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
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.
The chapters in the download are mixed up. Part 1 seemed to have a mix up at the very end. Part 2 had the last three chapters mixed up. Did not get beyond part 2 as I was lost in the process. Up to that point the book, although tough to follow, was good and the narrator did a good job.
The all-time best novel ever written. OK, you can argue that. I haven't read them all. The best novel I've ever read. For me Frederick Davidson was an acquired taste, but after being subjected to readers who mumble the ends of sentences, vary their voice volumes, read too fast, whistle the s's or over pronounce the t's and d's at the ends of words, give the same voice to all the characters, get into a fast discernable rhythm, or give women characters unendurably high pitched voices, I treasure every story he's read.
This is the only way to go to "read" this novel. It's amazingly intricate and a little tough to learn the characters but soon the listener becomes comfortable with who and what each character is about. I admit to being somewhat bored by the author's sermonizing in between the story parts but otherwise enjoyed this long tale.
The book, of course, is excellent. And the narrator's voice is perfect. The files, however, contained many flaws - hisses, squeaks, and so forth.
I was astounded to read some of the negative comments. In my opinion, this novel is very far from being sleep inducing or boring. Having said that, I once knew a grown man who was fanatically devoted to the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" television show. I don't think he would have had the intellectual fortitude to enjoy this novel. But happily, the vast majority of us can appreciate the brilliance and artistry exhibited by Tolstoy in War and Peace.
I also thought Frederick Davidson's narration was wonderful. However, this is a matter of personal taste and with the "sample" option anyone can get a good idea if this is the version for you or not.
I wish I had taken the time to read (or listen to) this novel years ago. I'm now a true fan of Tolstoy.
I couldn't get past the first download file, the Narrator was terrible. I could not tell if the story line was good or not becuase I couldn't get past the readers poor posh accents and dragging out of words. I have listened to a lot of audio books and different narators and this guy is definitely the worst I have ever listened to. It is a months subsciption credit that I will never get back!!
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.
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.
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.
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