War and Peace: Check-In #1


We have a button! Made by the lovely Renay, I am very excited that I now get to have this in my sidebar for the upcoming year. Edit: And there’s another button available too, made by Jason Gignac. Oooh, now I have to choose which one to use!


Amy has had a post up for a few days discussing her experience with reading the first part. She also has a Mr. Linky where you can leave links to your first check in if you happen to have written one.

So, onto the book..

I wonder who else was daunted by all the French in the first few chapters? I remember opening my book and looking at the first page, and most of my excitement to start reading left me. I am starting to get used to it now, and the footnotes at the bottom of the page work alright (although I do find it annoying at times that my edition (Pevear & Volokhonsky) only gives the translation, which means that I have to switch back and forth between the footnote and the text to see the English sentences being spoken in between). I wonder if Tolstoy was trying to scare us? No, I know he was trying to portray the upper class as it functioned at the time, with its use of French (and according to my introduction, sometimes faulty French at that). But he did almost scare me away. It is good that I had this read along to push me into reading.

I admit I was surprised by how easily readable the story proved to be once I got past the first 20 pages or so. I finished the part we set ourselves for January within a day, and I frankly had a difficult time stopping. I am sticking to the schedule, but I might want to figure out a way in which I do not delve into the story for a day before leaving it aside for another month, because it might take away from my general involvement (and understanding) of the story.

I have to admit that I find I have very little to say about this part. The thing is, we are just getting to know these families, and I feel I know too little of them yet to have an opinion. However, I do think it was interesting to see how the lives we follow intertwine (I’m sure there’s more of that to follow), and seeing politics enter the scene through discussions. I think the scene that stood out to me most during this part was the way different family members handled Pierre inheriting everything from his father, it really cast a light on domestic politics, and made me reconsider my dislike/like of some people (strange how you try to pin people in place so soon).

How are you getting along with War and Peace thus far? Are you enjoying it, or are you finding that you have to force yourself through it?

Amy posted some questions in her post that I think might be interesting to look at for further discussion:

  1. Why are you reading War & Peace?
  2. What translation are you reading? Are you reading print, ebook, or audio?
  3. So far, is it different than you expected or the same?
  4. Do you have a favorite character? (lol just asking–I feel like I barely know these people)
  5. Do you have any other predictions or expectations for the rest of the book?
  6. What was your favorite part of the first section?
  7. What do you see as the biggest obstacle to finishing?

In February we plan to read Book I, Part 2 (for those reading on an ereader: part 2 has 21 chapters). I hope you will join us🙂

*Sorry about posting late, work got a little crazy for a few weeks.

10 thoughts on “War and Peace: Check-In #1

  1. Barb Riley

    Hi Iris! I’m doing the read-a-long too. Just want to chime in and say, “Whew!” after reading what you wrote here:

    “I was surprised by how easily readable the story proved to be once I got past the first 20 pages or so.”

    I’ve struggled with the beginning so far (but I’m only on page 16). So this gives me hope. I plan to dive in this weekend. Nice to meet you & I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone doing the read-a-long.🙂

  2. Bookworm1858

    I am finding it very readable as well (I started but didn’t finish AK and found it very readable as well). All the French has also annoyed me-I listed that as my least favorite part of the reading so far.

  3. Helen

    I found the French a bit daunting too – and switching between the text and the notes is even more inconvenient with the Kindle version. Apart from that I’m really enjoying it and I also found it difficult to stop reading after finishing the first part!

  4. Pingback: War & Peace Read-a-long – Check-in #1 « Daystarz's Books

  5. jaynesbooks

    I had a bad month and didn’t get it started until this weekend, but I am hoping to get caught up fairly quickly and will post my thoughts when I do get caught up.

  6. Lyndsay Wheble

    Aah, so far behind! I’ll catch up for check-in two I think. Basically I agree – surprisingly gripping so far but not too many thoughts as yet. And I’m quite taken with Dolokhov🙂


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