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War and Peace Audiobook

War and Peace

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1656 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.0 (1056 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (180)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (1080 )
5 star
 (481)
4 star
 (237)
3 star
 (148)
2 star
 (81)
1 star
 (133)
Performance
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  •  
    E. Simond 08-15-12
    E. Simond 08-15-12 Member Since 2014

    ellykat

    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    130
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't get past narration"

    I have started this book over so many times and the narrator is so boring I can't stand to even listen. For a book with so many characters, even from the beginning, I would have expected to find the narration done by someone who had a better command of portraying these characters. The female voices were just awful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 08-13-12
    Joseph 08-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's an amazing piece of work."
    What did you love best about War and Peace?

    I most loved the sense of being the in times. It is hard to imagine this period of history today and yet I know Tolstoy has nailed it. Most of us don't hobnob with the upper classes, to the extent there are any upper classes today, so the experience is unique.


    What did you like best about this story?

    His sense action is very clear. It is like being in the battles. Unfortunately, battles are confused and unclear snatches of perception to the participants, and since I don't know the history of these battles having never studied this theatre of the Napoleanic
    Wars, the battles are confused and unclear.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Prince Andre's death


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue Dragon Milwaukee, WI Usa 08-12-12
    Blue Dragon Milwaukee, WI Usa 08-12-12 Member Since 2007

    Dragon

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor Editing of Download"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    At the end of part 2 there is a repetition of chapters. There are only 19 chapters in part 2 not 23. Chapters 20-end are repetitions of earlier material.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Allen 05-12-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Russian Aristocracy and Change"
    Would you listen to War and Peace again? Why?

    I went into War and Peace relatively blind but knowing I should read this classic. I did not realize this was more about the aristocracy of Russia than decision making at the highest levels of government. While it certainly does have that, it often serves as background to see how it impacts the lives of the characters. Given the length of the work, I am unlikely to read the entire thing again, but bits and pieces will serve me in the future.


    What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

    His voice changes for the women were, at first, comical, but as I progressed, he seemed to really capture the airs of the aristocracy for both sexes. Now I would not be able to unhear his voice if I read a passage by any of the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zach 04-30-12
    zach 04-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bad narration"

    I couldn't stand the narrator on this one. I liked the story overall, but the performance left much to be desired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriela Chihuahua, Mexico 02-13-12
    Gabriela Chihuahua, Mexico 02-13-12 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I simply can't understand the narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I'm sure the story is good but I couldn't get past the first hour. I'm gonna have to either read it or buy a version narrated by someone else.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Mid-Missouri, USA 02-07-12
    Amazon Customer Mid-Missouri, USA 02-07-12 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just Couldn't Stick With This One"
    Would you try another book from Leo Tolstoy and/or Frederick Davidson?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    I just couldn't stick with it long enough to understand any of it. The language and accent were not understandable to me.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I hoped to be able to listen to it because I had seen the movie back when I was in 8th grade, and I think it's important to read classic literature, but I just couldn't listen to this. I did listen to approximately 4 hours of it, but still had not connected with it in any way so I gave up.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johan Molndal, Sweden 02-01-12
    Johan Molndal, Sweden 02-01-12 Member Since 2013

    Johan Andolf från mölndal i Sverige.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bra historia men dåligt genomförande"
    What did you like best about War and Peace? What did you like least?

    Jag gillar allt som har med Napoleon att göra och boken histora är bra.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Uppläsningen är riktigt dålig, teatralisk på ett dåligt sätt.


    Any additional comments?

    Denna bok har dåligt ljud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garth Seattle, WA, United States 10-11-11
    Garth Seattle, WA, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Horrible Narration"

    Frederick Davidson absolutely massacres the text. Do yourself a favor and listen to at least 2 minutes of the sample audio and ask yourself whether you can live with that voice for 60 hours. I surely could not. Davidson delivers the story in an annoyingly affected nasal tone apparently intended to convey a sense of "aristocracy" more than it conveys the actual content or meaning of the text. Indeed, the pace, tone and inflection of the narrative makes it difficult to even follow the story. I have been an Audible subscriber for years, and have listened to at least 150 audiobooks. This is literally the worst audiobook presentation I have ever heard. Davidson is on my absolute do-not-buy list.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyle HOUSTON, TEXAS, United States 05-02-11
    Lyle HOUSTON, TEXAS, United States 05-02-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Mixed Up"

    I noticed only one other person mentioned the download is OUT OF ORDER and some parts were repeated, also, several parts words were skipped, making the entire experience confusing. No one else dealt with this? Great book, just a shame I had to listen it to it like this and try and figure out the proper order. At first I did not like the narrator, however, eventually he grew on me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Judith
    Pinner, United Kingdom
    8/9/08
    Overall
    "I knew I'd never read it"

    As I'm nearly 70, I realised I'll never have time to read War and Peace. I'm now in the middle of listening to part 3, and enchanted. I didn't know it was full of irony and humour. the reading is perfect, for me, wonderfully camp. So I go on the bus with my Freedom pass, and when people ask me what music I have on my iPod I'm delighted to tell them that it's War and Peace!

