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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
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War and Peace

$20.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $34.95

Discount: 40%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Translator Constance Garnett
Length 61 hours 3 minutes
Language English
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Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once a historical war epic, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Noted for its mastery of realistic detail and psychological analysis, it follows the metamorphosis of five aristocratic families against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Individual stories interweave as each of Tolstoy’s memorable characters seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by war in different ways. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process.

Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers: “To be played upon by the animal keenness of this eye, the sheer power of this creative attack, the entirely clear and true greatness…of this epic, is to find one’s way home…to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born about two hundred miles from Moscow. His mother died when he was two, his father when he was nine. His parents were of noble birth, and Tolstoy remained acutely aware of his aristocratic roots, even when he later embraced doctrines of equality and the brotherhood of man. After serving in the army in the Caucasus and Crimea, where he wrote his first stories, he traveled and studied educational theories. In 1862 he married Sophia Behrs and for the next fifteen years lived a tranquil, productive life, finishing War and Peace in 1869 and Anna Karenina in 1877. In 1879 he underwent a spiritual crisis; he sought to propagate his beliefs on faith, morality, and nonviolence, writing mostly parables, tracts, and morality plays. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of eighty-two.

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.

Constance Garnett (1862–1946) translated the works of numerous Russian authors, including Tolstoy, Gogol, Pushkin, and Turgenev.

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Reviews

“There remains the greatest of all novelists—for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?”

“If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy.”

“[A] complex plot, vivid characters, and profound insights into war and the nature of power.”

“There will not be a better recording of Tolstoy’s masterpiece for some time…the genius of this book is everlasting. The impressive dialog sparkles with humor and wit, and the vivid scenes of battle are riveting…Davidson’s exquisite narration heightens the perfection of this novel, regarded as one of the greatest in literature.”

"[War and Peace] felt so specific to the world of Tolstoy’s creation, but also to right now. What is living in the United States in 2020 but a society of people trying to disregard what is painful until it comes, in favor of thinking about what is pleasant?…There are reasons to read War and Peace beyond being able to brag about having read War and Peace. Those reasons are particularly pointed right now, at a time when it feels like society might need an unlikely miracle to be saved.”

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