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War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.
In addition it is, famously, one of the longest books in Western literature and therefore a remarkable challenge for any reader. Neville Jason read the abridged version of War and Peace and proved his marathon powers with his outstanding performance of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. These make him the ideal narrator to essay Tolstoy's epic.
War and Peace was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.
"There remains the greatest of all novelists - for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?" (Virginia Woolf)
Ce que les auditeurs disent de War and Peace, Volume 1
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- Stanley Hauer
I have loved W&P since college--and that's a long time ago. I've read it, I suppose, twenty times. But never have I enjoyed it quite so much as in this splendid reading. Neville Jason is a genius. (And, duh, so is Tolstoy.) Highly recommended.
62 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- A Midwesterner in Jersey
A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator
War and Peace is a book that I put off reading for quite a long time. I have to say that I regret not having read it earlier in life, as the characters are so very true to life, and the story, while specific to its time, has themes that are universal and timeless. As one familiar with the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, I found Tolstoy's Russia of the same time period to be startlingly familiar in many ways, and quickly became engrossed in the story.
Listening to it in Audio book format only adds to the pleasure, as Neville Jason narrates each scene with superb timing, and is able to pitch his voice and change his tempo to put real "character" behind each character. It seems impossible, but he's able to portray both young and old women in a variety of circumstances in such a way that you ~never~ feel he's striking a false not, or tempt you to laugh at the voices he summons for them.
The basic character of humanity apparently does not change. Tolstoy's asides (Such as "Like all young men, he was determined to make his opinion known.") are as true today as when he wrote them. The nature and actions of the many people within the book are never dull, sometimes moving, often very funny, and always authentic.
I've purchased a printed version of War and Peace which I will look forward to re-reading from time to time, and may keep a few audio chapters handy for "impulse listening" in the future.
By all means, take a listen - War and Peace's reputation is wholly deserved.
94 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
It took me a few months to get through this but it was well worth it. I think even better than the story is the superb reading by the narrator. I will go in search of other audiobooks by this narrator because he was so good. In a book that has so many characters he was able to give each person their own unique personality. Being a history grad I really enjoyed this book, but I understand that it may be a bit daunting for most casual readers. Yet it entwines love stories with Russian history beautifully and if someone has the time they would enjoy it. And talk about value, 60 hours for 2 credits...wow!
33 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- John Welch
The Greatest Novel read by the best narrator
I cannot imagine a better narrator, for this great book, than Neville Jason. I read it 3 times before hearing it read by NJ and I cannot praise it too highly - his narration adds a new dimension to the experience of this masterpiece. I wish Audible would make all Tolstoy's and Dostoyevsky's books available - must be read by NJ.
Thank you too Tolstoy, Neville Jason & Audible.
50 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
An amazing and sweeping work
Listening to a book written more than 100 years ago about a country that I was told by the media/government was an 'enemy' gives me comfort that what I'm going through - at work, at home, in governmental gyrations - has all been experienced before. Mankind survived that period of time, and will survive this. This is everything you could want in a classic - romance, comedy, action, history, philosophy, sadness - plus it gave me a view of wars that were not covered well in American history because our participation was limited to funding Napoleon through the Louisiana Purchase.
The reader is excellent, and gives life to the characters.
It's broken into short 'books' - 2 to 4 hour segments, so you don't have to listen to 30 continuous hours.
I think his philosophy is still relevant, and his opinion on historians and their perspective was interesting.
23 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Sipping Fine Wine
The story of War and Peace is an amazingly colorful and exciting story. It's almost a thrill a minute. But some thrills are quieter than others. The way the drawing room and the battle field start to become parallel in the reader's mind is brilliant. The narrator makes the story a pleasure to listen to. This book isn't meant to be gulped down or swallowed all at once. It's meant to be sipped and enjoyed, like a fine wine.
34 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Yes it is a long story, rather like reading Proust (the atmosphere created by the words and the story is the main thing), but this one has quite some action in it. And being told about an exciting time and a pivotal period in European history it is a "must read" for Americans and Europeans alike. Brilliantly read - never boring.
