Sometime in the beginning of the year I wrote a list of different things I wanted to do over the coming year. And one thing on my list was; read War and Peace. I have long wanted to read that book (ever since it occured to me that it is set during the Regency era), but… well… it is a bit of a brick! And, from what I had heard, not an easy read. But I still wanted to read it. However it took a good friend of mine (I think you know who you are 🙂 ) telling me how much she had enjoyed the book to actually get me to go out and buy it and start reading.
That was a while ago, and now I have just finished it, last week.
So what can I say that hasn’t been said about it before? I don’t know. I will join my voice with all those who have already sung it’s praises, all those who claim it is an epic masterpiece. It is. The book has an immense list of characters, it is stuffed completely full of historic details and has long parts describing and philosophising about the events and the people who marked this time in history, and its got a good story. I have never read a book by Leo Tolstoy before and I didn’t know what to expect. But I can now safely say that I am very impressed by him. He is a great writer and writes in a captivating way. I several times emerged from the pages at the end of a chapter surprised to find myself in my bed, and not on a battle field in Russia!
Much as I liked the book and much as it fascinates me, it still was a bit of a challange reading it. I can now confirm together with all those who have said it before, it is not a light read! But am I glad I read it? Oh yes!
After finishing it I announced to my family that they were going to have to join me in watching yet another long costume drama. No one complained. 🙂 We watched the 2007 version, and I must say I thought this too was very good!
It is over 6 hours long, but even so there is no way of course they can include everything that is in the book. But I think they did an impressively good job with it anyway.The actors were very close to what I had imagined the characters to be, something which is definitely not always the case, and they managed to capture the story well.
Now to go raving on about one of my favorite topics here;, the costumes. Oh my! Heavenly! So beautiful! There were a great deal of white dresses (something which provided the inspiration I needed for the new gown I am working on…), very pretty, and as for the men, well they provided some of the most extravagant uniforms I have ever seen in a film of this era. Very elegant, though I wonder how practical some of those things really are…? There was a lot of fur in these costumes, which I am not so used to seeing, but the climate in Russia would make such things necessary. I suppose it must have been the same in Sweden. There were even fur lined bonnets! And very pretty ones too at that! Hmm, maybe I should make myself one of those for winter…?
So yeah, I loved it! And so did the rest of my family. My brother Aron is a guy of few words. He doesn’t like to use superfluous expressions where a simple word will suffice. And he doesn’t praise things more than he absolutely has to. So when he, after we had finished watching this, said “and I thought War and Peace was going to be boring!” I take that as a sign that he liked it. 🙂