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)
Neville Jason's reading makes this classic come to life. His impersonation characters ike the old Prince Bolkonski is particularly memorable. I highly recommend this version.
I love War and Peace, having read it three times and each time it gets better. The reader doors a fine job, but how could anyone do ask of the characters justice? a little allowance and imagination are required, but given that, wonderful!
Tolstoy knows the human condition and heart!
When Anatole Kuragin nearly abducted Natasha...OMG!!
There are so many...truly. The accounts of the battles are so real you feel as though you are there.
Only so sorry I waited so long to read this epic classic. It's truly life changing.
I have tried and tried to get through this book, but it just does not hold me. There are too many Russian names and characters. I mostly wanted to read it because I wanted to learn more about Napoleon, but unfortunately this book did not accomplish that.
This was well done with character and plot delineated. Easy to listen to and enjoy. The reader was engaging while not overly treacle.
This was a really enjoyable read, much more so than I was expecting given its reputation for extraordinary length. You really get a picture for the human nature of the combatants in the military engagements, where they often find themselves wondering why they are fighting, and for whom, and whether the guy in the other uniform is really an enemy. You also get a sense for the civilian perspective on the wars, at least from the point of view of the aristocracy.
Neville Jason's narration is excellent, with a clear and precise diction that mostly carries a posh British accent, though he does the French language portions very well also. I did find his rendition of Denisov's W/R substitution quite comical. He sounded a bit like an aristocratic version of Elmer Fudd.
The reader infuses this remarkable chronicle with life. His characterizations are illuminating and speak volumes about all the players in this epic-- from Bonaparte to troika driver.
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