What can I write about this classic that has not been written already? This is one of the best works of Leo Tolstoy, though I feel Anna Karenina is the best.
I think before taking the plunge into this epic, few things are required to keep in mind, rather a little preparation if you will-
-Considering the large volume, it may take weeks for an avid reader and months for an occasional reader to finish this book. So, plan time accordingly.
-If you have limited knowledge of Russian history like me, I recommend a brief reading about Napoleon's invasion of Russia( wiki will do) to appreciate the War piece better.
-Leo often ventures into the analysis of war and various historians' views of what drives it, especially towards the end of the book. This piece is profound, but I must admit, requires effort in reading.
Leo paints quite a picture of the War in his extensive detailing so much so, it feels like occurring in my living room. The peace part remains my favorite as Leo plays to his strength by building a society in his canvas of imagination, exploring relationships, family trifles, often exploring the intellectual and spiritual world through his characters, and also knitting closely with the war part.
I read this book for the sheer joy of Leo’s writing style and his sharp observation. For instance, he compares Sonya at one point to a cat for attaching herself not to any person in particular but the household in general.