War and peace

By Count Leo Tolstoy

I will start by a confession. Many times when I write a review of an old book, that I guess many of you must have read, the question that comes to mind is you must be asking where I was when you read them. I wish I knew but I am reading them now and as my very important audience, I have to share with you the joy I draw from such books.

With that behind us, for those interested in what Kutuzov did or did not do, what happened to Helene the socialite the family affairs of Prince Bezukhov or Princess Mary and what led to the ruin of the Rostovs’, you can read the whole novel.

But those lazy ones, who are interested more in the questions of history or human nature, the epilogue will do. In the epilogue he asks what is power, what causes the movement of nations,  such as what led to the movement from the west to the east that ended with the taking of Moscow and the countermovement from East to west that ended in Paris?

The other important question, at least in my view, that he dispenses with is that of freewill. And I do not, for the life of me, know why it isn’t part of the literature in the freewill debate. His explanations are clear and almost irrefutable if not irrefutable.

At the end of the book, I begin to see why Fyodor Dostoevsky, would call him, Tolstoy, one of the greatest writers living. His was a brilliant mind. He combined story telling with psychology in a way that can only be compared to Dostoevsky’s works.

It’s a long read for the fainthearted but it is worth all the time you would take to finish ploughing through it.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

37 thoughts on “War and peace

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    “HE ate and drank the precious words,
    His spirit grew robust;
    He knew no more that he was poor,
    Nor that his frame was dust.
    He danced along the dingy days, 5
    And this bequest of wings
    Was but a book. What liberty
    A loosened spirit brings!”

    — Emily Dickenson —

    I think of this, Mak, when I think of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande says:

    I don’t think I will ever get around to reading it. If it had spaceships and grand celestial plots, then, well then…


  3. You’ve finished the book, eh? Great for you! Wonderful, was it not? How long did it take you? As I’ve said before, it took me about a year.


  4. shelldigger says:

    So many books, so little time. I have not read this one. Get little time to put aside for reading. I can’t even keep up with the blogs I follow!


  5. Congratulations for reading this mountainous novel. I never attempted it because I wasn’t particularly interested in the lives of fictitious persons during the Napoleonic Wars. But, after reading your fine review, I feel motivated to at least check out the epilogue – thanks!


  6. The College Blogger says:

    I am so glad you were able to read the book. I have had the book for quite a while, but I am just way too lazy to read it


  7. The easy answer to where you were when I read it is, you weren’t. I had a phase of reading classics in my teens. I probably had the time back then. I did take Stendahl round the world with me for long waits at airports and plane journeys. I haven’t finished Proust yet 😦


  8. Nyambura says:

    Loved War and Peace when I first read it. Loved it even more when I watched the Drama series. It’s a great read.


  9. Scottie says:

    🙂 our reading choices are rather different. I have a great fondness for both the “Harry Dresden” series by Jim Butcher and the “Iron Druid ” series by Kevin Hearne. I am looking for new books but I doubt I would attempt to talk such a book as you are talking about. Hugs


    • makagutu says:

      I haven’t read any of those you mention.

      Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Don’t even MENTION a book title to this guy, Scottie, or the read-a-holic will add it to his reading list!


      • Scottie says:

        They may not really be on your reading level..I mean they are not up to your reading level. The Dresden series the first book was not so well written but they got really much better, about a wizard and the whole magical community under the radar of the normal humans…The Iron Druid series is about a druid who survived the massacre of all druids except him and has lived over 2000 years in hiding and what happens when he comes out of hiding and starts to train a new druid, who he falls in love with , and all the gods everyone ever thought of in humanity all exist in the series. Some like him,.. some don’t… and he has a really great Irish wolfhound who is more funny than anyone else in the series. You may like them for escape value, but they are not really “educational”, except the Iron druid series uses a lot of historical facts and knowledge of myths and food recipes, I know because I had to look a lot of stuff up reading them. 🙂 Hugs


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