War and Peach

— Ежели бы все воевали только по своим убеждениям, войны бы не было, — сказал он.
— Это-то и было бы прекрасно, — сказал Пьер.
Князь Андрей усмехнулся.
— Очень может быть, что это было бы прекрасно, но этого никогда не будет…

Война и мир
Лев Толстой

“If everyone made war only according to his own convictions, there would be no war,” he said.
“And that would be excellent,” said Pierre.
Prince Andrei smiled.
“It might very well be excellent, but it will never happen …”

War and Peace
Lev Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy

I have tried several times to read War and Peace, which many folks claim is the greatest novel ever written, but I’ve always gotten bogged down within the first few chapters, as with all those Russian names, it gets way too confusing much too fast.

Лев ТолстойAs one example, there is Count Pyotr Kirillovich Bezukhov or Pierre, the illegitimate son of Count Kirill Vladimoirovich Bezukhov. We first meet him at the salon of Anna Pavlovna Scherer, who is often referred to as Annette. And we meet him as just one of many guests with many names at Annette’s.

I confess that the first few times I tried to wade through those chapters, I got hopelessly lost.

But I’m trying again, and this time I printed out a list of the main characters in the novel (there are dozens), and I’m referring to it constantly.

It seems to be working, as I have now gotten through the first six chapters, and they seem to be making sense.

The novel starts in 1805 and everyone is talking about Napoleon, and everyone has an opinion about him, from Anti-Christ (in Annette’s view) to conquering hero (in Pierre’s scandalous view).

I’m mentioning it here, as I think I’m going to need lots of motivation to keep going. I’ve been told by a reliable source, that it actually gets good after about a hundred pages. Not sure how to convert that from paper pages to ebook pages. I’m going to assume that it’s about 10%.

Oh, and the title of this post comes from my mistyping the title when creating a file of the character names. Can’t blame that one on auto-correct as auto-correct doesn’t come into play on file names.


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