[BOOKS] ✴ Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy ✻ Leo Tolstoy – Thomashillier.co.uk

Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy Of All Russian Writers Leo Tolstoy Is Probably The Best Known To The Western World, Largely Because OfWar And Peace, His Epic In Prose, AndAnna Karenina, One Of The Most Splendid Novels In Any Language But During His Long Lifetime Tolstoy Also Wrote Enough Shorter Works To Fill Many Volumes Here Reprinted In One Volume Are His Eight Finest Short Novels, Together With Alyosha The Pot , The Little Tale That Prince Mirsky Described As A Masterpiece Of Rare Perfection The Death Of Ivan IlychThe CossacksFamily HappinessThe DevilThe Kreutzer SonataMaster And ManFather SergiusHaji MuradAlyosha The Pot


10 thoughts on “Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy

  1. says:

    Hadji Murad has something in common, on the one hand, with Shakespeare s plays of power and fate, and on the other, with such a corrosively perceptive study of colonialism as Conrad s Heart of Darkness The episode itself dates from Tolstoy s own early years in the Caucasus, when Shamil, the Moslem religious leader, was trying to unite the Caucasian tribes against the Russian annexation from John Bailey s IntroductionThis is a tremendous collection of stories by Tolstoy Don t be fooled, sh Hadji Murad has something in common, on the one hand, with Shakespeare s plays of power and fate, and on the other, with such a corrosively perceptive study of colonialism as Conrad s Heart of Darkness The episode itself dates from Tolstoy s own early years in the Caucasus, when Shamil, the Moslem religious leader, was trying to unite the Caucasian tribes against the Russian annexation from John Bailey s IntroductionThis is a tremendous collection of stories by Tolstoy Don t be fooled, short works does not mean they are short stories , rather they arelike novellas Although the last story, Alyosha The Pot, is only seven pages long, the other eight stories provide over 650 pages of great reading The Cossacks alone is 150 pages I read them all a few years ago and enjoyed every one of them I would have to reread them to remember my favorites which I may well do , but one that I remember particularly is Master and Man, about a well off merchant and one of his laborers, who set out together in a horse drawn sled on a winter afternoon, a couple hours before nightfall Half the sky was hidden by a lowering dark cloud In the yard it was quiet, but in the street the wind was feltkeenly The snow swept down from a neighboring shed and whirled about in the corner near the bath house What a mood setter Besides the stories already mentioned, the collection contains Family Happiness, The Death of Ivan Ilych, The Devil, The Kreutzer Sonata, and Father Sergius The translations are by Louise and Aylmer Maude, and John Bayley s ten page Introduction is very informative Bayley wrote The Order of Battle at Trafalgar, a book that contains many wonderful essays on Russian literature .Previous review Glory RoadNext review Heart of DarknessMore recent review SAGA Vol 1Previous library review OblomovNext library review Anna Karenina


  2. says:

