Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Kreutzer Sonata (and other short stories) by Leo Tolstoy

 This was my first little bit of Tolstoy that I've read.  I'm a HUGE fan of Dostoevsky and I knew I would love all kinds of Russian literature, so I was quite excited to get into this.  Each of the three stories was better than the last:

  • How Much Land Does A Man Need

  • The Death of Ivan Illych

  • The Kreutzer Sonata  (favorite!!)

All were very impressive and brought their point across nicely.  The day I finished it, I eyed my copy of War and Peace for a while, wondering when I should pick it up and hoping it would be very soon.  I still am.

Recommended, most definitely, but not for everyone.  The Kreutzer Sonata talks of a man who stabbed his wife to death, much due to jealousy; also underlying is the way beauty deceives and how easily we lie to ourselves.  How Much Land Does a Man Need deals with greed and uses Satan to personify it...very accurate if I do say so myself.  And The Death of Ivan Illych is about the life of a man who was ordinary,  thought he was extraordinary, and when he died realized the truth about himself.  There are a lot of struggles with hatred in these stories, which makes them more intense than I'd expected.  Absolutely worth reading.

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