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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Bucket List: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!

Synopsis: Tolstoy's epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. The fortunes of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, of Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, are intimately connected with the national history that is played out in parallel with their lives. Balls and soirees alternate with councils of war and the machinations of statesmen and generals, scenes of violent battles with everyday human passions in a work whose extraordinary imaginative power has never been surpassed. 

The prodigious cast of characters, seem to act and move as if connected by threads of destiny as the novel relentlessly questions ideas of free will, fate, and providence. Yet Tolstoy's portrayal of marital relations and scenes of domesticity is as truthful and poignant as the grand themes that underlie them. 

In this revised and updated version of the definitive and highly acclaimed Maude translation, Tolstoy's genius and the power of his prose are made newly available to the contemporary reader.

I actually started reading this book and got about half way through it but the end was spoiled for me and I walked away from it. Once I walk away from a book, it's really hard for me to get back into it. Especially such a massive book like this one. What drew me to this book originally was the fact that not many people want to read it because of its size. Also, someone very dear to me told me that it was one of his favorite books. Plus every good Russian has to read this. Anna Karenina too but I don't want to touch that one.

Once I started reading, I was drawn into the story. The romance, the battles, society of the book, all of it was very interesting. My favorite character is Andrei and it was because I learned of what happened to him that it was so upsetting that I didn't want to keep reading. Eventually I hope that I will find my way to wander my way back to it. 

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