    ETA I m a little confused by the number of reviews that claim these works aren t short as the title indicates Have you read War and Peace or Anna Karenina Those are loooong These are short.Family Happiness 1859 A young girl falls in love with a much older man the story follows their relationship from the start of their love, when things are always gooey heart shaped eyeballs for each other through their marriage, when Mashechka realizes that love and marriage isn t quite it s all crack ETA I m a little confused by the number of reviews that claim these works aren t short as the title indicates Have you read War and Peace or Anna Karenina Those are loooong These are short.Family Happiness 1859 A young girl falls in love with a much older man the story follows their relationship from the start of their love, when things are always gooey heart shaped eyeballs for each other through their marriage, when Mashechka realizes that love and marriage isn t quite it s all cracked up to be The Mountain Goats song by the same name took its title from the Tolstoy story and mentions Tolstoy in the song as well In case anyone else is nerdy about music and literary references like I am Cattiness Page 67 I recognized the voices the speakers were the Italian marquis and a French friend of his whom I knew also They were talking of me and of Lady S., and the Frenchman was comparing us as rival beauties I was already a mother, while Lady S was only nineteen though I had the advantage in hair, my rival had a better figure.The Cossacks 1852 1862 Mr Richy pants, Dmitri Olenin, joins the Russian army in hopes to have some adventure because that s what Richy pant types of people tend to do to give their life some meaning In the middle of nowhere in the Caucasus he realizes that his previous standing means zippola hello, wake up call Still, he falls in love with a Cossack girl despite the glaring differences in their social standing, but he has to contend with her fiance.What I learned I wasn t familiar with the term abreks and had to look it up In simple terms it seems they were your run of the mill mountain bandits In El terms I like to think of them as Russian ninjas.The Death of Ivan Ilych 1886 To summarize A high court judge Ivan Ilych hangs some curtains one day, falls and hurts himself, and soon thereafter believes he is dying The moral of the story Go with Venetian blinds Forget the curtains.If you think that s seriously the moral of the story you probably shouldn t be reading this review In a nutshell, it s awesome Please read it All of you It affected me in the same way reading Franny and Zooey affected me, for sort of the same reason Which is funny because I m not religious At all Listed on the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Kick the Bucket list The Devil 1889 You know a story is going to be good when it starts out with a lengthy quote from the Bible This story is about sex and eeeeviiiiil Basically.More cattiness Page 306 It is generally supposed that Conservatives are usually old people, and that those in favour of change are the young That is not quite correct Usually Conservatives are young people those who want to live but who do not think about how to live, and have not time to think, and therefore take as a model for themselves a way of life that they have seen.The Kreutzer Sonata 1889 Girls, if you re cheating on your boyfriend husband and you think your boyfriend husband has an inkling as to what is happening behind his back, do not gift him a copy of The Kreutzer Sonata for Christmas.Also, thanks to my buddy Alex for the reminder it s extra great to read the latter portion while listening to the music Listed on the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Kick the Bucket list Master and Man 1895 A fantastic survival in the snowy Russian woods kind of story and not at all about this even though they both feature the name Nikita.Father Sergius 1898 What do you do when you find out the day before your wedding that your fiancee is sleeping with the Tsar You run off and become a monk, of course But there s that whole temptation and doubt thing to contend with, yada yada yada The story itself reminds me of one of the stories out of The Decameron actually, and I wonder if Tolstoy was paying homage From the film based on the story, 1918 Hadji Murad 1904 Possibly one of the most intense stories I ve ever read It s like The Iliad but, y know, Russian Dude s cheek hangs off his face at one point, and he holds it in place with his hand while fighting with his other hand Wicked crazy I m actually sort of speechless about this one For some reason going into it I didn t think I d enjoy it at all Glad I didn t skip it Yeah, like I m capable of doing that anyway Alyosha the Pot 1905 I can t believe I ve never read this story before considering how short and sweet it is Okay, not exactly sweet Find it online and read it Seriously, it s short and awesome.As a whole this collection rocked my face I don t think there was a single story I didn t care for even the ones I cared about less than the others are better than some other writers entire oeuvre What s nice about this collection is the stories novellas are in order of publication date so you see the kind of writer Tolstoy was at the beginning and how his interests had changed over the years particularly after his moral crisis and conversion in 1878.The Chronology in the back points out the years 1908 1909 as being especially important Quarrels of Tolstoy with his wife Tolstoy keeps Secret Diary Secret Diary I m there Must Find.I know I was pretty excited about Chekhov after reading The Portable Chekhov and all, but Tolstoy just kicked his ass


  3. says:

    This book is an excellent introduction to works of Tolstoy for anyone who is interested in the author but unsure if reading his lengthy novels is a worthwhile investment or to those who have read the novels and just want to see what else there is to Tolstoy Having read the novels and religious political works of Tolstoy first, this collection provided an enjoyable continuation of many of the same themes in a different format The editor s choice of the selected stories and quality of translatio This book is an excellent introduction to works of Tolstoy for anyone who is interested in the author but unsure if reading his lengthy novels is a worthwhile investment or to those who have read the novels and just want to see what else there is to Tolstoy Having read the novels and religious political works of Tolstoy first, this collection provided an enjoyable continuation of many of the same themes in a different format The editor s choice of the selected stories and quality of translation are beyond criticism The only thing it could benefit from is translation of foreign mainly french language used in the notes


