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War and Peace (AmazonClassics Edition)

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 55 hrs and 36 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

Non-member price: $43.87

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Publisher's Summary

In early nineteenth-century Russia, the threat of Napoleon’s invasion looms, and the lives of millions are about to be changed forever. This includes Pierre Bezúkhov, illegitimate son of an aristocrat; Andrew Bolkónski, ambitious military scion; and Natásha Rostóva, compassionate daughter of a nobleman. All of them are unprepared for what lies ahead. Alongside their fellow compatriots - a catalog of enduring literary characters - Pierre, Andrew, and Natásha will be irrevocably torn between fate and free will.

Through the bonds of love and family, and all that can break them, Tolstoy examines the effects of war on every strata of society in his masterwork of intimate - and epic - social history.

Revised edition: Previously published as War and Peace, this edition of War and Peace (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about War and Peace (AmazonClassics Edition)

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It exceeds its reputation and my expectations.

I miss this book in my life, and I finished it 3 months ago! I kept thinking all the way through it that Tolstoy would have been so pleased that the narrating was done so well. It is a master piece! It makes you think about things very differently to, for example what really happens when young men go into battle for the very first time. how clumsy they are and how they cannot get out of the way of their fear which makes them clumsier, but then how they regale the battle with great pride forgetting most of their mistakes. It was refreshing writing and take on battle, society and families, raw and honest, but compassionate. Tolstoy writes with much experience for all these facets. I also appreciated the history lesson in the Napoleonic Wars, which was interlaced into the story. War and Peace comes with a big reputation....but I am pleased to say it carries every word of it, it is a phenomenal book, do yourself a favour and read it!

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Good Long One

worth the time and effort to listen to this classic... surprisingly politics and war hasnt changed much in last century

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  • steve thomas
  • 14-08-2020

Tremendous narration

War and Peace is what it is. You may find that it's too long or has too many characters or there's too many digressions on the nature of history. If so you won't make it very far. But one thing you don't want to worry about is having it ruined by the narrator. I haven't listened to the other versions but can say confidently that you will not do better than Edoardo Ballerini. He's amazing. This is the first book I've listened to by him and already I'd rank him as one of the best in the business. I won't say the 55 hours flew by because it definitely took a long time to get through but there was never a time that I was tempted to abandon it and listen to something else. Obviously that's mostly about the great story but it's also a tribute to the narration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • gail
  • 03-07-2020

Worth it!

Yes, it’s long, but Ballerini, the reader keeps up the pace. It’s many books in one — history, philosophy, romance, sociology, domestic drama. Why spend your credits on 4 books when you can listen one great one?

4 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Moliski
  • 30-07-2020

A non-fiction fiction epic humanizing history

I finished Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ today after having listened to it over the past month. Tolstoy makes a lot of critiques on how we interpret human history: so many interpretations are nationalistic, have agendas and glorify certain figures as ‘great men’. His solution was to develop a series of interweaving first person accounts in an effort to recreate what it must’ve been like for the soldiers as well as the leaders during a time of great turmoil in Europe. There isn’t any one villain, even Napoleon who is depicted as either a devil or a saint depending on the historian’s view of conquering or liberating Europe is depicted as a human. Everyone in this book is depicted as a human being, and not as a ‘great figure’. Everyone has flaws, has redeeming qualities, and can be pitied. Napoleon and the serfs alike. Because Tolstoy remains impartial for most of the book, save the epilogue, we’re left to make our own histories from the experiences of the characters. But it’s more than just political and military history, in between the chapters depicting the horrors of war there’s an intricate web of relationships, love & loss. I found myself getting pretty bored listening to the courtship and drama which consists of half of the book, but in hindsight it gives appropriate context to why the characters do the things that they do in relation to war and politics, and the point Tolstoy is trying to make in deliberately humanizing ‘great men’. Another ‘antagonist’ in the book, my favorite character Dolokhov, is seen as this drunken violent rebel who is a pretty sore loser, acquires all of his friend’s wealth through taking advantage of his gambling problem, antagonizes a duel with the virtuous albeit naive Pierre, and ties a police officer to a bear and throws them both into a river. Even Dolokhov has strict values, protects the people he loves, and fights ferociously for his country. Looking back at all of the characters, all of the scenes however elaborate, epic, or mundane, draws me to the conclusion that this book is truly a fantastic composite of human experience of men and women pushed to extremes, both personally and politically. At the heart of this story is a raw loving, pitiable, extraordinary humanity that is still relevant 150 years later.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-08-2020

Wonderful!

