Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy (Perennial Classics) Paperback – 5 Aug 2004
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About the Author
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and other classics of Russian literature.
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Top Customer Reviews
The subjects range from the Russian military campaigns in the Caucasus in the late 19th century when Tolstoy served in the army to provincial scandals and jostling for cushy positions within the Tsarist bureaucracy in Russia itself.
Real characters appear alongside a host of fictional characters from all stations in life. Several of these are obviously based on Tolstoy himself.
My favorite story was Hadji Murad which deals with a problem that remains to this day - how Russia deals with ethnic minorities like the Chechens that want their own freedom.
Hadji Murad is a Moslem warlord who defects to the Russians and tries to get their support in his struggle against a rival Moslem chief who is holding his family hostage.
No-one trusts Murad and the story - involving officers, soldiers, tribesmen and even Tsar Nicholas himself who is mercilessly portrayed as a lecherous non-entity with absolute power whose decisions lead to death and destruction throughout his empire - revolves around how the Russians can deal with this hopeless situation.
In comparison "The Cossacks" gets off to a slow start and reads more like a series of sketches in which Tolstoy describes the scenery, customs and life style of the Cossacks, Tartars and Chechens he finds himself among than a story. Despite this, the ending is dramatic and worth the effort.Read more ›
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.Read more ›