Although Voina i mir [War and Peace] has been described more than once as the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy himself once expressed the view that it wasn't a novel at all. This claim had a particular purpose. He wanted his readers to expect something broader and deeper than the romances they were used to finding in fiction. There would be no single hero and heroine, no straightforward system of exposition, crisis and resolution, no sense of closure in an orthodox ending. It was a narrative in which the author made up new rules as it expanded, a society novel that turned into a family story, only to grow into a historical chronicle and a mighty epic that was underwritten by a deep interest i…
Briggs, A.D.P.. "Voina i mir". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 March 2006; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8682, accessed 18 April 2015.]