War and Peace, I surrender!

I mentioned before that I was reading War and Peace. Since I haven’t been able to form a coherent and complete thought for my blog this month, I will just blather about that book here.

In the beginning I got lost with all the characters being introduced. The first time I tried reading, I quite about 50 pages in. This time, I sat down with what I thought was an excess of index cards for use to keep track of all the characters, any descriptions, major plot points. I ended up using all but a couple cards by the end of the book.

Related to the mass number of characters, I don’t even know what the point was for their being in the story. The book jumped around to different plots, different characters, different settings. For the most part it made sense, here’s a section about war, here’s a section concerning the civilians. But other than that, I really don’t know why I needed to know so much about, for example, the guy who was Natalia’s cousin/crush-at-first and Nikolai’s best friend-at-first. Or Natalia and Nikolai’s older sister.

I didn’t care for the war parts either. They just seemed to drag on, and that so much more could have been accomplished with much fewer words. But maybe the war parts were meant to be a big part of the story. Like how some characters chickened out in battle (and then what? nothing happens because of it? the character doesn’t learn much from it?), some lost body parts, some were heroic. Woop de do.

I did read an abridged version, though. (Over 650 pages is abridged? hah!) Maybe some important stuff was cut out? Or was it even more pointless goings-on of characters that weren’t really important?

I don’t know. It might have helped my understanding if I’d had someone tell me what I was supposed to get out of it. That probably helps for a lot of important classic literature.

At the end of the book, I just thought, so that’s it? What was the book about? What was I supposed to have gained from it? Was it the characters that Leo Tolstoy wanted to focus on? I couldn’t stand the characters! I thought they were stupid, blathering idiots, and I didn’t care one whit for any of them at the end of the book. Pierre might have been the most likeable character for me. I don’t know.

This entry is exactly like War and Peace. I cut out expanding on some points (partly for time, mostly because I don’t care), the reader doesn’t really care about anything in this, and what exactly have you learned from reading it? Not much, except that maybe War (and Peace, to a lesser extent) didn’t tickle my fancy.

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