War and Peace’s Book Three brings to mind to me the battle scenes of The Killer Angel’s by Michael Shaara.
The complete scope Schaara and Tolstoy are able to bring from an infantryman with his face in the mud to the despair of a general. From Napolean’s victory preening as seen through the eyes of Boris to the heart rending slaughter on the dam is astounding.
I’m again annoyed I didn’t come to this book sooner. As I am with so many authors (and things) I’ve come to later in life.
The magic so far of Tolstoy is that I feel compelled to keep reading the narrative. I drags me along and in the narrative I can sense the underlying philosophy that is guiding him. He’s not just spinning a yarn, I’m going to be taught something whether I want to be or not. I’m going to have Tolstoy imprinted in my soul by the end of this whether I want him there or not.
As a reader, I’m a bit intimidated. As a writer, I’m humbled, knocked to my knees humbled.