21.2.11

Sweet Team Tolstoy

     You know sometimes you read about or find out about an idea that’s so simple and inspired that you wish to God that you’d thought of it first? I had that last week. Dove Grey Reader are running what is surely the simplest and most compelling of schemes for Tolstoy fans and other book aficionados: a group reading of the infamously long and difficult War and Peace, with monthly updates and discussion of the previous 100 pages. Such a great idea, and probably the ideal impetus to get through to the very last page of that legendarily long tome.

War and Peace      The minute I finish Dr. Zhivago (it’s so good, but so long) I’m going to tag in (see my previous thoughts on my inability to finish War and Peace here) – there’s very little chance I’ll ever catch up now that they’re over 500 pages in, but I can still read the monthly updates and feel that sweet community feel. Last year they got through Ulysses in this manner, which is quite the laudable feat. 

     A blow, I think, for the idea that real readers have long since disappeared, along with people with measurable attention spans or any interest in communities (online or otherwise – many of the participants belong to a real book group in a beautiful (and my original) part of Devon). 

     Brilliant.

     I’ll keep you updated on my progress; if any of you are doing this, I’d love to hear about yours.
 

2 comments:

  1. That is a good idea. I have to confess I shy away from reading really long books. Usually, my TBR pile is so huge that I'm reluctant to devote so much time to a single book. It's book monogamy is what it is.

    It's my goal to read one truly long classic in 2011. I'll probably go with Anna Karenina, but I'm not sure.

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  2. Mm, I know what you mean - for all my talk about loving and sticking with Dr. Zhivago, I put it down last week to read a Jilly Cooper novella that was eye-ing me and am now 100 pages into 'Any Human Heart'. Keep a bookmark in it and you're not cheating, I'd say :)

    Anna Karenina is awesome and I find it way more compelling than 'War and Peace' (so far). It's an excellent re-read as well, so the perserverance needing will be well worth it, I promise.

    I'm hoping this will be the thing to get me to the end of W&P, although if I'm honest I will probably read everything on my TBR shelf first :)

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Thanks for commenting! Best bit of blogging, by far.

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