By Leo Tolstoy
Considered by many, along with Anna Karenina, to be the best Russian novel ever written, War and Peace is almost more a fictional history than a novel (and was considered as such by its author). Marked by its commitment to incomparable realism, the details of the novel are so finely realized that no matter how many times it is read, there is always a new detail to be found. Tolstoy dwells in many of the fallacies of social science and military philosophy, and manages to question just about everything in this sweeping, monumental book. Deliberately avoiding structure and closure (the novel is filled with endless plot lines that go nowhere and characters that appear only to disappear), Tolstoy achieves in writing a style that feels like the fluidity of actual life.