Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, not only in Russia but also worldwide. He was born in aristocratic Russia family in 1828, he is best known by the book War and Peace and Anna Karenina, often cited as pinnacles of realistic fiction.
His conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his later days was caused by his experience in the army and his two trips around Europe.
In this post I collect his the most known works but there are also others, not so known and available. For people who love to read novels which makes you think about, Tolstoy`s books are very good decision.
War and Peace
‘If you’ve never read it, now is the moment. This translation will show that you don’t read War and Peace, you live it’ The Times
The book War and Peace is one of the most well-known novels of all times and it`s timeless. It is a vast epic story centered on Russia`s war with Napoleon and its effects on lives who were caught up in the conflict. It expresses Tolstoy`s view that history is an inexorable process which man can not influence.
Tolstoy creates some of the most vital and involving characters in literature when he follows the rise and fall of families in St. Peterburg and Moscow who are linked by their personal and political relationship. His heroes are the thoughtful and impulsive Pierre Bezhukov, his ambitious friend Prince Andrei and the enchanting Natasha Rostov, the woman who become indispensable to both of them.
It was the year of 1872, the mistress of neighbor landowner threw herself under a train at the station near Tolstoy`s home. This gave Tolstoy an idea for composing a book which many people believe, it is the greatest novel of all times.
Anna Karenina seems to have everything; beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But in her life she feels emptiness until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their love affair scandalizes society and family and brings jealousy and bitterness to life.
This story about love and self-destruction is a vividly observed story of Konstantin Levin, a man searching for contentment and meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.
A Confession is an autobiographical book of exceptional emotional honesty which is describing Tolstoy`s depression and estrangement from the world. It shows his search for `a practical religion not promising future bliss but giving bliss on Earth`.
Although the Confession led to his excommunication, it also resulted in a large following of Tolstoyan Christians springing up throughout Russia and Europe. It is in some way the reexamination of Christian orthodoxy and subsequent spiritual awakening.
The Gospel in Brief
This book is Tolstoy`s integration of the four biblical Gospels into a single account of their life of Jesus. In large measure it was inspired by Tolstoy`s meticulous study of the original Greek version of the Bible.
This book is a highly original fusion of biblical texts and Tolstoy`s own influential religious views. He explains that his goal is a solution to the “problem of life” which is not an answer to theological or historical questions. The author focuses on the words and teachings of Jesus, stripped of what Tolstoy regarded as the Church`s distortions and focus on dogma and rituals.
This book emphasizes the necessity of maintains human`s spiritual condition in chaotic and indifferent world.
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Tolstoy`s most famous novella is an intense and moving the examination of death and possibilities to redemption in a powerful translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It is a masterpiece of psychological realism and philosophical profundity.
Ivan Ilyich is a middle-aged man who spent all his life focused to his career as bureaucrat and emotionally attached from his wife and children. After one accident he finds himself on the brink of a death, what he sees as terrible unjustice. Challenging with his mortality, Ivan begins to question everything he has believed about the meaning of life.
Family Happiness and other stories
Leo Tolstoy didn’t write only voluminous works, he was also master of the short and the long story – the Russian name for it is `povest`. These works display the author`s perspective on love, marriage, art, politics and patriotism.
Each one of the tales in this collection exhibits the rich detail, vivid narrates and the truth which characterize all Tolstoy`s novels. The collection includes stories; The Three Hermits, Three Deaths, Family Happiness, The Devil, Father Sergius and Master and Man.
Tolstoy`s Stories for Children
Maybe people don’t expect this but Tolstoy has written also stories for children. This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic, timeless works that have stood a test of time.
In a variety of tales for young readers, he presented his vision for a more human and socially just society.
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