Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Julie, Let's read this together, *Tolstoy, *War and Peace

I started War and Peace last night. I fell asleep, not because it was particularly boring, but because I was tired. I thought that I had made some progress when I saw this morning that I was on page 32. Then I realized that the book started on page 30.

So I asked myself why I would want to read something that is so painful to get started. Well, I guess it's because I feel I have something to gain from it. What that is I won't find out until later, but there has to be a reason why people love this book, and I'm curious to find out what that is. It's not particularly easy to get started writing a story either, but I do that and am always glad that I did.

I'm taking it in small steps. I'm going to commit to reading Book I, Part I right now. If anyone wants to read this with me we can discuss it on here if you'd like. I think knowing others are reading it will help me to keep going.


Julie said...

Oh and if you want to discuss, we can do so in the comments so that we don't bore everyone else unless they want to be bored. I'll do a full book review when I finish the entire book!

Nom de Gare said...

Oh, starting the book on page 30, that's just cruel! War & Peace is on my mental to-be-read list, and I was about to write: "Yes, I'll read it with you!"

And then I remembered: I wimped out and took it off my 100 list at the last minute, replacing it with The (Relatively Quick) Death of Ivan Ilych. But that was my constitutional laziness at work - I would like to read it really. So - I'll plan to start it when I finish Life of Pi, hopefully this weekend. Maybe I'll call it my book number 101.

I read Anna Karenina a couple of years ago after a few false starts. To be truthful, I'm not sure I'd have finished it if I hadn't been commuting to work by train, an hour each way, at the time (hence my screen name...) - a whole lot of enforced reading time. But I'm glad I did, and I did end up loving things about it. For me, it definitely had to be a slow and steady read over a couple of months, with rest stops as needed and plenty of other books on the side. But it was worth it.

So, yep, count me in! I'll aim to start on Book I, Part I, over the weekend. Discussion in the comments field sounds like a good plan. Yay!

Nom de Gare said...

PS Um... I s'pose it would be cheating to read his shorter "first draft"?

classicvasilly said...

God, I hope I don't have this on my list. lol! Good luck!


moonrat said...

someone on this list--heck, it might have been you, i can't remember now--advised me that the first 80 pages are the worst and hardest to get through. (same, apparently, for Anna K.)

this is on my list, although i'm not quite ready to start reading it yet. im SO interested to see what you guys have to say as you go along, and i hope there will be other people willing to read along with me when it's my turn! gluck!!

Megan said...

I've had 400 pages of War and Peace left since September. I started it in July. Once I got through the beginning it really picked up and I fell in love with the characters and their lives. But now I'm at the point where it's all war and no peace and I'm having so much trouble getting through the last of the battles. Keep going! The middle is great!

Julie said...

Well. Let's just say I don't recommend starting your list with the longest book on it. My reading of War and Peace has slowed to a crawl after finishing Book I Part I. The writing is good, the characters are good, but I'm just not that into it.

I don't think this book is for me. Now it's just sitting by my bed and every time I go to pick it up I think, hmmm, maybe I'll watch a movie tonight.

I don't want to be turned off of reading! Sooo, I'm taking a break from War and Peace now to read something more my style.

Did anyone get anywhere on it, and what do you think?

Nom de Gare said...

Oh, man! I'm so sorry to have been such a flake on this one. I've been avoiding checking in on this blog for fear of admitting my failure...
Despite my promises, I haven't plunged into War & Peace. I chose my translation, got my hands on a copy, prepared myself to start reading, read maybe half a dozen pages...
Then got thoroughly distracted.
I have no good excuses, only shoddy ones. I'm kind of following my nose when it comes to choosing what to read next on my list. It's such a daunting project as it is, I figure best to go with appetites as they appear... and they've taken me in other directions.
Gah, this is weak of me. Julie, I do still intend to read this book, but I've failed to do it for now. I plan to return to it, and I'd love to hear your thoughts in coming months/years as to whether or not it ever takes.
A thousand, thousand apologies to you and to Tolstoy for my horrible flakiness!