The novel War and Peace, by author Leo Tolstoy, is a truly amazing book. It recounts the Napoleonic Battles and details the journeys of Prince Andrey, Pierre, Nikolay, Natasha, and many others. Tolstoy describes these battles with haunting images and fills the reader’s head with detailed pictures as
they read on. Though it is a long book, Tolstoy keeps the reader entranced with the storyline and wanting to keep turning the pages.
The first part of the book begins with introducing the major families of the story through an exuberant party at Anna Pavlovna’s home, a celebration at the Rostovs, and a description of the noble family of the Bolkonskys. When Count Bezuhov dies, his son Pierre is left wealthy and considered the most eligible bachelor in all of Petersburg.
In the third part of the novel, Pierre marries Ellen Kuragin, and Prince Andrey attends the war council of Austerlitz. Wanting to be considered a hero, he is instead wounded during battle after conveying his ideas on the war in the meeting.
Later comes the final stage of the battles with France, where Napoleon is seen as a glory-seeking idiot who cares nothing of his men except for the fact that they will help him to victory and fame. The French begin retreating more rapidly than before, making all Russian soldiers see hope starting to break through the clouds. Soon, Russia wins the war with France, many of the main characters still alive and ? for the most part ? well.
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy is known as one of the greatest authors of all time. Though he was born into a family of nobility, he lived most of his life as a gifted author and champion of the peasant class. Tolstoy first started writing novels as a career in the 1850s, his first literature a trilogy about his life. One of his most famous books is Sevastopol Sketches, which was praised for its amazing accuracy in the depiction of war.
Tolstoy traveled throughout Europe before returning to his home and devoting his time to writing his two most well known novels: War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He died at the age of 82 in 1910.
This book is considered by many to be a great work of art, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels. I would not recommend it to young teenagers, unless they very much like in-depth and higher level writing. Adults would enjoy the novel much more than most people my age because of the writing style used.
Some reasons that I would recommend the book are that there is such great description, the storyline is quite entrancing and interesting, and it’s almost guaranteed that the reader would be able to connect to at least one of the many characters.
Personally, I can relate to Natasha Rostov. She is a young girl who is the heroine of the story, and is caught between two lives. Natasha gained much maturity and seriousness by the end of the story, but her fun-loving old self stayed deep inside and definitely came out sometimes.
There are many reasons I like this book, and few reasons that I dislike it. I like that I can relate to some of the characters, and I think that I wouldn’t be the only one able to do this. As well as being able to relate to characters, I can see the scenes in my head playing out. Instead of reading words on dull pages, the pictures float out, making the whole book like a play. Another thing that’s great about this book is the storyline. Every page has something unexpected, something playing out differently than one might expect. In all, this book is quite enjoyable.
Some of the qualities of this novel that I don’t like are that it occasionally gets boring and confusing. Throughout the first quarter of the story, it’s hard to keep the characters straight; one has to reread lines and even whole pages to understand who is who, and what is what. I found myself doing that many times. In general, there are many parts in the book that are slow going, and not very exciting to read. Those are the times when the reader gets pulled out of the book and enters their own world again, and that’s not a very good trait of a story. Other than these few snags, the book is amazing, and very well thought out.
I would definitely recommend Tolstoy to readers of all ages. His choice of words is magnificent, as well as the description used, every paragraph paints an image in the reader’s mind, and he’s great in showing what all of the characters are like, no matter what perspective the writing is in.
Leo Tolstoy was a wondrous author who created magnificent works of literature, including War and Peace. An entrancing book, War and Peace is a work of art in the literature category, and I believe anyone who reads it will fall in love with Tolstoy’s writing at once.
Tolstoy, Leo N. War and Peace. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Albans. 1997