82% done with War and Peace

The main advantage to Tolstoy not ever being funny (ever) is that he doesn’t beat around the bush with tragedy and terror. Pierre, though a comic figure, is never used comically, he’s broken down and then rebuilt as a better man and his ultimate breaking is when he witnesses the execution. Tolstoy soberly recounts this terrible scene and you really do feel a small part of the terror and horror people inflict.