War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.
In addition it is, famously, one of the longest books in Western literature and therefore a remarkable challenge for any reader. Neville Jason read the abridged version of War and Peace and proved his marathon powers with his outstanding performance of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. These make him the ideal narrator to essay Tolstoy's epic.
War and Peace was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.
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"War and Peace presents us with a complete picture of human life; a complete picture of the Russia of those days; a complete historic picture of the struggle of nations; and a complete picture of the things in which men set their happiness and greatness, their sorrow and their shame." (A.V. Knowles, Tolstoy: The Critical Heritage)
"There remains the greatest of all novelists - for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?" (Virginia Woolf)
Maybe a condensed version with less emphasis on military actions.
This book just drags along for me...especially the chapters on the military and it's campaign against Buonaparte.
Don't know...it was the material versus the performance that didn't work for me.
....enjoyed characters and their interactions in historical Russian society.
Have enjoyed other books by Tolstoy -- particularly Anna Karenina. Thought I needed to listen to this classic, but instead of looking forward to my next listen, I was dreading it.
Having read it before, I was surprised that the reader used different tones for each character--though the cockney accents for poor people felt weird. It was actually easier to follow all of the names listening to it than reading it.
It captures the feel of Russia at the start of the 19th century.
I'd listen to this narrator any day--clear and capable of conveying a great deal by tone of voice.
Listen to a lot of audio books driving across the wide open spaces of Nevada during monthly 450 mile trips to and from Las Vegas.
There are other performances of this great story, but I don't think anyone could top Neville Jason as a reader. Absolutely terrific!
This is one of the greatest books ever written and Neville Jason does full justice to it as the narrator.
Just a small town boy, trying to make it in the big city.
So there's no question the content is fantastic! Tolstoy is extremely insightful, not just for major events but more importantly, for many of the little moments of life we all live through yet don't necessarily analyses. Wonderful stuff!
But the real thrill here is the narrator, Neville Jason - he's just great and adds so much to this classic. He brings it to life with his intonations. laughter and exclamations. And this takes away the intimidation factor that often plagues readers.
If you always wanted to read W&P but put it off for whatever reason - now's the time. This version will help you enjoy it.
I really like the narrator, he's very easy to listen to and has a very agreeable voice.
The performance of the narrator is perfect. I could not imagine War and Peace performed any other way.
He acts out each character but without drawing too much attention to his performance; it's just the right mix. Also, he understands the text well enough to convey subtle meaning through his tone.
Had I been able to sit for 30 (60 total for both volumes) I certainly would have.
On the whole this is a hurculean task that is done very well. My only quibble, which at times becomes difficult to deal with, is that the female voices are done in a way that makes them sound silly and brainless, almost a parody. There would have been ways of rendering those voices in a way that would have given them more depth and character. Aside from that the reader does well and is pleasant to listen to over the entire length of the book.
I highly recommend this audiobook because of the narrator. Although I prefer Peavar and Volokhonsky's translation of War and Peace, Neville Jason reads so brilliantly that his narration takes precedence over the translation. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy rich Russian literature at its best on audiobook.
Neville Jason brings life to the characters far better than I could have done reading on my own.
The book transports you to Aristocrat Russia, and it gives you a great history class on aristocracy, france, russia, Napoleon, etc...
Though the characters are somehow naive, and the story feels like a soap opera, it gives enough food for though..
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