The characters are well developed, passionate, and interesting. I could have listened for another 60 hours to the tale of Natalie, Pierre, Andre, and the others. The historical account of the period, war, social structure, and especially the Free Masons is fascinating. Tolstoy's rantings regarding the inadequacies of historians to capture the true causes of historic events could have been presented once and would have been interesting. As it was, Tolstoy ranted on and on about the same points throughout the book. I actually did not finish listening to the last two cd's (a first for me) as they did not add anything to the tale I so enjoyed and instead were comprised completely of rantings on the failings of historians to accurately depict Napolean's true nature. In spite of the repititious rantings, I think it is a very worthwhile read, and a must read for any person interested in historically accurate, period accounts.
To a young adult raised in a family of under-acheivers-of-wealth (UAW's)this book affirms the goals, techiniques, and saving strategies my husband and I have begun implementing in our life together. It is such a relief to hear statistical support for the benefits of saving, investing, and living below one's means. In a nation of UAW's, it is not often one comes across positive feedback for living frugally. I have watched friends, family members, and co-workers squander the income they earn, rack up high debt, and plan for the spenditure of income increases in the future. I will listen to this book again and again.
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