Wednesday, May 25, 2011

War and Peace Concluded

I finished War and Peace yesterday.  I don't actually have anything to say about it, except that I highly recommend any readers to skip the last epilog section; it's just a restatement of an earlier essay, and at 40 pages long it's a doozy.  It's the sort of thing that we make fun of in The Fountainhead, and what's sauce for the goose...  I actually didn't like the first epilog so much either -- it felt very tacked-on.

I guess the big question with any long book like this is whether it's worth investing the time & effort to read it.  I'd give a qualified yes.  You need to be at least marginally interested in the period but also willing to accept Tolstoy's (admittedly obvious) bias.  You also need to be able to wade through long essays on historiography (though those only start in the second half of the book).  But the actual story really sucked me in; I found Andrei and Pierre to be pretty compelling characters.

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