51 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Sher from Provo
Takes Persevereance, But Well Worth It
The hardest thing about listening to War and Peace was keeping all the characters straight. I used Spark Notes, and also read along with the audio book. The ebook is readily available for free. I even kept notes at first as to who belonged to what family, which I referred to often. I did not follow all of the goings on of the war, but I got enough of it to understand its meaning as it relates to the story. It took me about half to two-thirds of the way through the story before I got totally sucked into it. There are about four stories going on at one time, and Tolstoy jumps from one to the other seemingly at will.
I came to care about, love or hate many of the characters, but it took a while. What I did come to love were the Russian people of the early 19th century as a whole. One of my favorite parts of the book occurs at the end of the first epilogue (who writes more than one epilogue???). Tolstoy writes a caricature of the Napoleonic Wars. It is so funny, and yet it puts the whole thing into great historical context, which at that point I really needed. I could have lived without the second epilogue. Although it is well written, and uses a great metaphor, it had absolutely nothing to do with the story.
As far as Tolstoy as a writer, I have to give him a ???5???. He is a fabulous writer, and I found myself listening to long philosophical musings just because I loved the sound of the prose. He is obviously incredibly intelligent, and a very deep thinker.
The narrator, Neville Jason, ranks up there with the best of the best. He is outstanding. I give him a ???5??? as well.
The story itself: From the stand point of keeping my interest, continuity and action, I give it a ???4???. From the standpoint of the quality of the writing, it has to be a ???5???. From the standpoint of what I learned from the story, or in other words, did it have an impact on my life? I would definitely have to give it a ???5??? as well. So averaging everything out, the book gets a ???5???.
15 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Utterly flawless narration! Like an earlier reviewer, I have tried a couple of times to read War and Peace and always got mired in Part Two. Thanks to this talented narrator and a relaxing 40 minute commute, I made it through Part Two and am now totally engrossed. I am now inspired to go back and read the book.
15 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
A joy to listen to!
I read War and Peace a few years ago and enjoyed it very much. I recently felt the desire to read it again and decided to seek out an audiobook version this time, for a little variety. I am quite pleased I did!
This is an excellent recording and the narrator is fantastic. He does an marvelous job with all the characters and truly brings this magnificent work to life.
26 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Der Roman zeigt die Schicksale einiger Mitglieder der russischen Aristokratie vor dem Hintergrund der napoleonischen Kriege. Es wird die Zeit von 1806 bis 1814/15 dargestellt.
Im Zentrum stehen Pierre und Natascha, sowie ihre Familien, Freunde und Bekannten aus der St. Petersburger Aristokratie. Tolstoi zeigt, wie der Krieg ihrer aller Schicksale formt - für die einen ist der Krieg ein Mittel, auf der gesellschaftlichen Stufenleiter hochzuklettern, die anderen gehen elendig zugrunde. Der rote Faden ist die Liebesgeschichte zwischen Pierre und Natascha. Extrem unterhaltsam ist auch die Darstellung der Salon-Intrigen in der besten Petersburger Gesellschaft.
Die Beschreibung der Kriegshandlungen und der Strategien der beteiligten Armeen fordern dem Hörer etwas Geduld ab; wenn Tolstoi aber dann die rauhen Bedingungen im Feld und das Gemetzel in der Schlacht schildert, wird klar, dass hier jemand schreibt, der die Realität des Krieges aus eigener Anschauung kennt (Tolstoi war selbst als Offizier im Kaukasus).
Das Hörbuch ist sehr gut gelesen - ganz lustig finde ich übrigens, dass der englische Vorleser die vielen Deutschen, die im Buch auftreten, alle mit deutschem Akzent sprechen lässt.
Schade, dass es Krieg und Frieden bei Audible nicht in einer deutschen Hörbuch-Fassung gibt!
5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
Es wird ein nahezu vollstaendiges Bild der gesellschaftlichen und politischen Lage in Russland um 1812/1813 gezeichnet. Trotz der manchmal etwas langatmigen "Kriegsberichterstattung" bleibt die Spannung und der Fluss der Erzaehlung erhalten. Gelesen ist der Roman ausgezeichnet.
2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile
- Anonymer Hörer
Very lengthy but definitely worth it
The beginning is a little hard with all the different characters but after some time you have at least some picture about the whole intertwined story. Some parts are more boring than others as well as some more exciting than others- just like any other book. However, if one is interested in Russia, Aristocracy and the centuries before us, it is definitely recommended to listen to it! Great work indeed! (Also from the narrator!)