War and Peace

By Leo Tolstoy
Translated by Constance Garnett
Read by Frederick Davidson

61.08 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once a historical war epic, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Noted for its mastery of realistic detail and psychological analysis, it follows the metamorphosis of five aristocratic families against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Individual stories interweave as each of Tolstoy’s memorable characters seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by war in different ways. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process. Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers: “To be played upon by the animal keenness of this eye, the sheer power of this creative attack, the entirely clear and true greatness…of this epic, is to find one’s way home…to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”

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Summary

Summary

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once a historical war epic, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Noted for its mastery of realistic detail and psychological analysis, it follows the metamorphosis of five aristocratic families against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Individual stories interweave as each of Tolstoy’s memorable characters seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by war in different ways. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process.

Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers: “To be played upon by the animal keenness of this eye, the sheer power of this creative attack, the entirely clear and true greatness…of this epic, is to find one’s way home…to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“There remains the greatest of all novelists—for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?” Virginia Woolf
“If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy.” Isaak Babel, Russian author
“[A] complex plot, vivid characters, and profound insights into war and the nature of power.” Publishers Weekly
“There will not be a better recording of Tolstoy’s masterpiece for some time…the genius of this book is everlasting. The impressive dialog sparkles with humor and wit, and the vivid scenes of battle are riveting…Davidson’s exquisite narration heightens the perfection of this novel, regarded as one of the greatest in literature.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born about two hundred miles from Moscow. His mother died when he was two, his father when he was nine. His parents were of noble birth, and Tolstoy remained acutely aware of his aristocratic roots, even when he later embraced doctrines of equality and the brotherhood of man. After serving in the army in the Caucasus and Crimea, where he wrote his first stories, he traveled and studied educational theories. In 1862 he married Sophia Behrs and for the next fifteen years lived a tranquil, productive life, finishing War and Peace in 1869 and Anna Karenina in 1877. In 1879 he underwent a spiritual crisis; he sought to propagate his beliefs on faith, morality, and nonviolence, writing mostly parables, tracts, and morality plays. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of eighty-two.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 61.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English