Sunday, November 06, 2011

Reading War And Peace

As you may have noticed, I am currently reading War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I found a copy of the Penguin Classics edition at Barnes & Noble for $3.99 (normally $16), so I bought it thinking, "Some day, I am going to read War And Peace." Why now, you may ask? The simple answer is that I want to be able to say I have read it, nothing more. I read Anna Karinina years ago and did not enjoy it very much, so I figured my literary flirtation with Tolstoy was finished without having to read one of the longest (and, according to some, one of the most boring) novels in literature, but I was having a hard time deciding what to read after finishing Focault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (weird book) and I figured there is no time like the present and grabbed the huge tome off of the shelf.

I am over 250 pages into it (1444 pages total) and I find it reads much like any Victorian English novel. This is partly due to the translator being English, I am sure, but the situations and characters remind me of similar characters encountered in books by Dickens, Hardy, and Eliot, among others. It seems the struggles of the human condition are more universal than some would have us believe. I have not found it enthralling, but I have not found it tedious either. It has been interesting and I anticipate it being no harder to get through that other lengthy novels I have read, such as The Count Of Monte Cristo (the unabridged version) and Les Miserables (again, the unabridged version). I ended up enjoying both of those very much, though they did take awhile.

By the end of the year, if someone ever asks if I have read War And Peace, I hope to be able to reply, "Why yes, I have, and Moby Dick as well." That's another book I approached with some trepidation, but figured it couldn't be as bad as I had heard, and I found it was quite enjoyable. I may not have any impressive talents, but I can read long books with the best.

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