Thoughts on: War & Peace: Book 2 – Part 3
Latest Posts / June 30, 2012

Andrei is on his way to visit the Rostovs, on the way he sees an old, weathered oak and identifies with it, continuing on he sees a young girl which is full of life and spontaneous. The Count invites Andrei to spend the night, which he readily accepts. From his window, Andrei can hear the girl he saw earlier, Natasha, who is enamored by the moonlit night. Andrei feels his world weariness going away, being replaced by hope. On his way back, Andrei sees that same old oak tree sprouting new leaves.

Graphic Novel Review: Petrograd by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook)

Article first published as Graphic Novel Review: Petrograd by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) on Blogcritics. About: Petrograd by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) is a graphic novel about an assassination. The graphic novels tells about an international conspiracy behind the murder of Gregorii Rasputin. 264 pages Publisher: Oni Press ISBN: 1934964441  My rating for Petrograd – 5 Get a great price on this book through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Philip Gelatt More books by Tyler Crook Thoughts: The graphic novel Petrograd by Philip Gelatt (art by Tyler Crook) is more of a historical thriller than anything else. The death of Gregorii Rasputin has generated much controversy at the time and many more conspiracy theories which are always fun and supply fodder for authors. The story, while fictional, seems realistic enough to have actually happen (almost). Somehow Mr. Crook took the blighted atmosphere which authors try very hard to create and drew it. While I’m sure that many creative licenses were taken, as they are in every historical novel, I still enjoyed the story immensely. But don’t let the words “graphic novel” fool you. Petrograd takes historical facts (as seen by Americans) and re-tells the story in the format of an…

Thoughts on: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Book 1 Part 3
Classics , Latest Posts / February 25, 2012

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: What stood out in Book 1 Part 3 is the characterization which Tolstoy employs. The physical attraction Pierre feels for the busty Hélène is extremely convincing and Hélène’s descriptions of being a sexual siren are fabulous. One of the techniques that Tolstoy employs in his characterization is not only writing about the “what” and the “how” – but also about the “why”. For example, we know Pierre lacks will or confidence which makes Hélène’s advances at him uncomfortable, but also understandable to how easily Pierre has succumbed to the charms of a woman whose family he considers to be appalling. Tolstoy also creates scenes of uncomfortable comedic brilliance, ones that you cringe when you read as if you were an unwanted fly on the wall….

Thoughts on: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Book 1 Part 2
Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / February 11, 2012

  About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: I liked Book 1 Part 2 of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy much better than part 1. This part starts with the Austrian campaign where Russia and Austria have formed an alliance to wade off Napoleon’s armies. The campaign is told through the contrasting viewpoints of Andrei and Nikolai. Tolstoy is doing something here which has been done later (probably before but I’m not aware) to great success. Telling the story from the view of the higher-ups (Andrei – adjutant to Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces) and from the point of view of the men in the trenches (Nkkolain – a cadet). The paths of the two idealistic men parallel along the story. My favorite character in this section was Dolohov. From some…

Thoughts on: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Book 1 Part 1
Classics , Latest Posts / January 25, 2012

  About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature.  The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: I started reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in small increments. To be honest, this first part was a bit too slow and operatic for my taste. However, I understand and appreciate the need for character introduction especially in a complex story such as this. The complex relationship between war and peace is being established almost immediately. Even during peace time, at a fancy soirée the hawks are having their say. The hostess, Anna Palvona, runs the party like a military commander, knowing when to attack and even more importantly, when to withdraw. Tolstoy also sneaks in a few stabs at Russian aristocracy and their hierarchy which resembles that of the military. True to form, Tolstoy doesn’t hold back his thoughts about aristocrats. Marya Dmitrievna describes a…

Thoughts on: The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / January 19, 2012

About: The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones is a fictional book about those in the shadows which hold the strings of power. Article first published as Book Review: The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones on Blogcritics. 336 pages Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The ISBN: 1594203199 My rating for The Silent Oligarch – 4 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account Thoughts: oligarchy 1: government by the few 2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control 3: an organization under oligarchic control The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones is an interesting book filled with great detail about London, Moscow and Berlin as well as the lifestyle of rich Russians. The story is filled with interesting atmospheric nuances about the new Russia. The book is somewhat complex, reading it was like walking through a maze and the reader had to pay attention. Jones writes like an insider, not only in the complex details of shell companies but also into the mindset of those who control them and those who are being controlled. The reader can feel the boss’ is…

Fun Facts Friday: The Marriage of Leo & Sofya Tolstoy
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / September 23, 2011

September 23, 1862 marks the wedding anniversary of one of them the most tumultuous couples in literary history (and there were many) when Leo Tolstoy married Sophie Andreyevna Behrs. The couple not only had 16 years of difference in their ages, but also had different values, goals and clashing personalities. Tolstoy maintained that the problems started about 14 years into their marriage, he wrote in 1894: “It began that time fourteen years ago, when the string snapped and I became aware of my loneliness.” But in his 1994 book “Love and Hatred: The Troubled Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy”, journalist William L. Shirer (Amazon Page) wrote: “In truth, their diaries show, it began at the very outset of their marriage.” 1 ) Leo and Sofya’s mothers were childhood friends. 2 ) Leo decided that if Sofya’s sister, Tanya, sang the last high note of a song well it would be a sign from G-d to propose. Tanya sang. Leo proposed. Sofya accepted. Leo, a writer through and through, proposed through a letter: “Sofya Andreyevna, the situation has become intolerable to me. Every day for three weeks I have sworn to myself: today I shall speak; and every day I…

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