View Full Version : War & Peace - The Journey Begins...

Rexel Matador
06-16-2008, 04:34 AM
Hello everyone. I'm about to embark on reading War and Peace for the first time and was wondering if anyone would like to join me!

I've read some reviews and opinions of it and a lot of people seem to agree that it's hard work but ultimately worth it. I got a great sense of achievement on finishing Crime & Punishment and found the whole experience incredibly rewarding, so this seems like the next logical step!!

A suggestion that I read somewhere was to join a group or forum of other people reading it and discuss it as you go along. I think this sounds like a good idea and might make it easier and more enjoyable to get through the whole thing without giving up - a sort of War and Peace support group as it were. I realise I'm not making it sound very appealing, but hopefully I'll find a few people who will relish such a challenge!!

I'm not quite sure how it'll work but perhaps we could set targets of a certain number of chapters at a time and share our thoughts as it unfolds.

I'll be reading the penguin classics edition translated by Rosemary Edmonds. I'm not going to buy another translation but I don't suppose it's entirely necessary we all read the same one. Any takers?...

johann cruyff
06-16-2008, 07:46 AM
I'd be glad to join you on your journey had I not already read the book,and I'm not doing that again any time soon:D - but you're right,it is an accomplishment,and a book well worth reading. Might I suggest you try The Brothers Karamazov later,if you like Dostoevsky this book will blow you away.

06-18-2008, 05:50 AM
What a coincidence! I just embarked on the same journey myself. I've been promising for months to read all the books people recommend to me by saying "It's on my list of books to read, right after War and Peace". Now I'm going to have to live up to those promises!

I'm up to the beginning of Book Two. So far, I'm really enjoying it! I'm afraid I will be a little bit ahead in the book, but I'd love to join you in discussing it and will be sure not to put in any spoilers.

07-09-2008, 07:34 AM
Hi everyone,

I may be way too late for this bandwagon, but I've gathered a group of about 10 of my friends who are currently reading War and Peace in one year, at the rate of about a chapter a day. (The idea is that to read it slowly doesn't take that much effort, makes it less daunting, and you can take in more of the details.) Also, you can share comments about each chapter.

You may all be way ahead of me, in which case I won't bother you, but if you were interested, our group started on 1 July (kind of a new financial year resolution) and we're working through Book 1. (Which chapter we're up to depends on your translation.)

Anyway, I'll post more details if anyone's interested. But best of luck with the reading task anyway. You'll never regret reading War and Peace.

07-22-2008, 05:41 PM
I'm into book 11, roughly around the 975 page mark having started War and Peace in late June. I'm reading the B&N Constance Garnett translation as hard-copy with the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation audio book loaded onto my ipod as a companion. Knocking off 5 or so more chapters every night when I lay down to sleep has been simply dreamy.

I have to say that for me at least, I have found that War and Peace is not nearly as daunting as it has been made out to be, particularly if one looks at it as a series of easily digestible books rather than one solid epic. I suppose one does have to actually enjoy the varied storyline as well as Tolstoy's wit and philosophical observations for a thorough reading to even be possible. If you find yourself loathing this book after getting a few hundred pages in, lay it aside. Works of fiction, even classic ones, won't appeal to all readers.

07-24-2008, 10:50 AM
I just started reading War and Peace a few weeks ago. I have the Modern Library edition translated by Constance Garnett. I'm on page 215 and so far I'm really enjoying it. I try to read around 20 pages every morning, some days more some days less, but ultimately I want to read about 400 pages per month.

08-01-2008, 10:16 PM
I'm in! I started reading W&P roughly 2 weeks ago and am on Vol. 2 pt. 3 (about 450 pages in). I have the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation.

I have to say that for me at least, I have found that War and Peace is not nearly as daunting as it has been made out to be, particularly if one looks at it as a series of easily digestible books rather than one solid epic. I have to completely concur. I remember thinking recently after I spent the better part of a day reading the book that "the only thing that's intimidating about it is its size and reputation (which is even larger than its page length)". It's not the language, which Tolstoy is perhaps the most lucid writer I've ever read, and it's not the story, as its consistently interesting and, dare I say, even quite entertaining? Tolstoy's characterizations and development are second to none, and the constant narrative focus shifting actually helps keep it from becoming boring.

I'm loving it right now, and I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on it overall or to the point you're at.

08-07-2008, 02:32 PM
Barnes & Noble's 'epic book club' have also begun W & P . . .


I've listened to Book I on my MP 3 player about 5 times - I listen while I'm gardening.

And I'm following the text (Maude translation) online.

I've sent a half dozen books back to the library, as I know I won't really have the time for reading and discussion . . . the only one I'm saving is 'The Great Indian Novel' - that's being discussed at 'Book Talk'.

I only recently found Lit Network discussion forums and like being here, so I'll be here to put my two cents worth in here.