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  • Robyn

A VICTORY AND A DEFEAT


Ha, ridiculously long book you are finished with.


As for my recommendation for actually reading it? I honestly can't advise it. The BBC adaptation is so very much more entertaining and takes significantly less time. It's full of pretty people, amazing costumes and awesome sets and whilst the book isn't actually hard to read some of the bits drag and drag, and then there are the bits when Tolstoy gets all philosophical about the nature of war and history and why things happen. It does have some good moments though, I'm just not sure there are enough to have justified quite how long it took me to read it.


I bought it in a fit of enthusiasm at the start of the summer holidays last year thinking that I'd be able to plough through it in the absence of teaching. This is not of course what happened and I limped through it in fits and starts, my enthusiasm was possibly tempered by the relevant tiredness of being pregnant and then only getting through 10 pages of so when there seem like an infinity number of pages to go can dampen one's enthusiasm! But I have finished it, so ha!


This is the last page. As you can see, it reads number 'all of the pages in the world'. It was also the 30th page of philosophical musings on how the progress of history and man's place in it is somewhat like earth not being flat and moving through space. I confess I might have been reading them for the sake of getting to the end rather than marvelling at the depth of Tolstoy's reasoning. Some of the ideas he poses are interesting ones, but I'm not sure the end of a million page novel is the right place to put them!


Anyway, it can now sit on my bookshelf and look pretty and I doubt I shall ever read it again. That was my victory for the week. The set back? That is why I'm currently back on the sofa typing this instead of teaching year 10. As defeats go, not making it through the last four days until half term isn't quite the same as the disasters at the Battle of Borodino, but my body said stop and I had to listen. I'm all for educating boys about the reality of being a woman, but actually going into labour in the middle of a lesson is probably taking it a step far. Thus I am back on sofa duty. Walking about for more than five minutes now features baby trapping a nerve in my leg and increasingly strong and almost constant Braxton Hicks contractions. Sitting down does neither. Thus the sofa has won.


Now I just need a good book to read...






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