person was or how one connected with another, but I didn't mind that. It was interesting and I'm glad I read it.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Took me a month to read, but definitely a masterpiece. It took a notebook to keep all the characters straight for the first half of the book. There was a bit too much about battle techniques contained, but all in all I can see why Tolstoy is considered a master as he can amuse, horrify, entertain, and make one weep during the very same story line. I especially liked seeing how Tolstoy developed his characters and then transformed then or their circumstances. One of the story's main characters, Pierre Bezukhov has his epiphany while being held captive by the French as he befriends Platen, a peasant, and learns to be happy, no matter the situation. The author certainly raises/discusses issues such as ideas of free will, fate, and providence Tolstoy has certainly nailed Napoleon, if other historians are correct.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    While mind-numbingly tedious, I did actually finish this book, and I remembered enough of what I read from one sitting to the next that the characters and plot didn't run together too much. So, I guess as epic fiction goes, this was not terrible