  4. says:

    This one, is an essential book, if you want to know about Tolstoy In this book, you get to deeply know the different styles of this author, and you confirm that he is muchthan War and Peace, and Anna Karenina There are many styles, such as historical fiction, romance not the stupid, typical one in which both of them live forever above a rainbow, NO , short novels, and philosophy In this book you get a glance of everything, and you are deeply involved with every character that takes pl This one, is an essential book, if you want to know about Tolstoy In this book, you get to deeply know the different styles of this author, and you confirm that he is muchthan War and Peace, and Anna Karenina There are many styles, such as historical fiction, romance not the stupid, typical one in which both of them live forever above a rainbow, NO , short novels, and philosophy In this book you get a glance of everything, and you are deeply involved with every character that takes place in each one of the 680 pages.The book includes 8 short stories, and are in chronological order, that includes a bibliography, introduction and a resume of his life


  5. says:

    This review is of the stories Father Sergius , The Devil , and Alyosha the Pot I d read the other stories before in a separate collection which is also on a bookshelf here on goodreads Of those stories, The Cossacks , The Kreutzer Sonata , and Master and Man rank among my favorite stories of all time both for enjoyment of the content as well as appreciation for their artistic boldness and creativity Of the stories being reviewed here, The Devil and Alyosha the Pot were the better This review is of the stories Father Sergius , The Devil , and Alyosha the Pot I d read the other stories before in a separate collection which is also on a bookshelf here on goodreads Of those stories, The Cossacks , The Kreutzer Sonata , and Master and Man rank among my favorite stories of all time both for enjoyment of the content as well as appreciation for their artistic boldness and creativity Of the stories being reviewed here, The Devil and Alyosha the Pot were the better two of the three, particularly the latter in its almost Hemingway esque brevity and subtle suggestiveness It s only 5 pages long where a short work of Tolstoy can be anywhere from 50 200 pages Yet, it was almost as profound as The Devil which, in spite of some of its long windedness packs a philosophical punch at the end that leaves the reader dazed for at least a quarter of an hour, if notFather Sergius was a tad too moralistically sentimental for my taste Tolstoy falls too often in the 19th century although the story was written at the tail end of it trap of long winded explanation as opposed to artistic demonstration Yet, as dated as Tolstoy s style can be speaking now of his writing as a whole , his ideas and insights are as fresh as if you d thought them yesterday


  6. says:

