Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Fifty First Timer No. 27
Read and adored War and Peace
The blurb on the cover says this is the greatest book ever written. I don’t know if that is true but it is certainly one of the best books I have read.
To say I was daunted reading this 1360 page novel is a lie; I have been in the past that was until I heard a great piece of advice. ‘How do you eat an elephant? Answer, in bite size pieces.’ That is how I tackled this, a chapter at a time. The hardest part was holding the book for long stretches of time, its heavy!
The story takes place over two Napoleonic Wars and gives a fantastic insight into the way the Russian class system worked at that time – no wonder they had a revolution. The aristocracy were few but owned all the land and also owned the Serfs, who were slaves. I am so ignorant, I had no idea.
I also worked out that Tchaikovsky wrote 1812 Overture about the battle of Borodino – there is a gruesome section about this battle.
As the title suggests, it isn’t all about War. There are long sections about the years between the two wars. There are over 500 characters (some historical) in War and Peace Tolstoy uses great techniques to help the reader remember who each one is. By the time I was finished the book I was intimate with them and now miss them.
I would encourage everyone to read this book, it only took me two months to read.
Age doesn’t come on its own
As a birthday present the Health Board sent me an invitation - I am now eligible for their bowel screening programme – lovely, can't wait!