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Merle

Merle

With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz

With Fire and Sword - Henryk Sienkiewicz, W.S. Kuniczak

Over the course of 11 days I plowed through 133 pages out of a whopping 1135, and am ready to be done. Had this been a 300-page book I'd have finished and perhaps given a 3-star review. But you have to really enjoy something to want to go 1135 pages, and I wasn't looking forward to picking this up. The comparisons to War and Peace are misplaced: while Tolstoy had excellent character development and insight into human nature, this book's characters are drawn in broad strokes and their emotional reactions cliched; no one in it has sparked any interest in me thus far. It doesn't help that names of places and groups of people that presumably needed no explanation to the original 19th century Polish audience are thrown around to the confusion of this 21st century American. While I did pick up the more modern Kuniczak translation, I suspect this book is much better in the original.