    This isof an essay than a review, and it discusses only one story in the collection.The Time of Ivan s Life The Death of Ivan Ilych both begins and ends with the death of its title character In between, the story is told chronologically both backward and forward At the beginning, his death is announced, his final days of illness and agony discussed, his colleagues and family members introduced, and his funeral accomplished Time then shifts and there is an outline of the progression of hi This isof an essay than a review, and it discusses only one story in the collection.The Time of Ivan s Life The Death of Ivan Ilych both begins and ends with the death of its title character In between, the story is told chronologically both backward and forward At the beginning, his death is announced, his final days of illness and agony discussed, his colleagues and family members introduced, and his funeral accomplished Time then shifts and there is an outline of the progression of his early years, his education, his early career, his marriage, and the raising of his children As he graduates from school and leaves his father s house, he is looking forward in time with anticipated success, as indicated when he buys a watch and has the fob inscribed with the Latin phrase, respice finem look to the end p 256 His later major career promotion and its concomitant relocation to a larger house and his care over its furnishing are set forth in greater detail, and the progress is both chronological and up the social ladder, represented concretely by the step ladder he mounts to hang the curtains in his new house However, it was that very step up that causes him to slip and bang his hip on a knob, leading to the injury that ultimately kills him The top of that step ladder represents the apogee of his success, and is the beginning of his physical decline The chronology remains forward, as we follow the progress of his disease p 273 Yet for Ivan Ilych, as his illness worsens, time also moves backwards Pictures of his past rose before him one after another They always began with what was nearest in time and then went back to what was most remote to his childhood and rested there p 297 But contrary to what one might expect, the memories of his childhood are not pleasant ones for him The memories are so painful that he would will himself back to the present to contemplating the button on the back of the sofa Id But it is not that his childhood was bad that pained him, it was the recognition that he had lived his life poorly He compares the progress of his life to the progress of his illness Then again together with that chain of memories another series passed through his mind of how his illness had progressed and grown worse There also the further back he looked thelife there had been There had beenof what was good in life andof life itself The two merged together Just as the pain went on getting worse, so my life grew worse and worse, he thought There is one bright spot there at the back, at the beginning of life, and afterwards all becomes blacker and blacker and proceedsandrapidly in inverse ratio to the square of the distance from death, footnote 1 thought Ivan Ilych.Id Thus the concept of progress is made ironic while it clearly means movement, it is not always clear in which direction one s progress is leading The progress of Ivan Ilych s illness is leading him to death However, Tolstoy s seeming contradictions are not limited to one layer of meaning Ivan Ilych s impending death is what eventually leads him to a real if brief ability to live The blending of the concepts of life and death were adumbrated in the phrase on his watch fob, the double meaning of the end that he was most likely unaware when he had it engraved, as well as the description of Ivan Ilych as le phenix de la famille p 255 The phoenix, of course, is known not only for a splendid rising from the ashes, but also for the necessity of its death.Ivan Ilych also recoils from looking to the future, which he knows will bring him death He tries to go on with his former activities that had once screened p 281 thoughts of death from him, but sooner or later, the pain in his side would gnaw at him, and he would once again be confronted with his own impending death He simply refuses to accept it He begins his final three days of profound pain with the words I won t p 301 With this, Ivan Ilych feels he is struggling against being pushed into a black bag, and terrified of the death he knows he cannot avoid He believes his pain is caused by his inability properly to get into the black hole He knows that difficulty is caused by his refusal to admit his life had not been lived properly Finally, he feels struck in the chest and side, and the shock of that pain somehow allows him to admit about his life, Yes, it was not the right thing Id He then feels himself slipping into the black hole, and seeing a light at the bottom Once again we find that it is not always clear in which direction Ivan Ilych is moving Of course the black hole represents death, but just as clearly it represents a kind of rebirth, where there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak Footnote 2 Ivan Ilych uses the metaphor of a railway carriage to explicate the confusion of his direction What had happened to him was like the sensation one sometimes experiences in a railway carriage when one thinks one is going backwards while one is really going forwards and suddenly becomes aware of the real direction.Id But his insight isthan just that his life had been lived in the wrong way He also found the right way he had to repent his own bad acts, and try to make things better for others He does this when he says he is sorry to his son and his wife, and waives them out of the room in order to spare them having to watch his agonies He then looks for the pain, but no longer finds it He looks for his accustomed fear of death, and it is gone With his dying, he finds he has conquered death Death is finished, he said to himself It is nop.302 Ivan Ilych dies at the end of the story.The circular structure of this story means the end of the story brings us back to the beginning, and upon re reading, we see the entire story is encapsulated in the first few paragraphs Ivan Ilych s death is announced during a break in a legal trial, where Ivan Ilych s colleagues are socializing and relaxing, just as Ivan Ilych had done before his illness When they hear of his death, they immediately think about how their own career appointments will be affected Ivan Ilych had been no different In the intervals between the sessions he smoked, drank tea, chatted a little about politics, a little about general topics, a little about cards, but most of all about official appointments p 267, emphasis added Having read the entire story, we now understand the terrible phoniness of the obituary If his wife suffers profound sorrow p 247 at his death, we know it is only because she will be deprived of his salary He was not her beloved husband Id., rather, she hated him p 270 Footnote 3 His so called friends feel put out by the obligation to attend his funeral His closest friend is named Peter Ivanovich The patronymic suggests he is in some sense the son of Ivan Ilych Certainly he acts just as Ivan Ilych would have if their positions had been reversed He does his duty, but when confronted with Ivan Ilych s dead body, he refuses to admit that death has anything to do with him, and turns away Besides this there was in that expression a reproach and a warning to the living This warning seemed to Peter Ivanovich out of place, or at least not applicable to him He felt a certain discomfort and so he hurriedly crossed himself onceand turned and went out of the door too hurriedly p 250 This scene reminds us of the passage where Ivan Ilych refuses to see how death is anythingthan an abstraction set forth in the old syllogism that Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore, Caius is mortal Despite the logic, Ivan Ilych refuses to see his own mortality He thinks that while it was right for Caius to die, for him, little Vanya, Ivan Ilych, it s altogether a different matter p 280.Also like Ivan Ilych, Peter Ivanovich seeks to distract himself from thoughts of his own mortality by his usual distracting activities After turning away from the dead body, he finds his colleague, Schwartz, in the next room The mere sight of that playful, well groomed, and elegant figure refreshed Peter Ivanovich p 250 Schwartz is planning a card game, and does not see any reason for the death of Ivan Ilych to intrude upon his fun The only reason Peter Ivanovich does not immediately join Schwartz, is that Ivan Ilych s widow intercepts him, and he is obligated by duty to attend the funeral service During the service, he kept himself from looking at the dead body, and refused to give in to any depressing influence p 254 He is the first to leave the service, and he catches up with Schwartz and the card game But while Peter Ivanovich thinks he is fleeing death, we know he cannot, and Schwartz s name it is German for Black lets us know that the black bag is in Peter Ivanovich s future, as it was for Ivan Ilych Thus, although not in the narrative, we are aware that the story will repeat itself with Peter Ivanovich although it is not clear that Peter Ivanovich will find the final redemption at the end of his life.Footnote 1 A theory of relativity that we all understand as we get older.Footnote 2 That light is reminiscent of the bright spot there at the back, at the beginning of life p 297 that he was aware of when he contemplated his childhood In this story, there is a certain identity between birth and death.Footnote 3 Lest we judge Ivan Ilych s wife too harshly for her lack of sympathy for her husband, it should be remembered it was he who first failed to support her when she was pregnant, and found ways to avoid her when her needs interfered with his ease


