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War and Peace, Volume 2 Audiobook

War and Peace, Volume 2

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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

4.6 (1029 )
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4.7 (783 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mike 03-06-17
    Mike 03-06-17 Member Since 2014

    I am a retired business man who wanted to be a History teacher.at the age of 81 Im catching up on my favourite historical characters & event

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    "A long and winding road"

    It's great to finish the second volume but it was tough going at times.The ridiculous imbalance between the haves and the have nots explains how Communism came about it it should be a lesson to all dictators in the World that their time is not endless.A great performance by narrator Neville Jason

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ed Edmond, OK, United States 02-16-17
    Ed Edmond, OK, United States 02-16-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Beautiful story, but the performance is a gem."

    A truly classic novel. You SHOULD read it, not just because its in the canon, because it's beautiful. The performance was a tour de force.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 02-11-17
    Patrick 02-11-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Wow. Just wow."

    Still taking it all in well after the fact, just like all great experiences in life.

    Skipped the epilogues due to many recommendations and after 15 minutes of listening I can see why. But who cares? The first 55 hours are transformative not just for the characters, but the reader as well. Read. This. Book. Its worth it. Tolstoy does most of the heavy lifting anyways.

    Neville Jason is an absolute master as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DFK 01-30-17
    DFK 01-30-17

    DFK

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    "Excellent book, but could be trimmed down"

    The book is excellent, really, but I give only my very very favorites 5 stars. War and Peace has very well-developed characters, but it is a super-long book. Since the narration was superb (really tops), I didn't really mind, but if I were reading it from a book, I might find that certain passages would be too drawn out. So what could he have trimmed down? We get to see too much of the "life of the Russian nobility", which Tolstoy depicts in other books, as well. You know it well, I bet: the balls, the seeming endless leisure, hunting, drinking, gambling, social clubs, the ones who overspend, in spite of how much money they have, the connections they have to get positions. No wonder they had a revolution. (But, we won't see that here.) Tolstoy uses all of this to introduce us to the characters, but it could have been done a bit more compactly. The same is true for some of the war scenes. But what really should be taken out, and have been published as separate essays, are portions that are truly very fine discussions of history, how history is presented, how people become powerful, was Napoleon a hero or a tyrant, what makes a man great, do great men shape history or do other factors shape history - all very articulate, very intelligent, with lovely metaphors, but this is fiction, after all. Why discuss why Napoleon is admired by so many in spite of the evil he perpetrated in a book of fiction? If it's fiction, he can depict Napoleon however he likes. He could have a brief introduction stating: this is a work of fiction, though some of the characters are actual historical characters. Nevertheless, we take liberty in their fictional representation. I did find Tolstoy's ideas on all these subjects quite interesting, but they do not add to the story "War and Peace", and they belong elsewhere. Interestingly, Dostoyevsky raises the same question about Napoleon as what is perhaps the main theme of Crime and Punishment - Raskolnikov posits that if a man like Napoleon is perceived as great, then he can get away with murder. Well, that's putting it too simply in just a few words, but one could compare Tolstoy's discussion of Napoleon and his tyranny with the whole premise of Raskolnikov's act and thinking in Crime and Punishment.
    There is no doubt that War and Peace is a book to make you think, to consider events in history, to consider what the French thought (and think) about Napoleon (I couldn't help but think of the Paris train station called Austerlitz, for example), to consider other leaders who made some improvements in their countries but were tyrants. Indeed, this book is certainly worth your time. One of my favorite passages is very brief, when Pierre is visiting with Natasha after he returns from the war and he hears her tell of Andrei's death. I referred someone to this passage to demonstrate what I consider a beautiful depiction of apathy:
    "Pierre listened to her with lips parted and eyes fixed upon her full of tears. As he listened he did not think of Prince Andrei, nor of death, nor of what she was telling. He listened to her and felt only pity for her, for what she was suffering now while she was speaking." I find it so sad that Tolstoy did not have any of that empathy for his own wife.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RRS 12-18-16
    RRS 12-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Fascinating"

    This book starts me on a journey to read more Tolstoy

    The narrator is exceptional. All the characters come to life and are very discernible. A very excellent book with a truly talented narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa 12-06-16
    Vanessa 12-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Epic - extremely thought provoking. "

    It took me a while to get into it but once I did I began to appreciate why it's one of the best novels ever written. Tolstoy is a brilliant theologian and made me think in new ways. The performance is very well done, it's not light hearted but a worthwhile read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edmund 12-06-16
    Edmund 12-06-16
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    "An Honor"

    Read the book twice. narration sublime in this edition. an honor to listen too. share this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn L. 11-03-16
    Karyn L. 11-03-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Love & Hate with War & Peace"

    Neville Jason's narration was easy to listen to, however his characters' voices weren't as developed as some of my other favorite narrators.

    The story itself is rather good, however it took me a long time to become engrossed in it. I did not care much for the philosophical rants and feel that it killed the ending for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Pieri 10-13-16
    Tony Pieri 10-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth the Effort"
    Any additional comments?

    I gave volume 1 a bad review. I just didn't get it. I have heard so much about this novel, and I was just let down. Volume 1 was completely pointless in my opinion. He did a horrible job building the characters and the setting. The story was all over the place and followed people who really had nothing to do with the story.

    With that said, Volume 2 was completely different and at times, genius. Really, Volume 2 could have been the whole book. A number of times Tolstoy went into deep philosophical discussions that were quite profound. The way he describes death is almost like he experienced it already. The thoughts he has on what caused events to take place, were very thought provoking as well. At times his point of view just seemed like strokes of genius. If you want to read this novel, but have held off because of the size, you would be completely fine just reading Volume 2. It is well worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Morgan Hill, CA, United States 10-08-16
    Richard Morgan Hill, CA, United States 10-08-16 Member Since 2006
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    "great book"

    This was one of the best audible books I've heard. The narrator was great as well. I finished it faster than a lot of shorter novels I've heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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