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'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.
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..
It is so long that the story becomes insignificant. The narrator's impersonation of the different characters is quite unrealistic.
I can't take Frederick Davidson's narration. I've tried, and not just with this book. Initially his voice doesn't bother me, but his style becomes distracting, and I can not get into books that he narrates.
Everyone always compares anything long to W&P so although, I knew nothing more about it than it was long, I took it up as a challenge if nothing else. To make a long story short, I found it to be completely pointless and rather vapid: a shallow look at the elite society at a time in history when there was so much more of a story to tell. I kept hoping the characters would have some redeeming qualities by the end of this thing but no, they are just as oblivious at the end as they were at the beginning. There was a short period when I thought Pierre might make a turn around but, alas, even that was short lived. Even the narrator sounded snobbish and was very difficult to listen to. If you want to take on the challenge, I suggest at least putting in the second credit and getting the 2 part version. The voice sample of that narrator didn't sound nearly as repugnant.
This is my third attempt to go through this book. I gave up the book version, than tried to listen to it on Free Audiobooks, but the ever changing narrators made it even more impossible to keep track of who was what. So here narration is much better, but it is convoluted with too many persons to keep track of and too many side stories. For a historical perspective, interesting but too long and repetitive. As a family saga (albeit family here encompasses the court and many others), it is again too long and makes it boring.
I wanted to try this classic about but found the readers voice to be so grating that I could not manage more than 1 hour. I would not recommend listening to this book unless you try a sample first.
The narrating ruin the novel. Heavy British accent, poor articulation, horrible melody and very fast reading. At chapter 3 I developed a headache.
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.
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