The third volume of War and Peace is the longest section of the books so far. There is certainly much more war than peace in this section as things go from bad to worse for the Russians. More and more characters die, or are maimed and injured, and the battle of Borodino is described in this volume in great deal that you can almost imagine that you were there so realistic a vision Tolstoy gives us.
Napoleon comes into his own as a character in this volume, and he is the most interesting character in this volume also. The rest of the main characters story are moved on in this volume against the backdrop of this long and bloody war.
There is quite a bit of philosophising on the part of Tolstoy in this volume about the way that history is presented and how he feels that it should be presented, which is in the way that he does in this volume. He also talks just as much as war, about the nature of war, which is very interesting to read.
He does not shirk from the excesses of war and what it does to people, and how it affects the people who fight in it, and the people who are left behind by the people who fight in it.
This section has been the most difficult to read of the three volumes so far but in many ways the most rewarding as this really is the heart of the book and what the book is all about.
I can’t believe that I have read more than 900 pages of this book so far and that it still continuing. Most books would have been long over by now!