  7. says:

    I m not sure how to review a collection of stories Am I commenting on the stories themselves, or on the editors choices which stories they included, the value of the Introduction, and other such choices So I ve mixed all such considerations together and pulled four stars out of my furry ushanka hat One factor that diminished my rating is simply the poor quality of the print in this particular book The ink is thick and blobby on many of the rather flimsy pages I shouldn t have been so ch I m not sure how to review a collection of stories Am I commenting on the stories themselves, or on the editors choices which stories they included, the value of the Introduction, and other such choices So I ve mixed all such considerations together and pulled four stars out of my furry ushanka hat One factor that diminished my rating is simply the poor quality of the print in this particular book The ink is thick and blobby on many of the rather flimsy pages I shouldn t have been so cheap in purchasing Tolstoy s great short works I will want to own these works for my lifetime, and I m sure you will too, so don t skimp like I did On the other hand, perhaps it isfitting to not get the deluxe edition of Tolstoy s great short works Surely Hadji Murad did not spend his rubles on fancily bound books It was nothing in Ivan Illyich s library that redeemed him in his last minutes And likewise, both Master and Man were able to act out of truth not because of a treasured book they d owned but because ofdivine inspiration Sudden insight into their own and others true nature An abrupt shifting of perspective away from small self to vastness However one wishes to phrase it, these heroes of Tolstoy s great short works didn t do their pivotal acts out of intellectual understandingimportantly, they didn t do them out of habit and most importantly, Tolstoy somehow actually isn t moralizing about all this, at all Or, if he is, he somehow gets away with it, without alienating moralizing phobic readers like myself Perhaps its a sign of our degenerate times that we would even need such stories as these to contemplate, in order to be closer to truth But we do there is so much nontruth pulling at us, screaming for our attention, pleading with us to accept and repeat its litanies We certainly don t need to develop peasant envy, but we do need to let ourselves get as close as we can stand to be to what is certain and what is fresh about being alive It s evident that Tolstoy longed to be as close as he could be to life, and that he must have contemplated the essential truths of life that we keep going for pleasure and trying to avoid pain, that we get sick, that we die consistently for many years, all the while not missing out on any of the details that make those truths flesh and blood So to read his stories especially the three I referenced above there are a couple stories in this collection that I can t rave about is to sort of have someone do the work for you he lays bare the condensed fruit of his contemplations now that s a weird mixed metaphor, but I can t think of how other to say it We just sit in bed or wherever and read his work, which seems very second hand but actually, reading these stories isn t painless Ivan Illyich is not for hypochondriacs Master and Man is not for the judgmental, and Hadji Murad is not for sissies So gather your courage, open your mind, do spend money on a nice copy, and read your Tolstoy


