War and Peace
Hailed as one of the greatest novels of all time and a classic of world literature, War and Peace is a tale of strivers in a world fraught with conflict, social and political change, and spiritual confusion, Tolstoy's magnificent work continues to entertain, enlighten, and inspire readers around the world. Both an intimate study of individual passions and an epic history of Russia and its people, 'War and Peace' is nothing more or less than a complete portrait of human existence.
Among its many unforgettable characters is Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a proud, dashing man who, despising the artifice of high society, joins the army to achieve glory. Badly wounded at Austerlitz, he begins to discover the emptiness of everything to which he has devoted himself. His death scene is considered one of the greatest passages in Russian literature. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants, to soldiers and Napoleon himself. In War and Peace (1868-9), Tolstoy entwines grand themes—conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate.