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Master and Man and Other Stories (Classics) Paperback – 25 Aug 1977

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; First Edition Thus edition (25 Aug. 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140443312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443318
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,660,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist and moral philosopher noted for his ideas of nonviolent resistance. His diary reveals an incessant pursuit of a morally justified life. He was known for his generosity to the peasants.
His best known novels are 'War and Peace' (1869), which Tolstoy regarded as an epic rather than a novel, and 'Anna Karenina' (1877). His work was admired in his time by Dostoyevsky, Checkov, Turgenev, and Flaubert, and later by Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
IN the 1840s there took place in St Petersburg an event which caused general surprise: a handsome prince, commander of the sovereign's squadron of a regiment of cuirassiers, whom everyone expected to become an aide-de-camp and have brilliant career at the court of Nicholas I, a month before his marriage to a beautiful lady-in-waiting who enjoyed the special favour of the empress, suddenly resigned his commission, broke with his fiancee, made over his modest estate to his sister, and retired to monastery with the intention of becoming a monk. Read the first page
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By BookLover on 26 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tolstoy's book are so beautiful, they appeal to the heart and there's always such a beautiful message in his stories.
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By D Ewen on 14 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good product will buy again from supplier
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Very powerful story of humanity 23 Sept. 1999
By Ronnie Dylan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I, too, have to disagree with this 'english class' in their dull-assesment of this story. This must be a very young class of students who haven't experienced enough of human nature to fully appreciate and understand the complexity and beauty of the 2 characters in this wonderfully touching story. This is the first story that has ever made me weep openly while reading. The second, also by Tolstoy, was Strider: The Story of a Horse. If you liked Master and Man, you must find this one! That's why I'm here today; looking to replace my lost copy.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
No, not dull... very deep and powerful. 31 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I felt I had to respond to the above comment by saying that this is a masterfully written short story and a moving account of a Master who makes the ultimate sacrifice, whether knowing it or not, to his lowly, faithful servant. The story contrasts well the attitudes and lives of rich masters and their voluntary slaves.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Simply Superb: It Contains Two Great Tolstoy Stories Plus One Not as Great 14 Aug. 2007
By J. Robinson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a good three story collection with an introduction by Paul Foote.

Tolstoy is recognized as one of the leading writer of novels, and he was a leading Russian writer of the 19th century. He wrote three monumental works including War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and the novella The Death of Ivan Ilych." Two were written by Tolstoy at his peak around 1865 to 1980, and Ilych was written in 1886 before Tolstoy started to lose his interest in fiction.

This is a collection of three stories that were all written at the end of Tolstoy's career, all written after 1890 when he was making the transition to non-fiction polemics. Only one of the three stories was published during Tolstoy's lifetime and that was Master and Man.

The first story in the book is Father Sergius, and it was written between 1890 and 1898. It is brilliant and ambitious. It is a story about a priest who dedicates his life to religion and purity. He lives in isolation and commits his life to God, and the story is about his search for truth. Unfortunately, he is still attracted to women, and that attraction or sexual passion frightens him and the story describes how he deals with that struggle to overcome his moral shortcomings or temptations. This was a favorite story of Tolstoy.

The second story, Master and Man, is simply superb. It is about two men on a trip by a horse drawn sleigh through the winter snows near a small village. They get caught in a blizzard while on a simple business trip. It was published in 1895, and is among the finest short stories ever written. It contains many signature elements of Tolstoy's writings including detailed descriptions of the Russian characters in a rural setting: "man, society, and nature" as described by Foote.

The last is Hadji Murat, written between 1896 to 1904. It follows earlier books on the southern wars including The Raid (1835), Wood-Felling (1855), and The Cossacks (1863). It is based on real events and lacks a strong central protagonist, and that is the weakness of the story. I was not excited by this novel and prefer Tolstoy's The Cossacks which covers a similar subject matter - that is set in southern Russia - but which has strong characters with strong human emotions.

Also, his most important fiction started in the 1860s with the release of The Cossacks in 1863. That story contains emotional elements and descriptions similar to what we read in Anna Karenina." by contrast, Hadji Murat was one of his last fictional works; and, Tolstoy expressed mixed feelings about the novel and its merits. It does rise to the same level as work from his prime.

Overall, this a good buy with two superb stories and one good story. Some of the works are available individually on line free from Gutenberg.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Between the idea and the storytelling 25 July 2011
By Eric Maroney - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Penguin Classics edition of Tolstoy's Master and Man and Other Stories contains some short story gems we would expect in Tolstoy collection.

Most have the religious sensibility of Tolstoy's later years, and only stories like "Neglect a Spark and the House Burns Down" is somewhat obvious and thereby heavy handed. The others are masterpieces of storytelling and message melded into one. "Three Hermits," "Two Old Men," "How Much Land Does a Man Need" are all famous Tolstoy stories, part fable, part wish-fulfillment, all fully crafted and realized.

Tolstoy at this best shows how short fiction can be an excellent vehicle to express religious and theological ideas without getting overpowered by them. The best of his stories in this vein walk a fine line between the power of the idea and the magic of storytelling.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Moving 18 Oct. 2012
By Scott Walker - Published on
Format: Paperback
Not only are Tolstoy's stories enjoyable with their touching detail and, do contain valuable messages, they, are also beneficial in developing our writing skills.

Master and Man: A landowner and his worker travel the winter countryside through a peasant area in Russia drawn by a single horse sledge. The landowner has a business deal waiting for him and time is of the essence. He believes it will come to be lucrative as he gives much thought on it. Defying the weather they end up stranded in a severe snowstorm. The next day they are discovered buried under the snow. The worker is found alive with the frozen body of the landowner on top of him. The horse too is frozen. In the end, the perceived wealth did not matter, only the life of his worker.
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