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Hadji Murat (Vintage Classics) Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hadji Murat is my personal touchstone for the sublime of prose fiction, to me the best story in the world.” —Harold Bloom

“Excellent. . . . The duo has managed to convey the rather simple elegance of Tolstoy’s prose.” —The New Criterion
 
“Pevear and Volokhonsky’s new version is . . .  flexible individuated, immediate.” —The Nation

“Well translated. As a lover of Tolstoy’s work, one couldn’t ask for more, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.” —André Alexis, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born in central Russia. After serving in the Crimean War, he retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world fame.
 
Richard Pevear has published translations of Alain, Yves Bonnefoy, Alberto Savinio, Pavel Florensky, and Henri Volohonsky, as well as two books of poetry. He has received fellowships or grants for translation from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the French Ministry of Culture. Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad. She has translated works by the prominent Orthodox theologians Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff into Russian.

Together, Pevear and Volokhonsky have translated Dead Souls and The Collected Tales by Nikolai Gogol, The Complete Short Novels of Chekhov, and The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, Demons, The Idiot, and The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky. They were twice awarded the PEN Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for their version of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and for Tolstoy's Anna Karenina), and their translation of Dostoevsky's Demons was one of three nominees for the same prize. They are married and live in France.
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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Classics
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307951340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307951342
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon on October 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone seems to focus on this books setting in the Caucasus and its relevance to the modern geopolitical world -- but I think that's a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. This isn't a book about Chechens, Islam, or Terrorism. It's about characters who play out their roles to the best of their ability, yet who, despite their best intentions, cannot escape the predetermined paths layed out before them.

Tolstoy paints a picture of people who are the sum of their experiences, and who act based on them. There is no magic spark of free will here -- what you know informs how you act, nothing more. And as we watch these characters interact, it's hard not to empathize with each of them, despite taking actions that run the gamut from honorable to despicable.

This is a short read and well worth it, and easily accessible for folks new to Tolstoy. Just make sure to save the Foreward till the end, as its written for people who have read the story before and it reveals some plot points.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nikolaus on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
In Leo Tolstoy's final story, which was written a year before his death and published in 1912, he covered ideas such as that of authority and the relation of Asian states and European states. The story takes place during the battles waged against the Russian Empire and Caucasian fighters. Tolstoy writes his story using some experience that he had gained while enlisted within the army with the Caucaus during the 1850s. The book's main theme is that of authority. Both ends of the spectrum of authority are shown, ranging from Nicholas I on the Russian side and down through the ranks of his subjects and that of Shamil. The reader will almost instantly dislike Nicholas I and cheer for Hadji Murat. This theme is seen within the very first pages as the narrator notices "in a ditch, in full bloom, a wonderful crimson thistle of the kind which is known among us as a "Tartar" and is carefully mowed around..."(pg. 1). To the Russians, Hadji Murat is seen as a thistle within the field. The thesis can be seen as Tolstoy further explores the questioning of authority through the main character's actions by changing his allegiance and aiding Russian forces. Not only is Murat caught between the Russians, but the leader of the Chechen Muslims is also after him. There is a strong sense of defiance towards authority, but there is also a strong loyalty that is felt by Hadji Murat. The story is a window to a part of Tolstoy's life (military service) as it is a story about the tragedy of war and defiance. It can also be viewed as an "anti-war" story, given the historical background of Russians killing Chechens and attempting to colonize the region while controlling the Muslims Chechens.Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CW on October 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is another great short story by Tolstoy. He works his magic and tells us a great story. The feelings are so real in the story while you read you feel like you are part of that atmosphere. Hadji Murad was a Muslim fighter and he is a hero in the book but he is killed by Russians. It is a great way of explaining the main character's culture and comparing it with Russian culture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. John Silver on April 18, 2014
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this is a good new translation of the classic short late novel by tolstoy. the best thing about it is that it makes a great old story more readily available. for those who appreciate a suspenseful adventure tale with a tragic ending, this is a must. in addition, in an age of "relevance", this caucasian adventure takes place in chechnya. what could be more pertinent?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jancb on September 17, 2014
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Tolstoy as always, amazing and completely up to date. Read this after "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" by Anthony Marra. How many of us had even heard of the Chechen tragedy until it drove the Boston bombers over the edge? And how long will the world let the alpha gamers of geopolitics ruin people's societies and lives? Tolstoy takes as back to square one.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Bowles on April 27, 2013
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Well, the bombers weren't freedom fighters. But this, Tolstoy's last novel (and the length of a long short story) is fascinating. His hero was a real freedom fighter against the RussIans inhabiting his territory in the early 19th century. Tolstoy comes to sympathize to some extent with his hero as he exposes the idiocy of the Russians, who in our time murdered tens of thousands of Chechens. I recommend it highly for its literary excellence even as it give us some historical perspective.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andree Conrad on July 16, 2014
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Essential reading that sheds light on Islamic fundamentalism and Russian foreign policy of the present moment.
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