War and Peace

War and Peace - Henry Gifford, Aylmer Maude, Louise Maude, Leo Tolstoy My Oh My, this book! How does one even begin to write a review on 'War and Peace'?! A book of so many words managed to leave me utterly speechless.

Here is my dilemma - either I had lived in Russia 200 years ago or Tolstoy is a genius. The second option seems more reasonable, yet a part of me still feels completely astounded by the immense sense of belonging this book gave me. It didn’t feel like I was reading the story – it felt like I was living it. I saw the clothes, I listened to the conversations, I admired some and despised others. Vasska Denisov made me laugh, Pierre made me think and Prince Andrey made me fall in love with him.
I have very seldom encountered an author like Tolstoy. In a single sentence he is able to describe the whole being of a character – the way they look, their mimics and their thoughts. He has this rare ability to breathe life into every scene, so as to transform readers into protagonists. This is the true magic of literature.

'War and Peace', despite being hauntingly beautiful, taught me a sad lesson. As long as men exist, will war exist too. War, for what it’s worth, is not just the simple (or complicated for that matter) act of violence most people imagine it to be. It is a way of life. War is a world on its own with its own twisted laws and dynamics. It might sound aghast, but to some men war serves as an opportunity to become somebody, especially if peace had made them feel like a nobody. War seems to give man the false sense of power and potency, and therein lies its gruesome potential.

I wouldn’t put 'War and Peace' in any genre or frame. To me it felt like the book of books. Maybe the genre 'War and Peace' shall be invented or maybe this is the genre of life itself. After all, aren’t we, day in day out, fighting our own personal battles and then making peace with the world?