  8. says:

    The marvel of Tolstoy is his instinctive grasp of the desperate choices humans face in life.He has an uncanny skill in both portraying our ability to love and hate, as well as our motivations and fears When reading his stories, I often feel myself completely succumbing to his world, as if I ve known the characters my whole life The deep emotional and intellectual resonance of his works stay with me long after I close the pages.Such a work is The Death of Ivan Ilych, a short story published in The marvel of Tolstoy is his instinctive grasp of the desperate choices humans face in life.He has an uncanny skill in both portraying our ability to love and hate, as well as our motivations and fears When reading his stories, I often feel myself completely succumbing to his world, as if I ve known the characters my whole life The deep emotional and intellectual resonance of his works stay with me long after I close the pages.Such a work is The Death of Ivan Ilych, a short story published in 1886.In it, the reader can see the roots of the moral questions that Tolstoy himself will wrestle with his whole life The primary question being what is a good life For Ivan Ilych, he had answered this question by leading a life that was, the most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible A dutiful Russian bureaucrat, his navigated life by relying on the good sense of society to decide what was proper His chief pleasure came from a sense of his own power over inferiors, and secondary pleasures from playing bridge and indulging in bourgeoisie tastes at home.Yet throughout this innocent ascendance in social position, there were cracks that betrayed a denial of the truth underneath the life of legality, correctitude, and propriety The truth at last manifested itself in the form of physical and psychological pain, plaguing him endlessly and making lifemiserable than death Faced with this curse and sensing death s close presence, Ivan Ilych began to wonder, What if my whole life had been wrong.Ilych looked backed at his life, and realized suddenly, all that for which he had lived and saw clearly that it was not real at all, but a terrible and huge deception which had hidden both life and death This consciousness intensified his physical suffering tenfold The book ends without answering the question of what is the right life, and the only clue the reader is left with is the fresh and sunny image of Ger sim, a peasant in Ilych s household Ger sim alone sympathized with his master s pain Yet, his simple nature was unperturbed by the thought of death, and presumably his close relationship with nature allowed him to view it as a natural cycle.In Ger sim s character, one can see Tolstoy s admiration for the life affirming powers of the countryside, which is echoed in Anna Karenina and other works.Tolstoy peeled back the layers of ordinary life to remonstrate against its lack of meaning, but because he was just as human as his characters, he could not show the path to a correct life He leaves us with the image of Ivan Ilych screaming during his last days in anguish, encapsulating a hidden existential malaise that Tolstoy would struggle with his whole life.http thelittlebirdsong.com


  9. says:

