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War and Peace, Volume 1 | [Leo Tolstoy]

War and Peace, Volume 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

© and (P) Naxos Rights International

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (632 )
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4.5 (352 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark sloths 07-06-08
    Mark sloths 07-06-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A very good download"

    A long, long, audio book but very well read. I enjoyed this very - both the book and narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rochelle Dunedin, New Zealand 03-31-13
    Rochelle Dunedin, New Zealand 03-31-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much war, not enough peace"

    I've loved Anna Karenina both in print & as an Audible book, but I did not love this.

    The interesting parts of the book occur during the "peace" sections of the story. That is when relationships develop & change & when we get a sense of the characters we are dealing with in the story.

    The "war" parts of the story often seem to have been used to push Tolstoy's agenda. For whatever reason he clearly feels as though historians have the story wrong & he is using his book to justify his reasoning. I've not read the history he refers to & as this is a work of fiction it feels an imposition that Tolstoy spends so much time explaining why he is right & others wrong.

    I laboured through both parts, right to the end. Even the last chapter. I was disgusted that at the end of the story I was given a treatise on Freewill, Leadership & History. That was disappointing & whether or not I agreed with what was said I was put out that my novel & turned into a dull lecture.

    Neville Jason did a great job with narration but it doesn't help save a very, very boring story. A good edit, reducing the book by more than half would've saved this book for me.

    I stuck with it & I really feel let down. My perseverance did not pay off.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette STOW, MA, United States 01-30-13
    Annette STOW, MA, United States 01-30-13
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    "i have ordered two books and neither work"
    What would have made War and Peace, Volume 1 better?

    it to for


    What was most disappointing about Leo Tolstoy’s story?

    i was charged twice and no one has helped me very frustrating


    Any additional comments?

    customer service should get back to people

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Niskayuna, NY, USA 06-03-09
    Cynthia Niskayuna, NY, USA 06-03-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, disappointing reading"

    I love this book. I think it is one of the most beautiful books written (except when Tolstoy gets into meandering analysis of military and political events). I was very disappointed in the reading. Perhaps I want a reader to maintain his own voice rather than trying to imitate the voice of another gender (for the same reason I don't like Jim Dale's rendition of the Harry Potter books) because in doing to I can't help hearing the flaw. Without that imitation I could continue to suspend disbelief but the faulty voice jars me out of the immersion in the book and I lose interest in it due to a critical change. Just read the book without trying to play actor or actress. The inflections are fine but the imitation of the character is irritating.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Oceanside, CA, United States 09-29-10
    Jared Oceanside, CA, United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2010

    Oside Surfer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First 8 hours are torture"

    Began listening to Volume 1, but only made it through the first 8 hours. I wouldn't have given it that long had it not been touted as one of the greatest novels ever written. I found no evidence of this whatsoever in the first 8 hours. Characters remained undeveloped, conversations between them are uninteresting with a whining, sniveling and pretentious tone. Made all the worse by a narrator with the same tone. An engaging story line never made an appearance. If a novel is unable to engage the reader in some fashion within the first 8 hours, I would hardly call it a gem. This one unfortunately is going on my most over rated list along with Ulysses and The Catcher in the Rye.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-17-09
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-17-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As The World Turns . . . in 19th cent. Russia"

    I really wanted to like this book, but after slogging through it I just don't see what all the fuss is about. I suppose it's like Giotto---"no one had done it before so isn't it wonderful" and it is . . . but reading it in the 21st century after reading 20th-21st century novels, I just don't get much out of it. Yes, it's obviously well-written, but I just didn't care what happened after a while. Why bother?

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kayvan los angeles, CA, USA 01-12-10
    Kayvan los angeles, CA, USA 01-12-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "intolerable narrating very confusing story"

    The reader with his heavy British accent, fast reading, imitating character's voice in a very amateur way, is makes you to turn off your ipod. The story is drenching in overcomplexity, new characters purring in from all over in first 5 chapters and make it impossible to follow whose who or to leave room to breath and get attache to one. Trying really hard but just couldn't finish it.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
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