The Book Review(spoiler-free):
Does anyone else agree that this cover would better befit The Phantom of the Opera? :D
The Story: War and Peace is the ridiculously long tale of people living during the Russian-Napoleonic wars and their social interactions. It's chock full of romances, dancing, and "The Red Badge of Courage"-esque war scenes.
My Opinion: This novel is so thick and complex it's difficult to gather all my thoughts into a readable review.
Basically, I was impressed by the layered exploration of human interactions Tolstoy accomplished here. The cast of characters was also fresh and well-developed.
What didn't impress me was...well, a few things:
1). The lack of drive.
For the first few hundreds of pages, the plot slouched, skipping from one conversation at such-and-such a social gathering to another. It tightened near the end, except the--
The epilogue was nearly entirely superfluous. I liked one Goodreads reviewer's idea of slicing it out with an Exacto knife and saving yourself the pain of carrying around that bulk of paper and ink. Up until then, Tolstoy had stayed away from any really ridiculous tangents (like Hugo's), but the last 40 pages of the epilogue could've practically been condensed into a single paragraph.
The Content Warning:
Some Marvel-level language. It was pretty mild, if frequent, except a half dozen uses of some nastier words. When you divide how many pages there were by the instances of serious language, it isn't that bad. But if I ever obtain a copy of this, I might take a Sharpie to a couple words. :)
Many of the conflicts hinged on mature content and there were some suggestive comments, especially among the soldiers.
Lastly, this is WAR and Peace, so you can expect some violence.
Apparently the Russian writer Mikhail Prishvin, upon finishing his twelfth War and Peace read, wrote in his diary that he finally understood his life.
I may not read it twelve times, but I can agree with Mr. Prishvin that this gargantuan mass called a book offers a powerful study of life, frivolity, love, death, war, and peace.
And who knows, maybe I will read it again someday. Until then I just look forward to returning to normal life and a healthy sleep schedule. :D
The Life Update
Now that I have finished War and Peace, I'm ending the hiatus I announced in this post, which means that you should start getting my comments back in your comment boxes. :)
While I was "gone", I added a poll on the sidebar that you may answer if you are so inclined.
And thank you all again for your comments on my Blogoversary post. It is now my most commented-on post:)
Well, that's all I have for now. Until next time! :D