War and Peace (In one sitting) – by Leo Tolstoy/Joelle Herr

18 02 2016

When the BBC advertised their six-part drama I assumed it’d be way beyond me, but I decided to give it a go. There were a lot of characters and I had to go back to the earlier episodes again once I’d worked out who everyone was, but I really enjoyed it.

So when I saw this version of the book, measuring just 8.5 x 7 x 2.5cm, and covering information on Tolstoy, and introduction, who’s who, and then a summary of the story, I thought it’d be a good way to cement the story I’d seen on screen! I printed off the BBC’s very helpful family tree to use as a bookmark as I went.

The book is pretty chatty:

  • “Phew. That’s a lot of names already in just the first couple of paragraphs! You still with me? OK, let’s keep going.”
  • “awkward alert!”
  • “It’s beautifully written and reasoned, but the section is a little boring – you should be very thankful that I’ve read it for you.”

But it’s not all silly, most of it covers the story at a high enough level to be able to follow it. Of course it feels rushed, it’s 1500 pages and 500 characters down into something smaller than my hand, but it’s definitely a good way of getting the main points. I guess I can now claim to have read War and Peace!




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