War And Peace by Leo TolstoyWar And Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War And Peace

byLeo TolstoyTranslated byConstance GarnettIntroduction byA.n. Wilson

Mass Market Paperback | August 31, 2004

Pricing and Purchase Info

$15.95

Earn 80 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Available in stores

about

Introduction by A. N. Wilson • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

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 seen clearly 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: “To read him . . . is to find one’ s way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
A. N. Wilson is an award-winning novelist, biographer, and journalist, and the author of God’s Funeral and the biographies C. S. Lewis, Paul, and Jesus. He lives in London.
Loading
Title:War And PeaceFormat:Mass Market PaperbackProduct dimensions:1424 pages, 6.9 × 4.2 × 2.1 inShipping dimensions:6.9 × 4.2 × 2.1 inPublished:August 31, 2004Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345472403

ISBN - 13:9780345472403

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good Amazing book, would totally recommend to any lovers of literature and good prose
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This is an incredible book, a must read. It touches all the emotions: love, hate, fear and laughter. The story is populated with characters you will never forget. Well worth the time it takes to read it.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic and Fascinating War and Peace is one of those books that I’ve always wanted to read, but have always been intimidated by. Not that long ago, I decided to give it ago — and I was so glad that I did. It’s such an amazing and iconic book that instead of writing a review, I’ll just talk about my experience reading it. What else can you say except that the book is epic — in scope and in writing. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but the novel is broken up into parts so it makes it easier, and less intimidating, to read. It’s almost like reading a series. Tolstoy has this wonderful ability to keep the scope both personal and universal at the same time. The stories of the individual people and the drama of their lives is juxtaposed brilliantly against the war and the politics of France invading Russia. I was taken by many of the characters and was happy to be shown their lives, happinesses, and pains over the course of many years. There is also a great sense of the difference between the lives of men and women in this novel. It’s fascinating how Tolstoy adds, very clearly, his own personal views on politics, how great Russia is and why, and how terrible Napoleon is and how he failed. These overt political views are something that is not found in modern writing. I felt I had a whole new understanding on the entire time period, both on the global scale of the war, but also on the manners and values of the Russian people (especially of upper class Russians). Even though I know Tolstoy’s views are biassed, that is part of the history too.
Date published: 2018-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from War and Peace An amazing accomplishment of a novel
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from War and Peace An amazing accomplishment of a novel
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Story War and Peace is unlike any other novel ever written. This translation is best for those interested in a more historically accurate interpretation. Other translations try hard to be modern, but this one stays true to the story's classic nature.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from War And Peace It’s lengthier than necessary, but there’s interesting characters and good storytelling in there. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic This book is a classic but it can be slow at times.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it this book is amazinggg read it right now #plumreview
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic An absolutely beautiful work, definitely worth reading
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oxford World's Classics This is the best available physical copy of War and Peace. The Translation by Aylmer and Louise Maude is smooth and still highly regarded nearly a century after its publication. The best part of this edition is that it includes extensive footnotes and end-notes, maps, and a spoiler-free character list. The map was especially helpful to me.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely collectors edition of a classic novel. My favourite novel to date! I love that this edition broke the book into three parts, making it easier to carry with me, and somehow faster to get through than the first time around. Highly recommend this version as an investment piece for anyone's library.
Date published: 2017-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Long, difficult read but worth it Took me 4 years of off-on reading but well worth the time investment. Especially the last few books. This really is literature and there is barely a plot. Beautiful writing despite being a translation. Must be even better in Russian?
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Russian Classics, the best book for collectors and lovers of Russian history.
Date published: 2016-11-17

