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The ending was not cathartic but it did wind down nicely during the resolution. While a relatively happy ending, it remained plausible and realistic. The title of the book fairly well describes it’s contents. The novel flashes back & forth between scenes during the Napoleonic war of 1812 and domestic scenes of high society. It follows five families: Bezukohv, Rostov, Bolkonsky, Drubetskoy, and Kuragin through the trials of battle & aristocratic society. There are many passages when the author waxes philosophic upon war and cynical upon the aristocracy. I found these passages both interesting and poignant though some have argued they are tedious. A worthy comparison might be “With Fire & Sword” by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz however writes more about war and a love story with a few main characters while Tolstoy focuses more on society with a large number of characters.
War & Peace had a chapter devoted to the aristocracy attending the opera. The fashionable nobility doesn’t watch the show but attends rather to see and be seen. This was a line I immediately recognized from Dangerous Liaisons. Subsequent chapters detail a vigorous seduction campaign enacted by Anatol Kuragin with the help of his sister Countes Helena against the young attractive ingénue Natasha. Sound familiar? It seems like the author of Dangerous Liaisons took the two chapters of War & Peace devoted to the aristocracy and their social intrigues and expanded the idea to a book. When we consider that War & Peace reveals a strong association between French and Russian high society of the time it becomes even more obvious that author Piere Choderlos de laclos drew his inspiration from Leo Tolstoy. Though from the movie it would seem that the characters in Dangerous Liaisons are considerably more cruel and jaded than the characters in War & Peace who tend more toward wanton self satisfaction and not intentional malice. Both sets of characters however are notable for being quite superficial and several of the characters in War & Peace struggle with finding meaning in their lives. One common theme with Feodor Dostoyevskis works is the predilection with wealth as definition of a gentlemen. This theme finds it’s way into Dicken’s works occasionally as well but it is more understated with him as he focuses on more meaningful character interactions.

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

There's probably not anything useful or novel I could say about War and Peace, but there's so much that I could say about it that it's hard to know how to organize my thoughts. It seems to me that ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Mike Thicke - Goodreads

Reading this book has been a three-year project. After two false starts, I listened to most of the book on audio and switched back to reading for the final quarter. After such a struggle, and honestly ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Mashariq - Goodreads

Do yourself a favor and cut out the second part of the Epilogue, or better still, don't read it at all. Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - G - Goodreads

Finished! An amazing book club read. I think in general I was enamored more of the small moments than the large. And I still prefer Anna Karenina. But the scope and moments herein are unique, and the scale is impressive. Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Lance - Goodreads

Many novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers set their sights on humanizing historical titans through mediums more easily digestible to an average reader or viewer. They produce historical fiction ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

This is one of those rare books you can read the majority of without holding because the sheer volume of opposing pages keep the damn thing open sitting alone on a table. The beginning felt a bit like ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Carolyn - Goodreads

Whew! What a journey. No doubt about it--this baby is heavy duty. This book is epic in scale, full of fairly captivating characters, and incredibly informative about Russian life at the turn of the ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Jana Eichhorn - Goodreads

This is neither the "Best Book Ever Written" nor the "Loose, Baggy Monster", the two most commonly used descriptions of War and Peace. It's long, and heavy, and complex - 600 + characters, some with ... Read full review

Review: War and Peace

User Review  - Jeremy - Goodreads

Whew, finally done. War and Peace isn't the longest work of fiction ever written, but it is probably one of the biggest. Tolstoy tries to pin down the full range of what was happening in and to the ... Read full review

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