What I’m Still Reading Now – War and Peace

War and Peace (Voina i Mir)
 I’ve just about hit the halfway point.
Just like Anna Karenina, this book has astonished me with its: modern style and page-turning plot. It really is exciting.
Like another of my favorite books, Framley Parsonage, this one swoops from tiny domestic matters to nation-changing politics, but of course this one goes a little further and throws millions of soldiers into chaotic, absurdist battles.
The historical recreations of Napoleon’s conversations are riveting and feel like they were just written.
Here’s a little example. Napoleon is speaking to Alexander’s envoy, Balashev, and is feeding off his own chatter and working himself into a lather and carrying many nations into war:
 “What a splendid reign the Emperor Alexander’s
might have been!”
    He looked compassionately at Balashev, and as
soon as the latter tried to make some rejoinder
hastily interrupted him.
    “What could he wish or look for that he would
not have obtained through my friendship?” demanded
Napoleon, shrugging his shoulders in perplexity.
“But no, he has preferred to surround himself with
my enemies, and with whom? With Steins, Armfeldts,
Bennigsens, and Wintzingerodes!”
I’m reading the old school Louise and Aylmer Maude  translation and, though I’m clearly no scholar, it feels like a really good one.
I understand there’s a new translation on the market that has chopped out a lot of “Philosophy” or something. (I haven’t read that translation obviously) but I’m personally not wishing there were less book.
I had planned to stop at the halfway point and read another book. Something shorter and lighter, perhaps. But now I’m not sure. I don’t want to forget any of the characters who took me 300 pages to learn to tell apart. (I think I even know the difference betwenn Denisov and Dolokhov at last!)

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