War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Well y'all I did it! I finally did it! I FINALLY finished War and Peace! And you know what? It was actually kind of great. Tolstoy has two different dialogues in this book. The first is a story and has to do with the characters he has invented (and the real characters he's invented for) and these sections of the book are wonderful. He writes the characters wonderfully and you really are on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next with this diverse group of people who all come together in the end. The other dialogue running through this book is a reflection on war, and how historians handle it. These parts sort of felt like I was getting beat over the head with a political science textbook.
Tolstoy is very emphatic that events go the way they do not because of the wills of certain individuals (like Napolean and Alexander I) but because of the force of the movement of many people. I'll be honest, my eyes would tend to glaze during these sections. Especially because Tolstoy is a tangent lover. There was an entire chapter describing Moscow to a decimiated bee hive and I was like, OH MY GOD I GET IT. But it really was one of the greatest books I've ever read- I can see why it has such a prestigious place in literary history. Especially as an American, it's interesting to hear about the other war of 1812, and what went on in Russia.