I started reading War and Peace this month, as a group read for the Great American Read Goodreads group I’m in. I’ve also been running the group for the last month or two, since the original moderator took a break. So I’ve done a bit of internet research on the book, in preparation for reading it, and so I could share it with the group. So I might as well also share it here, and mark the point where I started reading. Then, assuming I finish, I can write another blog post at the end.
I’ve allocated two months for reading it (June and July), which is probably a bit optimistic. But that’s more about not tying up the Goodreads group for three or four months on one book than it is about how long it takes to read War and Peace. I imagine we’ll start a new group read in August, but I expect I’ll still be working on War and Peace through to Labor Day, at least.
I’m reading this Kindle version, which was free when I bought it, but now seems to be 99¢. It includes an excerpt from a book called Give War And Peace A Chance, which might be worth reading also. The translation is by Aylmer and Louise Maude, done in the 1920’s, I think. Comparing it to bits of other translations that I’ve looked at, I think it may be the most accessible to a casual American reader. And it’s apparently in the public domain, since it’s the version available at Project Gutenberg.
When I get into something like this, I often overdo the research, and sometimes go into a weird mode where I also start buying related stuff. In this case, I’ve also bought the BBC radio dramatization of the book from 2014 and the BBC TV miniseries, from 2016, both from Apple/iTunes. I thought that seeing/hearing the characters might help me keep them straight. I’ve started listening to the radio version, and it’s pretty good. The TV mini-series inspired a few good articles at The Guardian, such as this 10 things you need to know article and this could you read War and Peace in a week bit.
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