Our ReviewsWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


War and Peace. The classic to end all classics, an epic of monumental scale regarded as one of the most important works of literature, hurtling Tolstoy to immortality.

I don’t usually have commitment issues but just the size & prominence of this book has always filled me with trepidation. Just look at it compared to one of the most important things in my life – cake (swipe for close up comparison). Anytime I have approached the copy on my shelves I worried that I wouldn’t like it & would finally be revealed a philistine that was not clever enough for the great Russian novel. And back it went unread. 

We are so excited to be collaborating with a dear friend who has inspired people around the world to pick up this hefty tome. When I saw Simon @footnotes.and.tangents had created a year read along, I went straight out to buy a cloth bound copy & ordered some critical annotation supplies (any excuse really let’s be honest).

A chapter a day is the plan, joining nearly a 1000 people, from first time readers to die-hard fans revisiting this beast in a brand new way.

Simon & I will be filming videos throughout the year, chatting about the text & everyones reactions as we go along. 

25 days in & I’m loving this 2023 challenge, I prefer reading a week at a time, chapters are short, sometimes a page long so it’s not overly time consuming.

What I didn’t expect was how much I have laughed, it’s reminding me a lot of pride & prejudice with one character very like my adored Mrs Bennet.

Tolstoy is able to create a fully formed character in one line & set the scene in mere seconds. Though you are vaulted into a different time & place, everything feels recognisable, the humanity & broader society is relatable, the arguments & philosophy still contemporary. 

I know there is a lot more to come, as I am yet to meet most of this extensive cast of characters but my initial reaction is….. oh right so it really is completely brilliant. Well done chaya – what an entirely unique thing to say about the most famous book ever. You heard it here first folks. 

What book scares you?

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