Sunday 1 February 2015

War and Peace: Kick Off!

You guys, starting today I and a bunch of other crazy people are embarking on over two months of reading Tolstoy's epic War and Peace. I can't decide what we were all thinking, besides that we like Hanna (this whole affection for people gets you into a lot of silly situations doesn't it? Still thanking everyone that attempted The Pickwick Papers with me. It can only be love that spurred you on :-p) but I'm weirdly quite excited about it. 

I've been trundling my way through the Introduction to my copy. I don't usually read introductions until after the novel because they're quite often quite spoilery, but I figured this was published in 1868, so spoiler wise, if I haven't been spoilered yet, there's probably not a huge amount to spoil? Plus it's Tolstoy, we all know roughly what we're letting ourselves in for, right? Russia, aristocracy, peasantry, various wars and revolutions and a lot of Tolstoy's politics and views on everything. Plus five million characters. Hooray. 

Originally I had this grand plan to make some kind of cool fold-out bookmark of who all the characters were and give one to everyone who's participating, just for fun, but then I looked at how many characters there actually are and how I have kids who need me and I gave up on that idea. Apparently, according to the internet, there are over five hundred characters in War and Peace. My dad has been trying to get me to read it 'for fun' since I was fifteen. Seriously? 

I'm taking courage from the amount of support I will have from others doing the readalong, and also from how much I loved Anna Karenina when I read it aged seventeen. Because of that I'm actually dreading this, all 1215 pages of it, a hell of a lot less than I am dreading every Dickens ever. 

Bring it on Tolstoy, I'm ready!


  1. I'm looking at my copy of the novel right now and thinking that it may be better suited as a door stop. I am strangely excited to start it though. It'll be a huge sense of achievement to finish and we're obviously reading it with the best people :)

  2. Three months :p

    Haha, I was wondering how many people has signed up out of a sense of loyal duty! Now you've just confirmed it.

    I'm taking comfort from the fact that I liked Anna Karenina too. Well, that and I'm already halfway through Book One and I actually quite like it. Who 'da thunk?

  3. Good luck! Maybe I'll get around to reading it, eventually.

  4. The bookmark would have been a cool idea, if it wasn't for the 500 characters! You would need a separate book just for them!