War and Peace, Paperback
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


'If life could write, it would write like Tolstoy.' Isaac Babel Tolstoy's epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. The fortunes of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, of Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, are intimately connected with the national history that is played out in parallel with their lives. Balls and soirees alternate with councils of war and the machinations of statesmen and generals, scenes of violent battles with everyday human passions in a work whose extraordinary imaginative power has never been surpassed. The prodigious cast of characters, both great and small, seem to act and move as if connected by threads of destiny as the novel relentlessly questions ideas of free will, fate, and providence.

Yet Tolstoy's portrayal of marital relations and scenes of domesticity is as truthful and poignant as the grand themes that underlie them. In this revised and updated version of the definitive and highly acclaimed Maude translation, Tolstoy's genius and the power of his prose are made newly available to the contemporary reader. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe.

Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 1392 pages, 5 maps
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780199232765



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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Exceedingly dull with only a few interesting characters who will probably come to irritate you. Anna Karenina does the same thing, but better and in less pages.

Review by

Okay, I know it's heresy, but would this book have been hurt by some serious editing? When it was great, it was fantastic. But lots of it was a painful slog. I give it three and one half stars because I'd be embarrassed to give it less, but I certainly enjoyed his short stories more than either W & P or Anna Karenina. Lightning bolts haven't hit me yet.

Review by

Just finished it. Of course it deserves all the acclaim, five stars, etc. But I'm afraid all the fuss intimidates people to a book that is actually (once you get into it) quite easy reading. The style is so graceful, so simple and nice, that the words nearly disappear. And it's not stuffy as the title Literature makes it seem - it's terribly exciting and fun. There are, admittedly, a few "lags" in the narrative - I found scenes with Natasha sometimes inferior to that of the Pierre/Andrew/Nicholas narratives - but these easily melt away as you rush to the good bits. And they're still very nice. I wouldn't call anything in the novel slow, and for such a huge novel the prose never seems to have any filler. It's all relevant, interesting, and touching.As for what's really amazing about this book: it's deeply moving. I found myself crying in at least five different parts. And this is coming from someone who's only cried at the end of Watership Down. But it's not a cheap tugging at the heart strings. The pain feels real, and matters, and you care about the characters in way I'd never before experienced.Highly recommended to ANYONE. Do not be intimidated by all the talk of high art or the size of the book. The pages turn quickly.

Review by

Through war, courtship, and marriage Leo Tolstoy leads the reader to explore a more profound existences on earth. As the characters find dissatisfaction with an empty and shallow life I am also challenged to do the same.

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