Wednesday, May 03, 2006

But Seriously

I'm actually doing okay on War and Peace. His battle scenes and social scenes are both vivid. The battle scenes in particular often have a "you are there" quality. The scene Mike mentioned in the comments, where Prince Andre is lying on his back on the battlefield, looking up at the sky, is brilliant. Tolstoy's very observant, but the structure is sprawling, not really plotted, and sometimes he loses me on a character for a while. One of his favorite things to do is to have characters NOT know why they're doing what they're doing. But he drops hints, or just outright tells you, why they're really doing it. I find a certain amount of this to be fun, but after a while I start feeling like one of his big messages is: no one knows what they're doing. I don't like that message. But, hey, I'm only about a third of the way in. More to come. I've got to finish it in a few weeks for the book club I'm in.

Soon I may need
To pick up the speed
When I read.

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