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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

4.4 (800 )
5 star
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4.6 (505 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Beth Rockwall, TX, United States 02-25-14
    Beth Rockwall, TX, United States 02-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    Performance
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    "Just too long and drawn out."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Maybe a condensed version with less emphasis on military actions.


    What could Leo Tolstoy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This book just drags along for me...especially the chapters on the military and it's campaign against Buonaparte.


    What aspect of Neville Jason’s performance would you have changed?

    Don't know...it was the material versus the performance that didn't work for me.


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

    ....enjoyed characters and their interactions in historical Russian society.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim United States 02-23-14
    Jim United States 02-23-14
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    8
    2
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    "Well read"
    What did you love best about War and Peace, Volume 1?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It captures the feel of Russia at the start of the 19th century.


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd listen to this narrator any day--clear and capable of conveying a great deal by tone of voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 07-19-13
    William 07-19-13

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb performance!"

    There are other performances of this great story, but I don't think anyone could top Neville Jason as a reader. Absolutely terrific!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Sydney, Australia 03-06-13
    Peter Sydney, Australia 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    7
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    "An exceptional book with an exceptional narrator"

    This is one of the greatest books ever written and Neville Jason does full justice to it as the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas LaGrange, IL, United States 03-04-13
    Thomas LaGrange, IL, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2012

    Just a small town boy, trying to make it in the big city.

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    "It's friggin' "War and Peace" people . . ."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    Fantastico!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 03-04-13
    Alex 03-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing book and narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to War and Peace, Volume 1 the most enjoyable?

    I really like the narrator, he's very easy to listen to and has a very agreeable voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Harlow Fort Collins 01-30-13
    Dan Harlow Fort Collins 01-30-13 Member Since 2015
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    "The entire human experience"
    What made the experience of listening to War and Peace, Volume 1 the most enjoyable?

    The performance of the narrator is perfect. I could not imagine War and Peace performed any other way.


    What does Neville Jason bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Had I been able to sit for 30 (60 total for both volumes) I certainly would have.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John McLean, VA, United States 12-21-12
    John McLean, VA, United States 12-21-12
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    "Mostly very good"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Edina, MN, United States 12-03-12
    Mary Edina, MN, United States 12-03-12 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "A Winner"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What does Neville Jason bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Neville Jason brings life to the characters far better than I could have done reading on my own.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme Sao Paulo, Brazil 11-15-12
    Guilherme Sao Paulo, Brazil 11-15-12 Member Since 2014

    Audible obsessed

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    "Intelligent, Inspiring. A real history class!"

    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..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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