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Aubrey Mark
    Glasgow, Strathclyde, United Kingdom
    6/18/09
    Overall
    "Poor Natasha"

    The narrator has a good voice but the characters are ruined in the most part by his rather annoying, if not incredibly grating, 'take' on the main players. Pierre sounds vacuous, Andre half dead and the women simpering and worst of all what has he done to Natasha! I do not know if I can take 50 hrs plus of this!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • C. WATT
    Aberdeen UK
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My nemesis"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    So many people know about War and Peace and yet so few have read it, largely put off by its length and complexity of characters so having the book read to you is a happy compromise. It is definitely a story worth knowing and not just for the kudos of being able to say you’ve read it! BUT, Tolstoy likes making sure his reader has understood the main points he is trying to get across, so he repeats them A LOT. That and the huge attention to detail made the book quite a plod at times, retaining my concentration and not 'tuning out' was really hard at times.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The end of the book is an epilogue in which Tolstoy talks (at great length) about the philosophy of written history and the futility of trying to distinguish between fact and fiction. It is without doubt the driest part of the novel as Tolstoy makes his thoughts clear very quickly (and to an extent has already expostulated on them throughout the main story), and then repeats and labours and repeats his point over and over again. We get it Leo, history is written by the victors, let it go man!!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator definitely did detract from the book. It took some time to get used to the narrator's implausibly upper-class accent and he sounded like a stereotypical 'thespian', but you've certainly got time to get used to it given the length of the book so after a while you can tune out the dodgy accents and stop laughing at his impression of the female characters and just concentrate on the text. Other readings of war and peace are available and the most notable version (and the most expensive) is by Naxos. I was very tempted to switch versions due to the narrator, but doing so would have been ridiculously expensive!


    Was War and Peace worth the listening time?

    60 hours is a lot of time for anyone, but if it makes the difference between reading the story and not, it's worth the investment. War and Peace deserves, at least in part, it's accolade of being the best novel ever written so for no more reason than being able to have an opinion on whether or not you think it is as great as it's famed to be, you should listen to it.
    I did learn a lot about the Napoleonic wars which I'd obviously slept through when we covered them in school so from a 'you should know this stuff' point of view, it's worth the listening time even if the genera isn't quite up your street.


    Any additional comments?

    The quality of the editing and the digital download is immensely disappointing. Many chapters have digital corruptions causing lots of 'jumps' between sections, sometimes it's obvious that only a word or two have been skipped, at other times it's possible that you've just jumped a large part of a chapter. Had I paid full price for this, I would definitely have been looking for my money back, but as this was my free introductory book from Audible, I could tolerate it. That said, as it was my first introduction to the quality of audible's offerings, I did question whether all books would have similar problems. So far, it appears that most of the other books I've now listened to aren't quite so bug ridden, but like I say, if you intend to pay for this, don't, use one of your credits and get it for just under £8, it's worth that but not more.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Trevor
    Goole, DN14 0UX, United Kingdom
    6/27/10
    Overall
    "An epic listen !"

    This is an epic to listen to - never mind read.

    It took me ages to get through this one - but I am so glad I did get to the end. It takes a while to get used to the narrator, but after book 3 or 4 you do get used to him, and not having read the book, rely on his portrayal of the characters. There are so many characters that come in and go out of the story (some never to return) that you do appreciate this and whether the accents match the characters at least the narrator is consistent in his portrayal which must be hard to do over a book this long.

    The chapters are in nice short listenable units (10-15 minutes), which suits me personally as I listen on the way to and from work, and I would say I only found 2 or 3 which were missing a bookmark which is quite remarkable given the amount of chapters contained in the 15 books.

    If you are going to listen, its worth it, but I would put aside plenty of time.

    I would certainly consider replaying it one day.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Danielle
    Broendby StrandDenmark
    12/4/07
    Overall
    "Might be a great book, but terrible Narrator"

    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the previous person's review, this might be a great book, but Frederick Davidson?s narration makes it unbearable to listen to. My recommendation to you is to buy another version.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Warrington, United Kingdom
    10/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Give it a Miss"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is one of my favourite books but I doubt that anyone could possibly enjoy this audio book because the choice of narrator made it impossible for me to get past the first chapter.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a classic story destroyed by the voice reading it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you haven't read this book please do, it's a classic but buy it in book form because the narrator completely spoiled it. Money down the drain!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Martine
    6/23/12
    Overall
    "Frederick Davidson Deserves A Higher Rating"

    This is the narration to listen to if you want to be entertained. This is interesting to listen to, lively and engaging. Neville Jason has a better rating but I dont think that I could have listened to him for 60 hours because he sounds so bored. Frederick is humerous not monotonous. This was definately the reading for me. Please dont just go for the highest rating.

    I am thoroughly enjoying this book and recommend to everyone that always wanted to but never had the time or the strorage space.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Doncaster, United Kingdom
    12/13/05
    Overall
    "An epic sweep of characters and history"

    Brilliantly read by Davidson who has a great sense of pace and character.
    1300+ pages made accessible.
    Described as 'the greatest novel ever written' - I'm not sure I agree with that view, but certainly a very great novel.

    35 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Creeda
    Dublin, Ireland
    7/31/11
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    I had read War and Peace about 40 years ago and my main memory is of lengthy ramblings by Bezukhov. Of course I have seen a number of films, the most recent being the Bondarchuk.
    However the narrator of this is wonderful - never sounding too preachy. Also his various accents are very good (as far as I can judge...) Having just listened to a Dostoyevsky whose narrator seems to speak no language except Yankee, this is most appreciated!.
    I h already have Frederick Davidson reading the Diary of a Nobody - this makes a perfect match. I look forward to listening to this again (I have listened to the Diary about 3 times)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    6/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent:"

    when I got to the end I started again at the beginning and heard it through a second time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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