Wow, why hello! A shout out to my readers from Russia! Currently they are the biggest country aside from America who read this Blog, so I thought I would read a book written by a Russian author, and what better known author/book than War & Peace...well, I sure had absolutely NO CLUE as to what I was taking on. The book itself I must say was rather well amazing and amazingly confusing. I do not know if this was because of the translation from the original Russian language into English? Or, it could have been the fact a lot of the earlier parts of the books have long paragraphs entirely in French and then are later on translated into English. Also, it could have been there are some 580 characters in this book (I looked that one up due to I kept confusing family names and titles in the beginning chapters) I even asked a few people I know from Russia about the French language and its popularity in the past during the time period this book was placed. Turns out the French language was still popular even fifteen years ago. But that irrelevant I just wanted to know why these very prestigious Russian families were speaking French all the time!
The book War and Peace I never knew anything about other than it took place in Russia, was written by a Russian, and is extremely long and known to be one the greatest books ever written. Well, it was very well written, and the Story is so detailed! I actually did not enjoy a lot of the main characters I found them snobbish, detached, and very deluded with themselves and their surroundings, but if you were to look at their ways of life one can begin to understand. The book is told from many perspectives including the authors and even the well known Napoleon Bonaparte . I was impressed with how the author created in each voice such distinction you would know who was talking just by their thoughts and actions. The story takes place over a decade and then jumps into the future towards the end. Much is said in this book and a lot of history is incorporated into the story and is actually very historically accurate from what I looked up and remembered from prior knowledge. There are so many plotlines it would be impossible to pick one, but the author does take his Giant cast and funnel it to almost a drip towards the end. Alas there are some characters you will never know what happens to them and some of them are so interesting I wish I knew! The way wars were fought in this book and how the soldiers were treated compared to that of their leaders is just disgusting and unbelievable especially when said troops leave the battle field and go into towns and cities and wreak havoc themselves. The lack or strategy and the strategies were just mind boggling. Then there is the child like manners in the young and old, and how society all over Russia is dealing or not dealing with the Wars. Over all though, I really enjoyed getting a look at the behind the scenes of these historical figures and the families that made up this society and even their serfs. There are some very deep theories on humanity and the universe that this author tackles and even a few I had to read and re-read to understand I’m sure I missed some messages, but again very heavy reading. It was also refreshing though this book was dark it was not crude or overtly crude, but that may be for the era it was originally written in, either way though there is a darkness and a very disturbing side to this book I did not find myself having to stop or cry it was as if I were a historian and this was just me studying and learning rather than emotionally attaching myself to the story I was able to analyze and observe. The last few chapters of this book made me wonder if the author only wrote it to prove his point as if this was his Theses he was proving all along but did not reveal it so until the very end. Overall War & Peace was a heavy very heavy read I enjoyed the story for the most part, but really wish I could take a peek into Leo Tolstoy's head and find out what he would say happened so some of these characters, or what was he really trying to get at with those last few chapters based on Freedom and Laws and nature... perhaps one of you know?
So for those of you who haven't read this book and would like a bit of culture, history, very little peace and a whole lot of War perhaps this is the book for you.