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War and Peace Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1981

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Jan 1 1981
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The Great Writing Series The Great Writing Series

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1456 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (Jan. 1 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451523261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451523266
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 5.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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.

About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh how I love this book! "Why do I love it so?" I've been asking myself. I think I know. The central character, the young Pierre Bezukhov, says: "In order to be happy, one must believe in happiness" -- and this is exactly what the book does: it makes one believe in happiness. The ending is joyful and
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"War and Peace" is one of those mammoth behemoths of a novel that everyone aspires to read and few manage to finish. This is a shame, because its reputation as the Ultimate Big Massive Tome has, unfortunately, obscured the fact that it tells a very gripping story and is infinitely rewarding and re-readable.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish there were more stars to rate this book- it is absolutely brilliant. After finishing this, Tolstoy instantly became my second favorite writer (Victor Hugo being the top, and in my view, unreachable). Depsite its immense length, this book reads rather quickly and every bit is interesting and directly related to the plot. Tolstoy's parallel structure of the Napoleonic war and the interactions of five socially elite families creates a true masterpiece. The characters are fantastic, namely Prince Bolkonsky and Pierre Bezukhov, who struggle their way into Tolstoy greatness. I cannot say enough good things about this book- highly recommended for anyone who enjoys LIFE. A side note: buying Cliffs Notes and reading them along with the novel is a definite help, especially for keeping characters straight. This is one to read over and over, to study thoroughly, and then read through again. I have discovered new enchantments with each reading. Everybody knows this nov! el by its name and immediately associates the title with length, but it is a work of genius. Definitely ought be required reading for everyone on the planet.
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