At 994 pages long, this could just be one of the BIGGEST reading challenges I’ve ever taken on. Allow me to introduce ‘War and Peace’! Da da da!
Everything about this book draws me to it, the language, the setting, the characters, the fact that HARDLY ANYONE HAS READ IT! This is actually one of the main reasons I decided to read ‘War and Peace’, it’s intriguing because of the challenge it presents. It is also one of the most famous works of literature ever.
This novel is so amazing that I am dedicating a whole post to it! I’m going to cover different elements one by one. *carefully dissects War and Peace page by page* *takes forever* To kick off, let’s go with a brief overview:
Amidst a lavish party in St Petersburg attended by society’s finest, the prospect of war is on everyone’s lips. Soon the lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as Napoleon’s armies invade and brutal conflict tears their world’s apart.
In this beguiling masterpiece, Leo Tolstoy (the author) entwines love, death and determinism with war and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. Following the rise and fall of some of Russia’s most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever.
Although it’s an old work, this novel encompasses some really modern ideas. Lets now move on to characters:
The characters in this are so well-created. There are the three main protagonists as well as endless others, but we’ll focus on Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha today. Note: I haven’t finished the book yet, so I can’t say I know these characters that well, but I’ll do my best.
Pierre: The favourite, but illegitimate son of a rich old count, Pierre is a newcomer in this world of scandal and small talk (AKA Russian high society). After recently returning from an education abroad, he still learning what is expected of him here. He often says the wrong thing at the wrong moment, much to the shock and distress of other, more experienced, members of society. His strong, keen opinions are not always appreciated, especially as he is quick to praise Napoleon (whom the aristocrats feel threatens their way of life) and speak on behalf of the people.
His Father has commanded him to choose the path he wants to take in life and he is still unable to decide when his Father falls I’ll and does, but not before appealing for Pierre to be deemed legitimate and heir to his colossal fortune. Suddenly Pierre is a Count and one of the wealthiest men in Russia. It seems his future is laid out before him, his choice suddenly snatched away.
Prince Andrei: Intelligent, well-respected, learned, eloquent and able to discuss his opinions, the Prince is everything Pierre wants to be. Yet Prince Andrei doesn’t fit in with high society, so when the war begins he joins the army, relieved to find a sense of purpose at last. He is a courageous soldier, but not everyone is happy that he’s there. His wife is expecting a child and is angry at him for leaving her to go off and fight.
Natasha: Princess Natasha is thirteen when we meet her. She loves life and rejoices in everything, spreading cheer and laughter wherever she goes. She has parents who love her, a man who promises to marry her when she is sixteen, and is surrounded by people who adore her. Perhaps she hasn’t even contemplated her future….?
My personal favourite is Pierre, I love the way he is torn between the world he has experienced abroad and the world he has been born into. He is so inquisitive, so eager to ask questions that no one else wants to know the answers to.
Well, I’d better get back to reading! This may take me a while! *flips through pages enthusiastically*
What’s the biggest reading challenge you’ve ever taken on? Would you read War and Peace? Did you enjoy this post? How were my images?
Note: I would like to give a quick shout-out to my good blogging friend May! She has just started her debut blogging project The Scribblers Challenge and it would be amazing if you all went and joined in! Thanks in advance from both of us!