NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

WAR & PEACE by Leo Tolstoy

Too bad I didn't enter the Chunkster Challenge. . .

I read War & Peace for absolutely the most ignoble of reasons: Just to be able to say I did. Like any of my friends were actually going to be impressed. For most of them, my quest only proved my literary insanity. They are entitled to their opinion. I think they're jealous. Not. :-)

Seriously though, I expected a slow, difficult experience. Imagine my surprise, nearly glee, when I discovered I genuinely liked the book and cared for many of the characters. I felt Andrei's dissapointment when he realized many of his superiors in charge of the army had no clue what was happening in reality. I cheered for Pierre in his quest to find meaning in his privileged existence. I admired Marya's stoicism. The philosophic passages more than once stopped me in my tracks to reread their insights.

Yes, it's really long (1350+ pages). No, I will not run around recommending it to everyone I meet. But I will say this: In my humble opinion, for the person who approaches this classic with respect and an open mind, there is a gold mine of observations about people, life, death, dreams, remorse, success, failure, and, yes, war and peace that is unrivaled in modern literature.


PS I do admit to trouble with the Epilogue, Part II. That is the longest 50 pages I ever read. . . :-)


Elen said...

I know this was posted many months ago, but I just had to comment! I read W&P this year too, and had much the same experience. Wanted to read it to say I've read it, and found myself really enjoying it.

Part 2 of the epilogue was wretched, though.

Lezlie said...

Hi, Elen! Comments are welcome no matter how old the post is! :-) It's funny how many I've read for that reason and ended up really liking it. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Tale of Two Cities, Huckleberry Finn. . . I ended up *loving* those!