Friday, December 30, 2011

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

As a participant in the "War and Peace One Chapter a Day" Challenge, I "cheated" and finished the book today, as tomorrow is going to be full of errands and evening celebration plans. I can't believe I finally read this book! Reading one chapter a day was a good way to make the book manageable and not seem overwhelming, even if I did sometimes fall behind and then have to catch up with a few (*ahem*) chapters in a day. I  would have liked to have read this book in a college-level class, with discussion, commentary, context, background, etc., but I'm still glad I read it. I have to say, however, that I am not a fan of Tolstoy; he has what I used to call "Charles Dickens Syndrome" and have now renamed "Dickens/Tolstoy Syndrome:" a tendency to ramble and either bury the point entirely or bang the reader over the head with it. And as with Anna Karenina, I was struck at times at how romance novel-like this book was. Frankly, I preferred the "war" part of this book in general, although there were some really compelling "peace" parts as well. I think I have given Tolstoy a fair try, and in 2012 will move on to other Russian novelists just to compare and contrast.

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