Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as The Iliad.
War and Peace was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks
The narrating ruin the novel. Heavy British accent, poor articulation, horrible melody and very fast reading. At chapter 3 I developed a headache.
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.
Frederick Davidson is simply the worst reader. He can't seem to pronounce the simplest words (pay special attention to diplomatic, diplomatist and any word that has ego comes out like eggo). War and Peace is probably the greatest novel of all time but Davidson's vocal skills destroy the beauty of Tolstoy's brillant work. If only someone else read this book with the skill and beauty that the author deserves.
I loved this book when I read it but as narrated by Frederick Davidson I couldn't get past the first half hour. His English accent is so affected I couldn't listen to the story for his words.
Very lengthy and tedious. Too many characters difficult to keep up. Narration is great. Not at all a book for anyone younger then 65years.
I don't get it... why was this book considered great? I listened for about an hour and had to stop. The narration got on my nerves, and I disliked the story.
There are so many other great books to listen to... don't waste your time with this one.
I just can't get past the narrator on this one. His portrayal of the female voice leaves nearly every statement they make with a question mark at the end. I thought for sure I would be able to ignore that part of the reading, but it makes conversations in the book so confusing that it's difficult to follow the story. Add that to the lifeless, droning of the narrator's voice and the story is impossible to follow. I'm very interested in listening to this book and am saddened that I didn't choose another version.
The book is excellent. But I am somewhat disappointed in the reading of it. The reading is breathy. The pace is awkward, with halting pauses in strange places, such as between the end of a quotation and the following "said ___." For me, the book deserved a more powerful reader.
But that said, even with this reading it is still a great book to listen to. And definitely get the unabridged version, not one of the abridged versiona.
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