Never before has it taken me that long to finish a book as it did with War and Peace. I started this work an unbelievable 8 years ago! I didn't read it during all this time, there were long breaks and several attempts to finish it. The main reason why it took me so long was that I had this huge one-volume edition which just was too big for my hands and too heavy for my handbag. But the end of last year my library finally had it as an ebook and this really helped! Now I'm just glad to finally be done!
I had watched a miniseries of War and Peace before reading the book which made reading it a lot easier: I had the character's faces on my mind and this helped remembering who was who. There really are a lot of characters!
War and Peace is an enormous work and it deserves to be read. It's just that tiny bit too long. The peace parts can be read fairly quickly, but the war parts are often very very slow going. I'm not really interested in battle descriptions or at least only up to a certain point. When they are hundreds of pages long with every detail and often repetitive that's a bit too much. He reaches the peak when he even uses mathematical equations! What I didn't like about Tolstoy's style is that whenever he uses an image or an example he explains it. It seems like he doesn't believe his readers can understand what he's saying. He's also often quite preachy which isn't my cup of tea.
I was at war with this work for a long time, now I'm finally at peace with it but only barely. After all the effort I put into reading it I just hoped that I would love it in the end. It's a good book but it will never be one of my favourites.