This has happened to me twice. The first time I was watching Andrei Rublev with my family. Within the bubble of our den, immobile in our respective seats, we huddled for what seemed like eons, watching the enigmatic monk (among other people) flit to and fro on the screen, accomplishing something...I was never quite sure what. After the first couple of hours, I couldn't seem to remember life before Andrei Rublev and was almost confused as to what might happen to me after the film ceased. My life, or so it seemed, had always centered around this black and white and totally (okay, I'm not a movie critic, I just didn't get it. I was also a few years younger) random movie. As soon as it ended, the spell was broken and I was left with the memory of a very strange few hours.
It's kind of happening again with War and Peace. I am 800 pages into it, and am obsessed with it. I find myself drifting towards it at all hours of the day, causing consternation when I realize that I haven't quite reached the stage where I can drop school for any allotted amount of time. It's sucking me in, making me wonder if there is any other book besides this massive amount of bound together paper and ink. I'm also beginning to wonder if Tolstoy had an outline or was always winging it. It all depends if it ends the way I want it to or not. If Natasha marries Pierre I will throw a fit. If she gets back together with Andrew/Andrei, the book will have my blessing. Not that it needs it, but just so my faithful readers know what's up.