Not Everyone Loves War and Peace

27 03 2007

In my enthusiasm for War and Peace, I have neglected to mention that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I enjoyed it so much that, if life weren’t so short, I’d be tempted to go back to the start and read it again from scratch. But not everyone thinks so. The following sample of reviews from Amazon may amuse you, and could serve to temper my boisterous appreciation!

“If you’re a glutton for punishment and have the mental constitution of a banana then I would recommend this book”

“I read this hoping it would be the greatest novel I ever read. How disappointed was I when, 1444 pages later, I concluded it was far too long, far too tedious, and hopelessly amateurish. Admittedly, there are wonderful and forceful sections, such as Prince Nikolai’s visit to a field hospital, but these are outnumbered by sections of seering banality. A thirty-page description of wolf-hunting, anyone?”

“I sometimes read War and Peace in the dull hours of the early morning”

Having said all of that most of the reviews are enormously positive, and if you’re considering taking the plunge and having a go at reading it you’ll find that it is more than rewarding. The overall rating from Amazon is 4.5 out of 5 stars, which I think is prettty telling, given that some of the reviewers above awarded it only 1 star!!

Now, I’m going to have to decide what I should next read in the ‘dull hours of the early morning’!!!


John Piper Hears the Actual Voice of God!

27 03 2007

This article is tremendously powerful…it is better to click the ‘listen’ tab than to read it verbatim. I hope it challenges you in the same way as it has me…

война и мир закончены

27 03 2007

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for quite some time – I finished reading War and Peace yesterday!! Hence the Russian phrase for ‘war and peace is finished’ in today’s title. This is a pretty big landmark for me, as I’ve been wanting to get through all of Tolstoy’s opus for a long time. Other attempts have been valiant, but ultimately doomed (I think page 300 was the furthest I got eleven years ago), but I’ve finally managed to read it all, starting with page 1 in July 2006, and ending with page 1444 yesterday (26th March 2007). After all this time, was it worth the effort? Most definitely!! War and Peace is the single greatest work of literature I have ever read, breathtaking in it’s scope, and penetrating in detail. I’ll probably write a few more posts about it’s content in months to come, but for now I’m just basking in the enjoyment of having fulfilled one of my big life goals (sad man that I am!).