This large print book, purportedly published cheaply to allow more readers access to some of the world's great literature is not so cheap. More importantly, it does not have the complete Volume 1 of the two volume novel. I had obtained and read volume two before getting this volume 1, and when I got to the end of this vol. 1 I knew there was a large part, about a hundred pages or so, missing , so it did not lead naturally into volume 2. I had to find another Vol 1, by Penquin, to get the full story. And what a Great story it is! Anyone interested in the waging of war, with its horrors both among the soldiers and the villagers, the Whites and Reds,Cossack brother against Cossack brother, this is it. It's as great as War and Peace, For Whom the Bell Tolls, etc. It is a wonderful case against hatred, and a hope for calmer actions against those who would oppose us. It is both a story of war, love, and a hope for peace. And, at the same time, Sholokhov describes the environment of the steppes around and about the Don River, the farming practises of the people, their customs,and their history.
Sholokhov was a Red soldier himself, and won praises from the Soviet government, including praise and the Stalin Prize from Stalin. This makes him somewhat suspect in being able to take an impartial view of the White Cossack insurgents during the 1918 Civil War, but he is able to look at the good and the bad on both sides of the fight, though I read it prepared to make disagreement with him.
The translation from Russian in this (incomplete) volume does not flow as well, is not as poetic as, that of the Penquin version. I read a lot of a few Russian writers, and Sholokhov did not disappoint. I highly reccommend the full two volumes of this work. I enjoyed it so much I had to read it twice, and likely will read it again.