    I m not sure how to review the book as a whole, being a collection of short stories, but I do have some things to say of it Well, particularly about Tolstoy, which is important to the types of stories that he writes I think that Tolstoy is rightly recognized worldwide for his profound philosophies and practices He plays a key role in the development of Christian anarchism, and strongly believed in nonviolence, most specifically and especially when it came to his beliefs concerning Jesus Chr I m not sure how to review the book as a whole, being a collection of short stories, but I do have some things to say of it Well, particularly about Tolstoy, which is important to the types of stories that he writes I think that Tolstoy is rightly recognized worldwide for his profound philosophies and practices He plays a key role in the development of Christian anarchism, and strongly believed in nonviolence, most specifically and especially when it came to his beliefs concerning Jesus Christ s teachings He wrote a book expressing this philosophy in a work titled, The Kingdom of God is Within You The book had such a profound impact on Mahatma Gandhi that he sought Tolstoy out so as to be in his presence Tolstoy s examples were radical enough that he was exiled from his Russia, his home country Tolstoy was born into a wealthy family but he chose to live as a homeless man and share his money with the poor The short stories in Great Short Stories each present several things to consider or ponder, and I find that Tolstoy presents his characters to be so real that often times the things I read were deeply disturbing simply for their humanity and the truthfulness behind them The first short story, Family Happiness, was perhaps my favorite, and I think everyone should read it even if not the rest of the book Goodness, ALL the titles are really boring titles But entertainment is not the goal of the stories Though they are not boring, they are intense, but not in a story like way, if that makes sense It is, also, and kind of unfortunately, the most light hearted of the stories I think that if one enjoys focus on expanding one s mind, that this would really be a good book to read, religious or not Tolstoy was religious, most of his characters often pray, and there is habitual and culturally realistic reference to the Lord and religion throughout the stories, but to those that do not believe in Christ, that has very little to do with the purposes I liked the book, though I did not always enjoy it It was easy reading in terms of phrasing, complex reading in terms of concepts if you take the time to consider them Tolstoy has a pleasant writing style though it has been translated from the Russian language, which is also something to consider , and a breathtakingly PROFOUND way of presenting people and their thoughts and feelings I really do recommend this book, especially to those that pursue wisdom Not necessarily to just take from Tolstoy, but at least to consider one s place in reference to them


  10. says:

    Do not buy this book The Maude translation of Tolstoy s works is exceptionally bad My rating is for the translation, not the merit of Tolstoy s stories As best I can, let me rate them separately below Family Happiness I didn t care for this story because Tolstoy writes it from a female perspective, and he doesn t quite carry it off This is an early work of his, an idealized portrait of how love and marriage might proceed.The Cossacks A short work of about 120 pages aski Do not buy this book The Maude translation of Tolstoy s works is exceptionally bad My rating is for the translation, not the merit of Tolstoy s stories As best I can, let me rate them separately below Family Happiness I didn t care for this story because Tolstoy writes it from a female perspective, and he doesn t quite carry it off This is an early work of his, an idealized portrait of how love and marriage might proceed.The Cossacks A short work of about 120 pages asking whether someone from one culture can ever really go native in another A little comic and sad, but with good natural descriptions and a study of the Cossack culture.The Death of Ivan Ilych Tolstoy s best short work with an existentialist ring.The Devil A man s sexual past catches up with him with a vengeance This story was a little too short and thin for me.The Kreutzer Sonata A well structured, controversial story using a frame narrative to describe of the failure of marriage in the 19th century, stemming from the terribly misplaced sexual attitudes of the time The story traces out the disastrous consequences in the relations between one couple and really pulls readers in Master and Man A look at the relations between servants and those they serve.Father Sergius A story of a nobleman s quest for authentic service to his fellow man This story was much better than I expected.Hadji Murad Tolstoy s best, a look at the life of Chechen warlord trying to go over to the Russians in a quest for vengeance The story is one that will appeal to American readers for its wildness and bravado.Alyosha the Pot Good story, but much too short.I bought this Perennial Classics collection because it had most of Tolstoy s best stories together between its covers I advise others not to make the same mistake, and to read these stories in other books Without belaboring the details, let me repeat that the translation is wretched Again, do not buy this book