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War and Peace, Book 5: 1806-1807

War and Peace, Book 5: 1806-1807 by Leo Tolstoy
By: (1828-1910)

War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir; in original orthography: Война и миръ, Voyna i mir”) is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy’s two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world’s greatest novels.

War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy’s time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense.

Note: The novel is split up in 15 books. This is the recording of book four, which covers events in the year 1806.

First Page:

An Anonymous Volunteer


By Leo Tolstoy/Tolstoi

BOOK ONE: 1805


"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist I really believe he is Antichrist I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave,' as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened you sit down and tell me all the news."

It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well known Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Marya Fedorovna. With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. Anna Pavlovna had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, suffering from la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used only by the elite.

All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered by a scarlet liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:

"If you have nothing better to do, Count (or Prince), and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible, I shall be very charmed to see you tonight between 7 and 10 Annette Scherer... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 3 Stars - 8 reviews)

Reviewer: - April 18, 2014
Subject: Listening
This is a fine story though the accent is hard to understand.
Reviewer: - November 28, 2013
Subject: Good listening
So far I have listened to 6 chapters with a speaker to enhance volume which makes it easier to listen and follow the story.
Reviewer: - November 9, 2013
I wish the readings were done by people who had good English accents. It's frustrating to listen to these strange accents.
Reviewer: - August 10, 2013
I couldn't get more than a few sentences into this book as the reader's accent was very thick, unclear and a little lispy.
Reviewer: - June 3, 2013
Disappointed. Every chapter is read by a different person. Every now and then you get a good read but most are read by readers with extremely thick accents. I tried 3 times to finish listening but eventually have given up.
April 13, 2013
Not only is the reader's German accent heavy and difficult, he also has a bit of a speech problem and is a poor reader.
March 14, 2013
This is read in a thick European accent making it difficult to listen to for the average American listener.
Reviewer: - February 20, 2013
This book is by no means a novel. But a fictional historical account of Russia, its people especially the aristocrats during Napoleon era.

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