Read from the Book

WELL, PRINCE, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family. No, I warn you, that if you do not tell me we are at war, if you again allow yourself to palliate all the infamies and atrocities of this Antichrist (upon my word, I believe he is), I don’t know you in future, you are no longer my friend, no longer my faithful slave, as you say. There, how do you do, how do you do? I see I’m scaring you, sit down and talk to me.”These words were uttered in July 1805 by Anna Pavlovna Scherer, a distinguished lady of the court, and confidential maid-of-honour to the Empress Marya Fyodorovna. It was her greeting to Prince Vassily, a man high in rank and office, who was the first to arrive at her soirée. Anna Pavlovna had been coughing for the last few days; she had an attack of la grippe, as she said—grippe was then a new word only used by a few people. In the notes she had sent round in the morning by a footman in red livery, she had written to all indiscriminately:“If you have nothing better to do, count (or prince), and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too alarming to you, I shall be charmed to see you at my house between 7 and 10. Annette Scherer.”“Heavens! what a violent outburst!” the prince responded, not in the least disconcerted at such a reception. He was wearing an embroidered court uniform, stockings and slippers, and had stars on his breast, and a bright smile on his flat face.He spoke in that elaborately choice French, in which our forefathers not only spoke but thought, and with those slow, patronising intonations peculiar to a man of importance who has grown old in court society. He went up to Anna Pavlovna, kissed her hand, presenting her with a view of his perfumed, shining bald head, and complacently settled himself on the sofa.“First of all, tell me how you are, dear friend. Relieve a friend’s anxiety,” he said, with no change of his voice and tone, in which indifference, and even irony, was perceptible through the veil of courtesy and sympathy.“How can one be well when one is in moral suffering? How can one help being worried in these times, if one has any feeling?” said Anna Pavlovna. “You’ll spend the whole evening with me, I hope?”“And the fête at the English ambassador’s? To-day is Wednesday. I must put in an appearance there,” said the prince. “My daughter is coming to fetch me and take me there.”“I thought to-day’s fête had been put off. I confess that all these festivities and fireworks are beginning to pall.”“If they had known that it was your wish, the fête would have been put off,” said the prince, from habit, like a wound-up clock, saying things he did not even wish to be believed.“Don’t tease me. Well, what has been decided in regard to the Novosiltsov dispatch? You know everything.”“What is there to tell?” said the prince in a tired, listless tone. “What has been decided? It has been decided that Bonaparte has burnt his ships, and I think that we are about to burn ours.”Prince Vassily always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating his part in an old play. Anna Pavlovna Scherer, in spite of her forty years, was on the contrary brimming over with excitement and impulsiveness. To be enthusiastic had become her pose in society, and at times even when she had, indeed, no inclination to be so, she was enthusiastic so as not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The affected smile which played continually about Anna Pavlovna’s face, out of keeping as it was with her faded looks, expressed a spoilt child’s continual consciousness of a charming failing of which she had neither the wish nor the power to correct herself, which, indeed, she saw no need to correct.

Bookclub Guide

1. 1. In an article, “Some Words About War and Peace,” Tolstoy writes: “What is War and Peace? It is not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle. War and Peace is what the author wished and was able to express in the form in which it is expressed.” He goes on to discuss how many precedents for this “disregard of conventional form” there are in the history of Russian literature. How do you respond to this characterization of the novel? Does it help you understand its scope, structure, or style? 2. 2. Relatedly, while some novelists have bemoaned what they considered to be the formless nature of War and Peace, Henry James called it “a wonderful mass of life.” How did the novel’s length affect your reading experience? Does its scale mirror its comprehensive outlook? Does Tolstoy’s ambitious vision succeed, in your opinion?3. 3. Tolstoy also writes, with regard to the “character of the period” he was trying to depict, that it “had its own characteristics . . . which resulted from the pre-dominant alienation of the upper class from other classes, from the religious philosophy of the time, from peculiarities of education . . . and so forth.” What do you make of Tolstoy’s treatment of the themes of aristocracy and class, religion, and education in this work?4. 4. Discuss the eventual marriage of Natasha Rostova and Pierre Bezukhov. How does their alliance speak to larger principles, if at all? How does the concept of family relate to the theme of war? Are Natasha and Pierre representative of Russian social life at the time? Why or why not?5. 5. Regarding “the divergence between my description of historical events and that given by the historians,” Tolstoy draws interesting distinctions between the artist and the historian: “As an historian would be wrong if he tried to present an historical person in his entirety . . . so the artist would fail to perform his task were he to represent the person always in his historic significance. . . . For an historian considering the achievement of a certain aim, there are heroes; for the artist treating of man’s relation to all sides of life, there cannot and should not be heroes, but there should be men. . . . The historian has to deal with the results of an event, the artist with the fact of the event.” Discuss Tolstoy’s concern with history, and the place he accords to the individual in the historical process. 6. 6. What is Tolstoy’s verdict on Napoleon? How does this novel treat the idea of the historical “great man”?7. 7. Tolstoy’s focus on five upper-class families contrasted sharply with the struggles of the nation during the Napoleonic war. And yet, many see the novel as a celebration of the Russian spirit. How do you perceive Tolstoy’s emphasis on the aristocratic? How does the Revolution affect Russian class structure, if at all?8. 8. A contemporary critic, N. N. Strakhov, said, “What is the meaning of War and Peace? The meaning is expressed in these words of the author more clearly than anywhere else: ‘There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness, and truth.’ ” Is this statement as simple as it sounds? Discuss.From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“There remains the greatest of all novelists—for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?”
—Virginia Woolf