- Author Leo Tolstoy
Everyone knows that War and Peace is the prime example of a long book. It’s top in most minds when you talk about an epic novel. I knew it was long, but even so, I still wasn’t prepared for the two months it took me to get through it. That’s nothing compared to some other people’s experiences I have heard, but considering how I was getting through the books beforehand, two months was a surprise.
I used to always attempt to finish any book I started, but since Kindle reading, I’ve given myself an out at 25% if I’m not liking it. With War and Peace, once you’ve read 25%, that’s almost an entire book in itself - but regardless, when I got there, I kept reading and I got to the end.
It’s a very bizarre, sprawling, mess of a book, sometimes engaging, sometimes completely baffling. At times you’re reading about the very minute detail of someone’s daily routine, and the next chapter you’re into high concept theory of the machinations of war. Every now and then, the author drops in his opinions on history writers as well, just to keep things ticking over.
Over the past two months, many people have asked me how it is, and I’ve mostly replied: “It’s okay. I like the peace stuff, not so much the war.” And that pretty much sums up my feeling towards it. There were far too many characters to keep track of, so that the only way to know which was which was when they did something notable in their home life that then had to be repeated to you each time they were mentioned. A couple began to stand out towards the end, but there were still some that I felt I was meant to know but couldn’t quite place.
The tales of war were okay, but the philosophy and theory sections were not to my taste. Overall, I’d say I was fifty-fifty on the whole thing, but considering what an investment the book is, the fact that I read it all says plenty. I was quite glad to see the end though, I must admit.