Tolstoy, War & Peace


I read this book in three weeks. It's the kind of book that you can easily read two hundred pages at a time, and I did. At first, I wouldn't say I liked it. My expectations were through the roof because Anna Karenina was at one time my all-time favorite book. But, with War & Peace, the themes ideas of listlessness didn’t strike me particularly at the moment.

I found the 'War' sections to be the most compelling. A few weeks later, I had a chance to walk around the portrait galleries in Versailles and see Napoleon's face and body 20ft tall. Interesting stuff and heartbreaking. And these ideas of fruitless ambition. Hubris.

Thinking back, all my expectations and ambitions around this book had to do with its length, and I wasn’t thinking about the book in terms of what the contents of it would actually contain. If it weren’t quite as big, it wouldn’t have been as infamous, and I think I would have taken a more appreciative view of it for what it was.