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Books as old as War and Peace are in the public domain and thus can be obtained legally for free. If you see several editions of the same book, it's most likely in the public domain already. Don't waste your time with the con artists on Amazon who try to profit from work that isn't their own (with the one exception possibly being the fine folks at MobileReference who seem to give you a lot of bang for your buck by putting all of an author's works together).

Two free versions of War and Peace:

http://feedbooks.com/book/83
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16794

Edit: Just to clarify, I'm not calling Amazon themselves con artists. I'm referring to the hucksters who take public domain work and try to make a buck. Case in point: *I* could go ahead and upload War and Peace to the Kindle store myself and start making money. It's ridiculous.
 

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Red said:
True, but as the OP stated, on translated works, sometimes who the translator is really matters. Some of the public domain ones were translated well, some weren't.
Very true, but most of the versions on Amazon come from the texts that are already free in the public domain. Unless they're being put out by a legitimate company, you're getting the same old crap - and with a price tag attached to it.
 
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