A small survey among friends shows that many people consider War and Peace too big a challenge. It may well be the thickest (566000 words!) book you’ll ever read. It was written 150 years ago and it’s about a war even longer ago. And, as one of my friends puts it, Russian literature is dark and depressing. Why on earth would you put yourself through that?
In about 1500 pages Tolstoy describes life in all its diversity. His writing is so flawless and natural that you almost forget you’re reading. It’s as if you’re standing quietly in the corner of the room where Natasha gives her first kiss; as if you’re sitting on a small chair waiting for the child to be born in the next room; you can understand completely how young cadet Nicholas Rostov falls in love with the tsar.
The 580 real and fictional characters come to life. You’re getting to know their deepest feelings and desires. You’re becoming emotionally involved. With the female characters just as much as with the male. It’s a well known fact that Tolstoy’s wife Sophia helped him with that, but that doesn’t make it less brilliant. Tolstoy gives us everything that you can expect from a novel; intrigue, love stories, duelling, birth and death.
A good book is an excellent way to experience life from the comfort of your chair. Just like a good travel story is often better than the actual trip, this book of life is larger than real life. Later Tolstoy wrote that he had written War and Peace to amuse his readers. He was not giving himself enough credit; War and Peace is amusing, inspiring, surprising and amazing and much more.
What are you waiting for?! Buy, download or borrow these 1500 pages of pure entertainment. Discover for yourself what it is like to teach those arrogant French a lesson: “Oh, how I will slash at him!” thought Rostov, gripping the hilt of his sabre…