At 1,500 pages, with a cast of nearly 600 characters, the book Henry James called a "loose baggy monster" looms as an intimidating project. But Kaufman (Literature/Univ. of Virginia; Understanding Tolstoy
, 2011, etc.) thinks reading it is worth the effort: "Times are tough, anxiety and fear are pervasive, and people are searching for answers to questions big and small."
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