I found myself spacing off during most of Tolstoy's tangents and war segments. And after I'd realized I spaced off, I didn't bother rewinding because I knew it didn't matter.
I ended up only listening to the very few parts that involved REAL characters (ie Natasha, Pierre, Maria...). I HAD to finish it because I've never given up on a book. AND I was hoping the ending would be a reward. Well, it wasn't. It just ended in the middle of nowhere.
60 hours of my life gone. And I can't get them back!!!
Tolstoy's writing is wonderfully rich, ironic and born of a deep appreciation for human contradictions. Yet, the overly dramatic and fey voice of the narrator interferes with the listener appreciating the subtleties inherent in Tolstoy. It is very distracting.
Although the book is undoubtedly a masterpiece of literature, this interpretation of War and Peace ruined the pleasure of the story, and of listening to Audiobooks as a whole. The "Reader", Frederick Davidson, attempts -and fails- to bring the voices to life by imparting different accents, personalities and affectations to each character. This is so distracting that it is difficult to follow what's actually happening. If War and Peace had been written as a play, this perhaps would have worked, but it is not, and the gross overinterpretation by Mr. Davidson absolutely ruins the book. There are other readings of this book. Perhaps the narrators in those other versions are invisible to the reader/listener, as they should be.
I think Mr. Davidson wanted this work to be a "Davidson production", not the reading of a Tolstoy book. How unfortunate I chose to buy it...
Extremely boring and hard to get into
I could not get past the first hour.
Remove it from you list, I'm sure you get a lot of returns
I've tried to link this reading to the various translations available on Amazon with no luck. Any advise would be appreciated - I would like to read and listen at the same time.
This classic book is supposed to be fantastic, but I never managed to find out because the narrator is extremely annoying. He has a combination of monotonous and over exagerated theatrical voice. I guess I will have to read it myself instead..
It is so long that the story becomes insignificant. The narrator's impersonation of the different characters is quite unrealistic.
I can't take Frederick Davidson's narration. I've tried, and not just with this book. Initially his voice doesn't bother me, but his style becomes distracting, and I can not get into books that he narrates.
Everyone always compares anything long to W&P so although, I knew nothing more about it than it was long, I took it up as a challenge if nothing else. To make a long story short, I found it to be completely pointless and rather vapid: a shallow look at the elite society at a time in history when there was so much more of a story to tell. I kept hoping the characters would have some redeeming qualities by the end of this thing but no, they are just as oblivious at the end as they were at the beginning. There was a short period when I thought Pierre might make a turn around but, alas, even that was short lived. Even the narrator sounded snobbish and was very difficult to listen to. If you want to take on the challenge, I suggest at least putting in the second credit and getting the 2 part version. The voice sample of that narrator didn't sound nearly as repugnant.