Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

War and Peace (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I just picked up Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace from Walden Books a few days ago. Wow. This book is, well, gigantic to say the least. I'm somewhere around page 50 out of 1455 or something...Not much has happened so far, but I keep wondering to myself, do I need to already know background info on the Napoleonic era before reading this? I had to look a few things up on wikipedia to understand some of what the characters talk about. Any comments/good things/bad things here? Just want to hear your opinions. No spoilers please.:D


It's a really tough book to get through. There are some parts of it where there's lots of action, and those bits are the easiest to read but there's other parts where it just seems to drag for about two hundred pages. I remember when I read it that it took me about five or six years to read the whole thing because I would read until the end of an interesting part and then completely lose focus and stop enjoying the book.

I did eventually finish the book and it was a good book. Slow at points, but it's all very real. All of the characters are so real in the story, it's just a case of understanding them and stuff.


Senior Member
Yes. I'm now almost two-hundred pages in and I can kind of see what you mean, linimis. I vowed to finish it before february, however, so I'm just gonna keep goin no matter what :read:...And the names! I think I've got them down, and then I realize there are three Nikolais, who all have different nicknames!


Senior Member
I've been reading War and Peace on and off for about a year now and am about a third of the way through. It's hard going, and I refute any claims to the contrary. I'm choosing to read it in small doses and then go off and read something a bit lighter. That's not saying it's not a good book, or that I'm not enjoying, I am.

Exactly the same as you Wowzer, I've had to look stuff up on Wikipedia...the first book I've read that I've had to do that on!



Senior Member
wowzer77 said:
do I need to already know background info on the Napoleonic era before reading this?

Just know that the Russians kicked Napoleon's butt, and that 1812 is a very big year in Russian history.

It would also be fitting to listen to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture while you are reading this book. :)


Senior Member
I got an abriged version on a sale, by mistake, but will not read it. I downloaded an ebook which I hope is the unabriged version to begin reading. Is it better than Anna Karenina??


It took me 4 months to get through. Anna Karenina took me a month, but the difference was I was at high school when I read War and Peace, and didnt have as much time as I did for Anna Karenina. Personally, I think I enjoyed Anna Karenina more. I think it had an easier plot to follow.


Senior Member
War and Peace is an excellent book. You don't need background knowledge because Tolstoy explains it so well. It took me three months to read it the first time and one month the second time, but it should be required reading in school.


I can't tell you how much this book friggin' rocks.

Can't sat I really found any of it slow going to be honest, practically every page is packed with Tolstoy's superhuman insight.

The death/downfall of a character is like losing a family member...


Senior Member
I started reading the giant once, but quit. Now I plan to go again... for a full-run though! The New Yorker, I think, recently published an article on the difference between two of the more popular translations of War and Peace that are currently on the bookshelves. Search on google for "difference between War and Peace translations" and you'll find many different links related to that.

On It's War (and Peace), As Rival*Translations Head to Bookstores - 7/25/2007 3:00:00 PM - Publishers Weekly I found this: "The new translations, despite their identical titles and authors, are very different from each other." If you are in the same boat as I am, it's good to familiarize yourself with some of these articles first, before jumping onto any of the War and Peace versions.