SynopsisConsidered by many to be the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy's masterpiece is a story of family life set against the backdrop of war. The novel begins in 1805 in the crowded and gossip-filled rooms of a St Petersburg party and follows the fortunes of the aristocratic Bolkonsky and Rostov families as Napoleon's armies sweep through Europe, culminating in the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and Napoleon's defeat. Tolstoy's vast novel takes in both the epic sweep of national events and the private experience of individuals, from the keen young soldier to Napoleon himself, and at the heart of it all the complicated triangle of affection that binds his central characters.
It's time to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy...
Birth, death, violence, love, sex...
When she wasn’t looking at him she could sense him looking at her shoulders … she was shocked to realize that the usual barrier of modesty was no longer there between the two of them … she bristled at the thought that he might seize her from behind and start kissing her on the neck … she glanced round at him, thrilled and flushed with pleasure. He gazed at her with gleaming eyes and a tender smile …
It’s early nineteenth-century Russia and Natasha Rostov is engaged to a handsome aristocrat, but as he has delayed the wedding and fled Russia for several months, can she resist the flattering attentions of a notorious seducer?
Natasha’s brother is also in a predicament having been cruelly fleeced by an expert gambler. Can he survive this crisis and piece his life back together again?
One impression tormented him – those broad, reddish-coloured hands with the hairs curling out from the shirt-cuffs, those hands that held him in their power … Why is he doing this to me? …The total reached forty-three thousand … That’s it, I’m finished … a bullet through my head … it’s the only way out …
While these emotional situations are unfolding, young men are suffering in the theatre of war . . .
Get down! The smoking shell was spinning like a top … Is this death then? ... I don’t want to die … I love life … I love this grass, the earth, the air … They carried him to the dressing station … A doctor in a bloodstained apron came out of the tent, holding a cigar … he wanted a break … They showed a wounded man his amputated leg, still wearing its boot and covered with coagulated blood … My God! … What’s he doing here? …
As are women in the throes of childbirth …
Her eyes shone like a child’s, full of fear and anxiety … I love all of you … I’ve never done anybody any harm … Why should I suffer like this? … Help me … The most fearful scream – it couldn’t be hers, she couldn’t have screamed like that - came from inside the room … I loved all of you, and look what you have done to me was the message on her dead face … something small and red lay mewling and snuffling in the trembling white hands …
Sounds like a popular soap opera? So it should, because these are the fundamentals of human experience and some of the world’s best stories from ancient times to the present day.
Set against the backdrop of a vast country under dire threat and containing fourteen hundred pages, five hundred characters, and a serious attempt to resolve the questions of how best to live life, this is the basis of the world’s finest novel, War and Peace.
It is first and foremost a cornucopia of compelling narrative entertainment on a grand scale, but on a more personal level there are a series of moving stories brimming with intimate detail and with shocking relevance to our own lives and times.
Now available is a new translation of this great classic, the first for half a century, and the first by a man for more than a hundred years. The idiom has been sensitively updated, so as not to betray the original through the vulgarity of sweeping modernisation, but instead to alter the tone gently from the delicate, upper-class English of earlier versions to the kind of vigorous, ordinary speech, which directly reflects Tolstoy’s demotic Russian.
Always been meaning to get round to reading War and Peace?
Now is the time.
There is no excuse not to.
|Book:||War and Peace (Read Red)|
|Publisher:||Pocket Penguin Classics|
|Number of Pages:||1408|
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