War and Peace Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1981
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“There remains the greatest of all novelists—for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?” —Virginia Woolf --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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The essence of Power, which is what leads individuals to move nations is the ultimate question of War and Peace. And this individuals or great men of history, are in reality the slave of history. That underlying fact can be found in other Russian stories. UNION MOUJIK, TARAS BULBA, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT,MASTER AND MAN feature that concept. The war part of the story features remarkable military campaigns such as those by Napoleon and his Russian counterpart, Emperor Aleksandr, as they employed their different strategies in the quest for victory on the lands of Russia.
War and Peace is entertaining as well as enlightening and is considered by many to be the master of all Russian novels. Its overview of Russian life and culture involving peasants and the aristocracy gives a true to life portrayal of humanity. You can find glimpses of other Great Russian novels in this story. In short, this epic cannot be forgotten after you have read it.
life-affirming, but not in the superficial and facile way of, say, Jane Austen or Dickens (or opera buffa for that matter!).
"No, no a thousand times no!" (to quote Pierre again), the happiness seems to have been inevitable from
the novel's very start; it could *never* have been otherwise! (to paraphrase Pierre yet again!) How I love this book. Let me count the ways -- no no, that would be impossible. What episode do I love the most? Is it when it only a serious wound on the battlefield can allow Prince Andrei, for the first time, to (as he lies upon his back on the ground) come face to face with the heavens and the infinity contained therein? Is it when Platon
Karatayev, in the French prison, offers Pierre a potato and then seasons it with salt from a rag? Is it when Prince Andrei overhears Natasha exclaiming, from the balcony, how she could just fly off into the night??! But what nonsense it is speak of a favorite episode. There are as marvelous passages as there are stars in the infinite heavens to which Tolstoy's heroes are always casting at least one eye.
I'm in a position to say this because I've read this book anywhere from half-a-dozen to a dozen times (to be honest I've lost count). For many years I would read one of Tolstoy's big novels every year, alternating between "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." Along the way I've read three of the four major translations of the book multiple times.
The four translations, in order of appearance, are:
1) Constance Garnett
2) Louise and Alymer Maude
3) Rosemary Edmonds
4) Ann Dunnigan
Of these four translations, I would recommend either Edmonds or Dunnigan. Here's why. The Garnett and Maude translations date from the first three decades of the 20th Century. Edmonds' translation was originally published in 1957, and Dunnigan's in 1968 (for some reason, no one has tried to come up with a new translation of "War and Peace" in the past 35 years). The definitive (to date) Russian text of the novel was published in the early 1960s: Edmonds revised her translation in 1978 to take into account the new version.
In general, unless you're reading an older translation, not for the sake of its putative author but for the translator (which is the only reason to read, for example, the Urquhart-Motteux Rabelais or Chapman's Homer), you're almost always better off sticking with a modern translation. And that's the case with "War and Peace." It's either Edmonds or Dunnigan.
It's a close call. You really won't go wrong with either one of them.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Have you ever tried to read W+P from cover to cover -- and failed as I have? Much as I have the greatest respect for any translator who attempts to tackle this "Mount... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Pierre A. Beauchamp
I quite liked this read. It holds a high place for me in contemporary fiction; but I didn't understand a lot of things. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2004 by bill williams
War and Peace is perhaps the grandest novel ever written. Leo Tolstoy condenses or hollows out none of the grace and majesty of the Russian royalty, and the characters are more... Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by Attack Ferret!
Leo Tolstoy's writing is something that cannot compare to the writers in this lifetime. He manages to write a long book such as War and Peace and keep the writing so wonder and... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2002 by Lizzie
Though I felt that Tolstoy could have used a good editor when it came to some of the war sections and his extended philosophizing, the greatness of this book far outweighs these... Read morePublished on May 21 2001 by Steven Greene
I have to admit--"War and Peace" was not the best book I ever read. It had its flaws, it was certainly a challenge, many parts were entertaining, and now I can say I... Read morePublished on Dec 4 1999
Okay...so I only just got past Part 1. It is already the best book I have ever read. So I'm only twelve. This should be proof that size should not intimidate you. Read morePublished on Aug. 8 1999