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War and Peace

By: Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude - translator, Aylmer Maude - translator
Narrated by: Thandiwe Newton
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Summary

Tolstoy’s epic novel of love and war, in an unabridged performance by Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning actress Thandiwe Newton. 

Some call it the greatest novel ever written. Whether it’s your first time, or you’re ready to dive back in, what better way to experience this epic novel than in this exquisite unabridged reading by Thandiwe Newton?     

War and Peace is at once an epic war chronicle and an exploration of everything that make us all human: love and hate, ambition and despair, life and death. Allow yourself to get lost in the lives of three Russian aristocratic families, whose triumphs and challenges are every bit as resonant to today’s listener as they were to original readers. Thandiwe Newton inhabits each character with such flair that it is easy to forget that you are listening to one voice. 

So cancel all plans, sit back, and let Thandiwe transport you to 19th-century Saint Petersburg....  

Public Domain (P)2021 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about War and Peace

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Excellently narrated

Excellently narrated. I tried to read the physical book, but found it too difficult with all the Russian names. This was a delight - to have it so expertly read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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A long listen but worth it.

Excellent narration. Good balance of history and fiction.
Enjoyed it until the second epilogue which was too philosophical.

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One of the best narrators on Audible

This is an old favourite. Spellbinding, superb, saga storytelling.

Having read it decades ago, I remember being forced to tear my paperback into chunks so that they could easily fit into my handbag.

This is so much easier!

And the narration is faultless. Gripping. Superb. Please do ask this lady to narrate more times for Audible.

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tour de force

After the ghastly experience of trying to listen to the alternative version offered by Audible (why?), switching to this one was a huge relief - a fantastic achievement, read with verve and vivid characterisation. The only thing that spoils it for me is the ridiculous caricature accents she gives to the French and Germans, Making Napoleon sound like Rene in Allo Allo is a great disservice to Tolstoy, and to Bonaparte himself I expect, He wasn't really French after all, but Corsican.

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Such A Beautiful Enriching Story

I listened to Anna Karenina first, expecting that book to be my favourite out of the two. But even though I enjoyed that book, this was my favourite. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. It is so well written by Leo Tolstoy, full of wisdom, history, philosophy, great story telling, life in Moscow and St Petersburg, and great characters. I loved the main characters of Natasha, Andreii and Pierre. I did not know so much of the history of Napoleon and the war in Russia. But I felt like I had been transported to the battlefield of Borodino, those poor men, and what they endured. I really feel like this was not just listening to a story, it was experiencing it. And this will definitely be a book that will stay with me for the rest of my life. This experience was made even more enjoyable by the reading of Thandwie Newton, honestly beyond excellent! And such a long book for her to read and put so much passion into! Narration was so good, possibility one of the best on audiable. Thank you Leo Tolstoy for enriching me in Russian culture and life, history and the beauty of Russia!

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Powerful and gripping

Gripping incredible telling of a huge piece of history, making it relatable by reference to key characters. So powerful were their emotions of joy, loss, grief, you felt alongside them.
At a time when there are so many wars in the world, you could really empathise with the characters

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Excellent

An incredible audio book, well read, depicted and I have learnt so much from this historically.
Greta story and Leo Tolstoy was an incredible / insightful writer.

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What an experience !

Utterly consuming , I was drawn into this without knowing anymore than it was very long . What an experience, absolutely enthralling. I was brought to tears on more than one occasion. Thandiwe Newton is a master narrator, completely captivating performance.
I can’t recommend this enough .

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Wow!!!

Absolutely fantastic narration! Thank you very much Thandiwe Newton! You made this great book an even richer experience!

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Thandiwe Newton is great, a great story

Just to start, War & Peace is divided into 17 books, each having a number of chapters. Books 16 and 17 are not part of the story and are Tolstoy philosophising about what moved masses of people to act, and about human nature. You will hear the word ‘inevitability’ more here than probably through the rest of your life.

I think this took me two months of listening here and there to get through. I googled a number of the events in the book to see if they really happened, and what you find is that the characters who are mentioned but have no speaking parts, usually, were real people, the events did occur, but the main and minor characters were inventions of Tolstoy.

Thandiwe Newton is great and consistent in terms of how she represents the characters, both male and female, I particularly liked the nuance between some of the more similarly styled characters, and portrayed well the difference in naivety and wisdom, old and young, intelligent and stupid.

The story is something I did not think I would enjoy, but decided to listen to as a part of an effort to experience literary classics. It is definitely not my usual genre or one I would be enthusiastic about choosing as a period drama, however, it was a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

It’s based in Russia at the time of the Napoleonic wars, mainly deals with the aristocracy, and is very involved in the subtleties and varied ways of thinking that people employ, going back and forth making decisions, affected by emotions and tone. Tolstoy comes across (and at times narrates) as a philosophiser and historian, who, it is clear, is not particularly enamoured with the historians of his day with regard the War of 1812.

It’s a high quality story with great characters and motivations I think most of us can appreciate.

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