Sunday 8 March 2015

War and Peace Readalong: Week Five

Apparently we're half way through War and Peace. I actually can't believe I'm still keeping up and actually enjoying it, but there we have it. A couple of things about this week - firstly I keep getting confused with the Kuragins and Julie Karagin. Are there not enough Russian surnames for their names to just be totally different and stop me thinking that Helen and Julie are sisters and then getting confused? Also although this weeks' chapters were pretty short I pretty much ended up just hating everyone. It's like Tolstoy was playing how annoying can these characters possibly be? The answer is, apparently, very very annoying!

So, this week's prompts...

1) Could the disastrous meeting between Marya and Natasha have gone any other way? Who was to blame?

Honestly, both of them were awful. Firstly, it's not Natasha's fault she's not Lise, get over it. For a woman who spends so much of her time trying to be godly, being a bitch to someone because they're younger and prettier than you isn't really a shining example of good Christian behaviour is it? And what the hell is wrong with Natasha? (this may be my battle cry for this week) Oh they don't like me/want me here so I'll act like a stuck up child and pretend everybody is beneath me. Urgh. So annoying. 

2) Everyone seems to be secretly considering Marya for marriage at the moment. Do you think it will ever happen for her? Was Boris right to pick Julie?

I do feel a bit sorry for Marya at the moment to be honest. Her father is horrible. It doesn't matter how much Tolstoy goes on about how he only does it because he loves her, I still think taking all your rage out on your child and constantly telling them they're shit and nobody will ever love/want them around is an awful thing to do. I like him less than I like Natasha at the moment. I don't think she'll ever get married though. She's too bound up in her duty and never makes any moves with men so they wouldn't even know she was interested if she was. I think Boris and Julie deserve each other to be honest - they're both a bit bleh and nothingy characters for me. Neither of them seem to have much of a spine or a story. 

3) There's too much drama with Natasha for me to formulate an all-encompassing question so...I don't know. Discuss. 

Thanks for the excuse to rant, Hanna! Natasha infuriated me this week. Up to now I've been quite a Natasha fan, but this week, argh. I honestly thought when the whole thing happened with Andrei that she'd mended her ways and was going to stop falling in and out of 'love' every five minutes, but then a pretty man shows up and she's like 'oh well I must love him or he wouldn't be telling me he loved me'. I don't even know where the logic is in that or how that would be a thing. Obviously people tell people they love them all the time without the other person reciprocating or encouraging it in any way, but Natasha must be an exception to that rule because she's special. I got so sick of her being such a diva, I just wanted to slap her, very hard, and tell her to stop being such a child. I don't know if it's just my translation, but she kept telling Sonya that she was her 'enemy forever' and shouting things like 'you all hate me and don't want me to be happy'. Um, hello, 14 year old me? I know she's not all that old but seriously? After this week I honestly don't care what happens to her now. The old Count Rostov is pretty much the only Rostov left who doesn't frustrate me. 

4) Lots of characters are being fairly dickish this week. Who wins the prize for the person you'd most like to slap? 

And that would be Natasha! Closely followed by Anatole actually, because nobody just deserves to have loads of money because they're pretty, and you can't just go round telling people you're not married when you are. What a knob. 

Apparently War and Peace made me angry this week! I still really enjoyed reading it though, and I'm still quite engrossed in the story. I think the hatred is as much a valid part of reading for me as is loving characters, in as much as if I hate most of the things most of the characters are doing I can still be liking the book overall, if that makes sense? I'm actually excited to read this weeks chapters!

Find out how the rest of the readalongers are getting on here.


  1. Firstly, it's not Natasha's fault she's not Lise, get over it. For a woman who spends so much of her time trying to be godly, being a bitch to someone because they're younger and prettier than you isn't really a shining example of good Christian behaviour is it?

    I didn't really pick up on that, but perhaps my memories of that scene have just been tainted by how much I hate Natasha. I really hate Natasha, by the way.

    My translation had the dramatic enemy spiel as well and it annoyed me so much I actually typed the damn thing out. Sonya has grown on me a little, just for standing up to Natasha and doing the sensible thing by ratting her out.

    Grr. I find Anatole intensely irritating too. I mean, what was he going to do!? Just have a string of wives in every town and hope he never got caught out!?

  2. I hate most of the characters too! But I am also still enjoying the book. I think this means that the book is doing something right!

    I still think that Natasha deserves a little bit of sympathy, because she is obviously just too naive and young and stupid to actually know what she's getting into. Anatole, on the other hand, knows exactly what he is doing and is very pleased with himself for doing it. As you said, what a knob.

  3. The nearly identical names are killing me here - I wish Tolstoy had stretched his imagination a teensy bit more.

    The questions were great this week - with all the Natasha/Anatole drama going on, it feels fantastic to vent about them, hahaha! As for I'm hoping that Marya grows into a stronger person and starts standing up for herself. Boris isn't worth fighting for, so he and Julie do deserve each other.