Rating: 4/5 Stars
While reading this novel for the better part of a year, I’ve encountered a lot of the same questions. Some that come to mind:
Q: Why? A: I’ve started taking suggestions in addition to my lineup of random selection
Q: Wait, weren’t you reading that in, like, February? A: Yes, don’t judge me.
Q: Are you going through some sort of Russian lit phase? … I had one of those in college. A: Stop talking to me.
But I guess the most pertinent question for a literary review:
Q: So, how is it? — To which I always reply with the same .. A: Hate the war, Love the peace.
Concise answer. Fairly inaccurate, sure, but for most intents and purposes, cuts straight to the point.
Historically, I’ve never been too keen on military history – policies, tactics, battle scenes, who, what, when, where, why, I’m just not interested. Tolstoy did nothing to change this view, in fact, maybe encouraged it. He also confirmed another well known fact about me – I love soap operas, I love learning about two handfuls of characters and watching all of their lives get intertwined in one way or another.
Natasha delivered me an additional confirmation – no story interests me more than a woman driven by wild, irresponsible, uncontrollable love, lust, passion, emotion. Did I enjoy reading about Pierre fumbling about the battlefield? Yes, I was entertained. But it was only Natasha that pulled me in to her skin, made me feel her emotions, question true intentions, the desire to run, to be with someone who wants her wholly, how that desire can run her in the wrong direction, in a million directions. And at this point I’m seeing this review is more telling of myself than of Tolstoy’s genius to weave together such an intricate, all encompassing narrative. But sometimes if things need to be written, they’ll be written, in spite of the outlet.
To sum up my entirely scholarly review, I’ll leave you with this tidbit. I read princess Marya’s name as “Mayra” for the entire 1,100 pages until the epilogue, where I realized the error of my ways. There is no going back now. I’ll put her right there next to Hermoine.