Very fine translation of "war and peace", pre-p&v
First admission: this is the only translation of "war and peace" that i've read. with that in mind, however, it reads very well and flows quite smoothly. john bayley, in his very fine foreword, describes this translation as "a very good one" that's "as close as practicable to the russian text", even if it may not be as rough and ready or literal as the more recent pevear & volokhonsky translation (which i confess i haven't read, yet) has been reported to be. bayley contrasts dunnigan with maude via a few examples, such as how dunnigan's rendering of one passage from a mob of peasants is more colloquial and less "literary" than the maudes' rendition. if nothing else, dunnigan properly renders the first 4 words of the novel in french, which indeed they are in the original, unlike the earliest translators like the maudes. the maudes' apologists continually claim that since the maudes knew tolstoy, they knew better. evidently, though, it wasn't simple enough at the start for them to leave an easy french phrase intact, as it was in the original. (admittedly, neither dunnigan nor the maudes go as far as pevear and volokhonsky in leaving essentially the whole of the 1st paragraph in french, but dunnigan does better than the maudes there, with just 4 words.) if your budget doesn't extend to the p&v translation, and you come across the dunnigan translation in your local used bookstore and are inclined to give "war and peace" a try, you'll do well with this version.