On October 27, we posted a message about starting a Goodreads group to read a book few, if any, would undertake without some external motivation: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy [The Louise and Aylmer Maude translation]. My friend David Bond suggested creating a Goodreads group to read it together, and I heartily joined in sponsorship and the read. [I think my copy has been sitting on my bookshelves for about 40 years.] We’re proud to announce our group of eight people officially began reading December 1. One of us was so excited he finished in 24 days, in November. You can be sure we’re going to have questions for him!
Few would dispute this is a masterpiece, and many believe it to be the greatest novel ever written. Others suggest it represented a major shift in novelistic style, from novels with a firm beginning, middle and end, such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, back to the epic form – for example The Iliad of Homer, which begin and no particular point in time and stream on without a definite ending. In that particular respect, it represents the first modern novel.
It’s really interesting to be reading this work with seven other people. We plan to make notes and compare observations in our reading group space on Goodreads at the end of each of the thirteen Books. I’ll keep you posted on what we share.