Thursday, 1 October 2009

No.153 Of Open Declarations of War

Ok so its war on War and Peace. Finally, last night I plucked up the courage to start this monster of a novel - or perhaps more accurately to "assess the job" before starting this evening.

There are it seems 27 main characters in W n P (incidentally in Russia it is called Peace and War did you know?). Apparently in Russia you can refer to someone in three different ways; by using their first name, their patriarcname or their informal/nickname and a lot of this goes on in the book. So my guess is that the reader has to wrestle not with 27 names but as many as 80+. My preference in the past has been for books with no more than 3 characters thereafter I struggle or end up flipping to the front all the time to the List of Characters to remind myself who is who. I feel a battle if not a war coming on already.

There's 1,300 in my copy of P n W. I've worked it out that if I read an average of 10 pages every day that's 130 days of my reading life accounted for or if you like now until Christmas and beyond.

Anyway onwards! Into battle.......!


  1. I'd recommend keeping a notebook beside the bed and drawing out your own family tree, with messy lines for outside the family connections. It's easier to remember if it's drawn out in your own hand, than using a book's own diagrams.

    Never got into W&P, couldn't even manage Middlemarch!