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War and Peace Hardcover – May 17 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1408 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (May 17 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679600841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679600848
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 5.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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WELL, PRINCE, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family. Read the first page
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Hutton on June 30 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read a lot of books and so I've scrabbled together a fairly intelligent idea of what a great book is; the definition has always been complicated and hard to explain, but I really needn't have bothered. The concept can be summed up in only three words: "War and Peace".
This is, simply, what all novels want to be when they grow up. The novel format is as varied as the writers who attempt it---to call "War and Peace" and "Ulysses" examples of the same art form seems ridiculous, but it's true---but ultimately a novel is a story about humans that explains what humanity is, or might be, or could have been; through these characters whose adventures you're following, you might learn something about what it means to be a human being. Every art form is about this experience, but only the novel can really hunker down and explore humanity in all its billions of shapes. You can learn not only facts and feelings but you can learn TIME by spending it in these pages. You can learn GROWTH. You can learn LIFE.
The main characters in "War and Peace" are Pierre Bezuhov, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, and Natasha Rostov, three Russians caught in the middle of the war between their country and France in the years 1805 to 1813. Through them we meet dozens if not hundreds more characters, and through those dozens or hundreds we simply meet humanity itself. There's no other way to express it. The way Tolstoy tells us about his characters shows us ourselves; the identification is that strong. When a character falls, in battle or from old age, we feel that someone we know personally is gone, and we mourn them as though we couldn't simply flip back a few pages and resurrect them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 25 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although my blind urge to read the Great Classics has (thankfully) faded somewhat over the years in favor of reading whatever I damn please, I finally decided it was time to give War and Peace a try. After all, how can anyone who enjoys novels resist the lure of "the greatest novel of all time"? And Tolstoy himself was an unusually interesting man -- not a screwed-up genius but one who seemed to eventually figure it all out. It took me maybe a hundred pages to get into the rhythm of the book and figure out who all those characters with multisyllabic Russian names were. After that, it was totally engrossing and surprisingly easy reading. There's no point giving you a book report on what happens -- you're supposed to read it yourself -- but I do disagree with some of the other reviewers who didn't care for the sections describing Tolstoy's philosophy of history. I found those sections (a very small proportion of the book) fascinating, albeit a change of pace. This is part of what makes the book great. War and Peace is not just a story of what happens to a bunch of made-up people, but a major work of art expressing the wisdom of a great man.
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Format: Paperback
WAR AND PEACE successfully captured life's promises, challenges, joys, triumphs, and losses in a way that no other novels has done before and after. In this novel with more characters than any other I can imagine; the main characters are Pierre Bezuhov, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, and Natasha Rostov, who are all affected by the destabilization of the war Napoleon brought upon Russia in the early nineteenth century. It is around them that the other characters revolve. Even though the sheer size of this novel of over a million words may discourage readers to pick it up, the consuming nature of the story keeps a reader glued to the book from the opening pages. The sheer power of this romantic and adventurous story made this classic story to survive as perhaps the best of all times.
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Asia on March 12 2007
Format: Paperback
I put off reading this for years, though I'd taken on other books such as CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and some other Russian literature. Frankly, the size put me off, but once started, I couldn't put it down. I was amazed that any author could so hold my attention with a story. Yes, it rambles a bit in places, but this was written in a time when people savored books and really got into the things.

There are a number of sub-plots in this great classic, and of course a love story, but it's really about humanity and the observations that Tolstoy makes about the human race, both then and now---as they are really the same---for better or worse, are incredible. What's scary is that we've not changed all that much. The uselessness of war, the greed, the corruption, and even the hope---they're all there in this book, just as they are with us today.

WAR AND PEACE should be read not because it is a classic but because it is a great book.
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