Still reading. About 70 pages from the end. It’s bittersweet.
So much of what I’m reading makes me want to write about, savor it, share it. But so much would ruin anyone’s experience of reading it themselves, and that’s paramount.
I am deeply in love with this book. I’m kind of amazed, actually. There will be things I won’t forget – images that make me sigh, make me wince, make me tear up.
Beyond all of these is the sheer breadth of it. What a master. How sweet it is spending so much time with these people. And though an image is worth a thousand words, and I love film, I can’t believe the singular experience of reading this, especially taking so much time, could ever be duplicated.
I was thinking the other day that the wonderful thing about reading is this interface with one’s own imagination. My Natasha, Nikolai, Pierre, Andrei, Marya, my burning Moscow, my Bald Hills, my drunken Denisov will be unlike anyone else’s. But the common thread will be that same feeling when Natasha is right above Andrei in the window and it’s Spring and he’s afraid to breathe for fear of destroying the moment; that same feeling when Natasha and Nikolai go hunting and spend time at their Uncle’s house, with Natasha screaming and laughing for no reason; when Pierre is marching with no shoes, hearing a friend shot by French soldiers as he must walk on.
The book is soaked in religion and romance, but it still pulls a thread through with a humanity unlike very few books I have ever read. I’m sad to say good-bye, knowing in about 70 pages I’ll have to.