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War and Peace cover art

War and Peace

Written by: Leo Tolstoy
Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
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Publisher's Summary

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as The Iliad.

 War and Peace was translated by Constance Garnett.

Public Domain (P)2009 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about War and Peace

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars

It's not just Big, it's awesome!

I just finished reading War and Peace. I knew it was long, but I didn't know it was awesome!

If you like stories about the two lovers finally overcoming their own pride and prejudice, like you find in Jane Austen novels,
If you like stories where individuals are overcome by forces far bigger than themselves, like you find Thomas Hardy novels,
If you like the witty critique of human foibles and foolishness, like you find in Flannery O'Connor's stories,
If you like epic events carried out in fascinating, expansive and strange worlds like that found in Tolkien,
If you like incredibly written histories like those of William Manchester,
If you like the brilliant use of analogy in the critique of rationalism and historicism like you find in C. S. Lewis,

Then you will love War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. #Audible1

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18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I tried.I really tried!

I am working through all the great classics while driving for work, what a super use of time. I persevered with Anna Karenina, and thought I should give Tolstoy another chance. I tried. I really tried, but found myself drifting to think about work, shopping, whether I cleaned the lint collector on the tumble dryer. The story was narrated well, but it just was not for me.

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11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic book and performer

6/5 story and the speaker is very skilled at using accents and other techniques to enliven and differentiate the extremely large and varied cast. However, he seems to constantly be shifting back and forth in his seat. Five or six times a chapter he gets so quiet, for no known textual benefit I can think of, that it makes me think a phone call is preempting my listening. In a book with dozens of chapters for each of eight parts, it gives the lasting impression of inconsistent and distracting sound leveling by the producers. This doesn’t diminish the speaker in any way. This issue could have been caught in post production.

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4 people found this helpful

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Be Prepared

Tolstoy's War and Peace is half historical fiction and half philosophical diatribe on the study and nature of history. The narrative portion is character driven, engaging, and overall enjoyable; however, the long philosophical meanderings often distract from the plot and deaden the overall pace of this already epic-length work. The second part of the epilogue being devoted entirely to these musings overshadows the characters' resolution and results in the book ending on a somewhat exhausted note.
That being said, the narration is the shining light that prevents the philosophical wandering from dissolving into absolute monotonous white noise.
It is, however, a classic.

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3 people found this helpful

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meh.. it was ok..

For a book that is over 60 hours I really expected better. it is a rather boring book. not once was I emotionally moved in any way whatsoever. It went on and on about meaningless details and really didn't explain a great deal of the motivations and actions of the characters.. glossed right over those important bits.. like why denizhoff does so many of the cruel things he does to his supposed friends... etc.. would not recommend it. save your time and read the wiki page on the napolionic wars. the story really has no point and no decent ending whatsoever. it's just another soapbox for espousing Russian orthodox Christian philosophy which in today's world is greatly obsolete.

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2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Awesome

Worth reading this book. All the parts in this title are interesting. I recommend to buy this title and its parts

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2 people found this helpful

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Excellent story telling

The reader’s voice is so easy to listen to. I love that he changes his voice for certain characters! Excellent audiobook rendition.

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1 person found this helpful

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Needed an Editor

This is several books in one which is why it’s so long. It’s a romantic historical novel with a philosophical and strategic paper on war and another one on genius plus a critique of historians. Tolstoy doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
The narrative is well read and acted. The English accent seemed out of place. I got used to it though but the women’s voices were strange. It’s very difficult for one person to be all of the characters. The narrator’s own accent felt snobbish and was really annoying at the end when Tolstoy was presenting his arguments.
The parts that show his genius with language make it worth reading. I am constantly amazed by it and the skill of the translator. It’s a book that doesn’t let go of you and therefore one you shouldn’t miss reading.

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I gave up

The narrator made this very difficult to listen to. I gave up after 3 hours. the accent made it all sound like jibberish and I just glazed over the whole time

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Good

to be honest, I really struggled with such a horrible main character and kept wishing her demise

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