War and Peace

Narrated by: Alan Munro
Length: 66 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tolstoy's finest literary achievement.

The novel chronicles the history of the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families. The Encyclopædia Britannica states: "It can be argued that no single English novel attains the universality of the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace".

Public Domain (P)2018 Trout Lake Media

What listeners say about War and Peace

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War and Peace

I have set out to read W & P several times and got bogged down and never completed it. I am new to audiobook and thought I would let someone read it to me. Quite by accident I found this translation and the narration by Alan Munro. I find Mr Munro’s tone soothing and relaxing, just right for this long adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and recommend this to others who wish to tackle this great novel.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator is near impossible to listen to

The narrator voice will put you to sleep quickly. And the voice is so rich and low sounding, that if you’re listening in the car, it will be impossible to distinguish words from each other, and it just sounds very monotonous and boring. I made it through like 30 minutes of the 40 hours of audio. Get a different version with a different narrator

2 people found this helpful

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A listening delight

Having read the book a long while back, this audio book was quite a delightful journey to the past for me. I enjoyed it tremendously. It lasted long & didn't want it to end.

2 people found this helpful

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Maybe not the right narrator

Look, it's like 60+ hours long of one narrator so I can only imagine I'd get sick of anyone's voice after that long. Keep that in mind for this review:

There are a few things that stand out as negatives: 1) Alan Munro's voice is so deep, it hurt my ears to listen to on my car stereo. I changed my EQ settings to a really extreme setting just to get it tolerable. Maybe with headphones it would have been better, IDK. It's the biggest negative in my book. 2) The audio editor added a tin-y effect things, only occasionally, when people in the story were in different rooms or far away. It was hard to hear and made for an awkward transition. A listener's willing suspension of disbelief would have sufficed. 3) The narrator has a stilted delivery, which I thought was intentional at first because of all the Russian names but the pace never got quicker, and it made the story harder to understand. 4) Sometimes it was like they spliced in a name after the fact because the original pronunciation was poor. This added to the stiltedness. Maybe a fluent Russian speaker would have been a better narrator?

As for the good things or neutral points: The plot is plodding, generally good but rarely exciting except a few parts. There are some parts that draw on unnecessarily in my opinion. There are parts where the author goes on at length, somewhat pedantically, on history, human nature, and society. I just don't think the length really helped make it better or clearer. There are some aspects that haven't aged as well for 2019 when I write this, primarily in the form of patriarchy, bording on misogyny at times, and maybe even overly sexualization of young women. Reading it in context of nearly 200 years ago, I guess it's something I can acknowledge and move past, but it didn't add to the book. I wonder how much is the translation as well.

The really good parts: I can say I finished a tome of a classic!

If you've got time to kill on a long car ride and nothing else tops your list or you want to check the box, do it, but maybe look for another narrator and consider if they are better or worse.

4 people found this helpful

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boring <br />

I never could finish the book when I tried reading it myself. it's not any better listening to it, but I did finally get it done.

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Voice acting is important

Maybe I've been spoiled by other audiobooks but the I found that the lack of voice acting with book made it difficult to follow the story. I've never had this problem before but then again I haven't listened to a ton of audiobooks. Here the narrator mostly doesn't shift his voice when moving from narration to quoting what a person says. I've gone and purchased another book, one with better reviews. If I'm going to take the time to read a book, I want it to be the best of the options available. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for an old classic like this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs Victoria Rose
  • 02-10-19

Worst delivery of an epic story EVER

I was really looking forward to this. I spend a lot of time in my car and a great book is the best way to shorten the journey
But the oratory is appalling in this adaptation, I don’t think the author ever supposed the epic could be killed off so swiftly by such a wooden performance
Seriously, save your money -
Scroll past this one!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-05-20

Great book mauled by a dreadful performance

This is my second time through WAP after reading it in real life first. This time around affirmed my view that Tolstoy is great at setting the plot, unpacking battles, and reflecting on the philosophy of history, which I suspect influenced Heidegger. However, Tolstoy's moralising about good and bad family behaviour, the role of women, and the wonders of free masonry are pretty annoying to say the least. I prefer Pasternak's writing of female characters way more and the way he introduces masuline vulnerability. One wonders if Tolstoy ever actually met a woman, when he writes them so horrendously and condecendingly. Natasha Rostova... good grief. But all in all a great book of course and I got through it. It certainly brings home Russian suspicions towards the west. However, if I did make it through the book it was no thanks to the performance. The voice was great as such: deep and reassuring. However, the cadance of the sentences was insane. Unnatural pauses as he fumbled through the prose creates a highly distracting stilited effect. Halting mispronunciations of Russian names and strange mispronunciations of English words. Well, I kind of got used to it after 30 hours and made it to the end. P.s. Denisov (the guy with a speech impediment) is my favourite character by far and sadly under utilized by Tolstoy. Let me finish by quoting him "Ahhh you cwazy Wostovs!!!!"

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-22-19

Inspiring

Worth anyone’s time, the performance, no doubt due to length, is no nonsense and clear. The book itself is deserving of all praise.