The performance was spectacular. The reader was able to do accents and pronounce French very well. I loved this story and feel accomplished having finished such a long novel. We’ll worth it.

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  • Charles Emmons
  • 18-08-2020

Great Story!

Wow what a story, I kind of liked Anna Karenina a little bit better, I like romances. Pierre was such a fascinating character; I will never forget the moment he meets the freemason at the train station, that whole chapter will stick with me till I die. Narration was so-so, had to get used to the American Narration, I love British Narrations and I wish the guy that read Anna Karenina did this one, would have made it more tolerable imo. you get used to it about 33% in. I had to follow along with the book at the beginning, it starts off confusing and a mess, but I put the book down about 15% in; after that it became very enjoyable to just let it slip into the ears. Worth the money and time.

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  • seouljake
  • 16-08-2020

best novel ever written? fantastic narration!

best novel ever written? fantastic narration! best novel ever written? fantastic narration! i loved it!

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  • Marcelo B. De Freitas
  • 31-08-2020

Fantastic

Could not recommend more. Enjoy. Superb ACTING (reading). Congrats to EDOARDO BALLERINI as well. Cheers.

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  • Charlotte Harrell
  • 11-08-2020

Thrilling, Splendid, Except Ending Chapters

Tolstoy's human and humane characterizations, even one of a little, blue-gray dog, delight and intrigue me. Natasha's falling for seduction breaks my heart in the 1956 Film, produced by Dino De Laurentius, and directed by King Vidor, brilliantly done, with Audrey Hepburn as the vibrantly beautiful and intelligent young Natasha, and Henry Fonda as Pierre, Mel Ferrer as Prince Andrew. It is wonderful in the book, to have each of the male characters intimately portrayed, with inner feelings, heroism, and foibles. Tolstoy takes the trouble to give each of the final marriages: Natasha to Pierre, Princess Mary to Nicholas, an understanding portrayal of the conflicts and resolutions between each couple, and the novel itself seems to me to end with Prince Andrew's tragically fatherless son, dreaming of an entity that seems to be that father, and by day, evincing in himself some extreme sensitivity that draws him to adore Pierre, just as Prince Andrew had done. Of all these things I could give a detailed review of Tolstoy's masterful details. But the one thing that has bewildered me in this excellent Amazon Classics production, is the inclusion of those final four chapters of pure exposition and philosophizing that, to me, do not present as literary fiction at all. In the abridged version of the book I have at hand, (not one that says, Book One and then Book Two, as yours does)--the book ends with the little Nicholas dreaming of his father, who died in the war. To me, that is also, where novelized fiction ends, and the final four chapters I could not even listen to, in full, as they made my head spin with circumlocutions, and made me thirst for more of the fulsome recreation of an historically real world, peopled by characters done with great feeling and understanding by their author. I offer my review mainly to ask that question, in bewilderment--have those final four chapters always appeared in abridged versions of the book? Do they come from the original, multi-volume edition of it,, or what? Oh, and this narrator, Edoardo Ballerini, I could listen to forever, even, if I thought them useful, to those philosophizing chapters.

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  • OM4J
  • 08-07-2020

You won’t be disappointed

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Tolstoy’s writing is mesmerizing. The characters were all so well written. While long, the story is compelling throughout. The only thing I found I didn’t enjoy were some of the lengthy diatribes about Napoleon, but I understand given his nation’s history with that tyrant.

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  • Eddie99
  • 07-07-2020

Brilliant narration

War and Peace has always seemed an unattainable goal. Thanks to this production, I made it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-2020

One of those real masterpieces

The narration is superb. It can be a difficult book at times, because it has so many characters, but there is so much life even in the episodic apparitions. I recommend to read or listen to Anna Karenina first, which is superior to this.