Literature Reviews Page 4 Tolstoy

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Tolstoy

 

 

 Leo Tolstoy  ...  translation

  • Paperback:
  • Publisher: F
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:
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    Rating *****   4.5 stars out of 5.  an intense, deeply moving human drama; unquestionably a masterpiece

  • Tolstoy

    The Last Station

     

    DVD and Blu-ray

     

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    Rating *****  5.5 stars out of 5.  One of the greatest biographies ever written.

  • Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and James McAvoy lead an impeccable cast in The Last Station, a sweet comedy-drama about the final days of the Russian novelist Tolstoy. Nineteenth-century paparazzi lurk outside of Tolstoy's estate, hoping to snatch a picture of the rumored strife between the world-famous writer (Plummer, The Insider), who's launched an antimaterialist movement, and his aristocratic wife, Sofya (Mirren, The Queen). Also lurking is Tolstoy's aide, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti, Sideways), who despises Sofya and pushes to change Tolstoy's will to prevent Sofya from inheriting the royalties from Tolstoy's books. Into this nest of conflict comes a young secretary, Valentin (McAvoy, Atonement), who idolizes Tolstoy and strives to live by the principles of abstinence and vegetarianism… only to find his purity tested by sensual temptations (including a headstrong young woman played by Kerry Condon of Rome) and an unexpected sympathy for Sofya. Moments of sly comedy keep The Last Station from becoming overly literary. The movie as a whole lacks the emotional punch it reaches for, but every scene is a polished jewel, expertly and passionately crafted by the actors and writer-director Michael Hoffman (A Midsummer Night's Dream), rich with feeling and social detail. Mirren, of course, is superb, with a wonderful portrayal of a woman who can't help turning her genuine passions into a performance that repels her husband. -

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    War and Peace

     Leo Tolystoy

  • Paperback: 
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  • Language: English
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    Rating *****   5 stars out of 5.  the human drama; unquestionably a masterpiece, read at least the Inferno

  • One needs to read a couple translations with footnotes to get the sense of this great novel.

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     Anna Karenina

     Leo Tolstoy  ...  translation

  • Paperback:
  • Publisher: F
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:
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    Rating *****   4.5 stars out of 5.  an intense, deeply moving human drama; unquestionably a masterpiece

  • , dark,  tragic, passionate

    My first reading was not very enjoyable, nor as passionate as I expected. Years later I read it again and enjoyed it much more, the greatness of the book is more in style than story; there a many stories with similar plots, it's Tolstoy's method that makes it the success it is.

    Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. While previous versions have softened the robust, and sometimes shocking, quality of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This award-winning team's authoritative edition also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for generations to come.
    This is the story of a despicable, bitter  (but rich)  old man and his three sons. Each son is unique in character and seeking to find their way individually and in different directions. Obviously these characters portray aspects of each human personality: Mitya worldly, sensual; Ivan intellectual, practical; and Alyosha kindly, spiritually. (And the "4th brother", Smerdyakov,  is the worse truly evil, sly, interfering, and cruel)

     

     

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    Spiritual Writings

     Leo Tolystoy; selected by Charles Moore

  • Paperback:  207 pages
  • Publisher:  Orbis Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570756732
  • ISBN-13:  978-1570756733

    Rating *****   5 stars out of 5.  the human drama; unquestionably a masterpiece, read at least the Inferno

  • Excerpts.

    This book is an excellent introduction to Tolstoy's thinking, and his search for meaning. The editor has extracted from many of Tolstoy's writings to give a sense of what is contained in each title. A great start before taking on the works such as "The Kingdom of God is Within You".

    The book, is a good place to begin reading Tolystoy after viewing the great movie The Last Station (reviewed above) which is about the end of Tolstoy's life. Tolstoy's biography to begin with. I am so very pleased with this compilation and with Tolstoy's writing. It is well put together and provides a glimpse of Tolstoy's spiritual quest. Excellent book!

     

     

    Tolstoy: A Russian Life

    Rosamund Bartlett

  • Paperback:  555 pages
  • Publisher: 
  • Language: English
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    Rating *****   5 stars out of 5.  the human drama;


  • "[Bartlett's] deep and easy familiarity with her subject and the period permits Bartlett to touch on both the thinkers and writers who engaged Tolstoy...while getting to the essence of the spiritual power that informs his work. Bartlett is particularly adept at assessing Tolstoy's impact..."
    -Publishers Weekly, starred

    "A rich, complex life told in rich, complex prose."
    -Kirkus, starred

    "Bartlett’s book is an exemplary literary biography."
    -Library Journal, starred

    "[Bartlett's]Tolstoy biography should become the first resort for everyone drawn to its titanic subject."
    -Booklist, starred

    "Rosamund Bartlett's new life of Tolstoy is a splendid book -- immensely readable, full of fresh details, and often quite brilliant in its perceptiveness about the greatest of Russian writers, and one of the stars in the western firmament. This biography has the sweep and vividness of literature itself, and I strongly recommend it."
    -Jay Parini, author of The Last Station

    "It is difficult as a reader to take in the sheer scale and extent of Tolstoy’s interest and achievement. For the biographer to put all this into less than 500 pages is an achievement in itself. But Bartlett never seems hurried and she gives herself time to paint the scene for us, bringing the scent of Russian earth and grass to the nostrils."
    -Financial Times  (UK)

    "The extraordinary character of the giant is captured better by Bartlett than by any previous biographer, and this is partly because she knows Russia so well... Superbly well written."
    -Spectator  (UK)

     

    GO TO PAGE 1 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (Modern: Marquez,  Rand, Helprin)

    GO TO PAGE 2 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (German: Hesse, Rilke)

    GO TO PAGE 3 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (Dostoevsky)

    GO TO PAGE 5 of LITERATURE REVIEWS  (Classics, Dante)

     GO TO MYTH & PHILOSOPHY BOOK REVIEWS

     GO TO the INTRODUCTION to my LITERATURE REVIEWS (intro)

     

     

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    Copyright 1997-2012 David McClanahan
     email: contact@davidmcclanahan.com

    Updated: November 18, 2011 09:03:14 PM

     


    return to David's Home Page

    Copyright 1997-2012 David McClanahan
     email: contact@davidmcclanahan.com

    Updated: November 18, 2011 09:03:14 PM