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War and Peace | [Leo Tolstoy]

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 (1384 )
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3.7 (824 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Regan Washington, DC, United States 10-20-08
    Regan Washington, DC, United States 10-20-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible narration"

    I gave up on this and got the two-volume Neville Jason version instead --what a difference! If I hadn't been reading this for a book group, I probably wouldn't have made the effort to try a different version, but it's well worth it. This one is so bad, I'm surprised that Audible even carries it. Run away.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Plainwell, MI, United States 08-20-10
    Lisa Plainwell, MI, United States 08-20-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "How can this be a better narrated version?"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mainstreet 04-26-08
    Mainstreet 04-26-08 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    "War and Peace"

    Of course it's a great book. And the reader is very clear and he brings some drama to the reading. But his intonation drives me crazy. He lifts his tone at the end of each phrase and sentence so that he gives an air of superciliousness. And even though this habit is not monotonous in itself, it is so idiosyncratic in - dare I say - an annoying way that I can't help but register it every time he does it, which is all the time.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 07-18-07
    Joy Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 07-18-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    97
    6
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    "Boring"

    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!!!

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-30-08
    04-30-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    104
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    "Over Embellished"

    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.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael van Waes Blair, NE, US 04-12-08
    Michael van Waes Blair, NE, US 04-12-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "With apologies to Tolstoy"

    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...

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Platypus 08-07-13
    Platypus 08-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Keep Clear"
    What would have made War and Peace better?

    Had I been able to download it to my Garmin GPS - it was too big a file so could not listen to the book at all.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james Apalachicola, FL, United States 12-24-12
    james Apalachicola, FL, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "Do not enter"
    What disappointed you about War and Peace?

    Extremely boring and hard to get into


    Has War and Peace turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


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

    I could not get past the first hour.


    Any additional comments?

    Remove it from you list, I'm sure you get a lot of returns

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Gesmer Dover, MA USA 06-23-12
    Lee Gesmer Dover, MA USA 06-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    6
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    "Cannot find this translation in book form"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johannes Oslo, Norway 01-19-11
    Johannes Oslo, Norway 01-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    2
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    "Terrible narrator"

    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..

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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