Wednesday, 1 April 2015

War & Peace Read-a-long: Hanna's Week Eight Check-In

I was looking at my edition of War & Peace today and I noted where my bookmark is. I encourage all of you remaining to do the same. Just look at how many pages we've read and how little is remaining. Sometimes I do get a little bored of this book, but then I realise how far we've come and I feel instantly better.

I admit that I'm struggling a little, although it's not Tolstoy's fault. I've recently started a new job and I love it, but I have absolutely no energy left. I get home and pretty much just sit here and literally stare blankly into space until it's time to go to bed. I can barely bring myself to do anything, which is why there was no update from me last week.

Still, onwards and upwards! I'm sure I'll get into a routine soon. In the meantime, let's talk about War & Peace! 

Before I answer the prompts, let me just say one thing:

I HATE NATASHA. God, she's just awful. Not only did she refuse to accept accountability for the whole thing with Andrey and get all annoyingly dramatic about it, this week she sat on her arse while her family ran around packing boxes... then she packs ONE BOX and everybody lauds her as a Saint. I really hope she gets shot by Napoleon or something. #grouchgrouch. 
1) What's the first thing you're going to read when you've finished War & Peace?

Anything else! I don't think it really matters, I'll just appreciate it not being War & Peace! Thing is, I do actually like this book - it's way better than I expected. I'm just looking forward to something lighter. I feel like I'll be reading a lot of YA throughout May and June!
2) Do you think the Russians were right in abandoning Moscow or should they have stayed and fought?

I'm not actually sure. I was thinking I might reread one of my A-level history textbooks when the read-a-long is over, as I'd be interested to know what's fact and what is Tolstoy's version of fact. He spins it that Moscow was completely and totally empty (aside from a few drunks), but surely people were more stubborn than that?
Plus, don't you think it's interesting that he paints Napoleon and the French (the enemy, essentially) as being fairly magnamious, if a bit arrogant? You'd have expected him to be a little more bitter.
3) What about Andrew/Andrey/Whoever? Do you think he's changed as a character?

I'm not sure. I still resent him for being so mean to the-little-princess-with-the-downy-lip. He seemed to be genuinely in love with Natasha and devastated when she screwed him over, so I suppose that signalled a small change at least. But then... I don't really want them to get married because the one thing I want from this book is for her to die alone.

Tolstoy was all for punishing women in Anna Karenina, surely he could pull it off here as well, right? Right? 
4) Let's talk dream casting. Which actor/actress would you envision playing Pierre and Natasha if they made a new film version of War & Peace? 

Natasha's easy. I picture her as a younger Rachel McAdams or Keira Knightley.

As for Pierre, I din't know. I think I've deviated from the script somewhat. I originally pictured his as fairly stocky, but young and handsome. Coincidentally (obviously), as my opinion of him has deteriorated, so has my mental image. He now looks like a  greyer version of Benjamin Frankin, to be honest.

OH NO WAY. I'd ear-marked 'that guy who played Wormtail in Harry Potter' for this role, but decided to wander off and look at other posts before I found a photograph. I looked at Charlotte's post, who'd picked out Timothy Spall... but the photo wasn't loading and I don't know who that is.

So I make a mental note to tell her in one of my 'Let's Bother Charlotte' texting fits and hit up IMDB to find a photo of Wormtail.

THAT'S TIMOTHY SPALL. Oh Charlotte, I do love you. I'd honestly thought that nobody else would picture Pierre like that and I'd get all kinds of weird looks. Apparently not. Apparently we don't like Pierre.

Speaking of Charlotte, she's a lovely person who has agreed to host next week's read-a-long prompts. I'll post a reminder here, but you need to head on over to Lit Addicted Brit next Sunday.


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