War and Peace is a 2000 page book about the lives of a handful of protagonists during the Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The Napoleonic Wars are a powerful and somber setting for exploring the lives of men and women of the period. The events of the war are very well developed by Tolstoy and it is quite apparent that he did a great deal of research before writing the novel. There is also a good deal (~150 pages) of philosophizing on the way that mankind records and interprets history, all of it quite insightful. The writing is effortless and effective (I read it in Russian) and the story rarely drags, which was my biggest concern starting the book. Surprisingly, the novel does not dwell on mundane minutiae. There were a few parts that were perhaps overindulgent but even those were done somewhat tastefully. If I would have to scrutinize the book I'd probably say that around 10 -15% of the time it was a little too pastoral for me but I suspect that was just downtime between the swells. On the other hand W&P contains some of the most well developed characters in literature. My heart was truly aching for some of them in their times of hardship. More over this book contains some of the most beautiful and profound passages I have ever read. Some that will undoubtedly stay with me forever. Some that gave me insight in to things that I may have never discovered. And this is how I judge books – by humanity's secrets that they reveal. On that front this book is surely a 10/10 masterpiece. As far a read, I'd give it an 8, I still prefer Anna Karenina. All that being said I highly recommend it. It's a great downtime book. My fondest moments with the novel were spent outdoors on rolling green hills, under large trees and in solitude. Anyway, enjoy!
Source: reddit post