I’m about 330,000 words into W&P and Tolstoy still has me humming along with his narrative. Book Nine is mostly about Napoleon finally launching into Russian. We all know how this turns out for the French but I don’t know how it will turn out for the characters…and I want to know.
What I’m most impressed by is not only how episodic the story telling is but how deeply thought out it is yet how accessible it is. Again, I’m terribly intimidated by Tolstoy.
One last observation: I love it’s genre-lessness. War and romance. politics and family squabbles. He writes about it all and he writes it all so truthfully. Incredible.
Natasha is sweet but you can’t leave a woman in her prime on the shelf for a year like Andy does. Sooner or later hormones and biology are just going to do what they do. They’re explosive enough but when you add Moscow nightlife and then Anatole to the mixture. Pow!
So you have the downfall, in the eyes of 1812 Moscow culture of a nice girl who was treated poorly by a grumpy old count, his too-obedient son and a rich playboy. Not to mention her own dad who didn’t prep her for reality.
But wait, near the end of the book Pierre seems to be nice…he could make her happy…if it weren’t for that nasty yet beautiful Ellen. What shall happen? What shall happen?
This is a brilliant guide, btw: https://medium.com/@BrianEDenton/a-year-of-war-and-peace-cc66540d9619