Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful story of humanity
I, too, have to disagree with this 'english class' in their dull-assesment of this story. This must be a very young class of students who haven't experienced enough of human nature to fully appreciate and understand the complexity and beauty of the 2 characters in this wonderfully touching story. This is the first story that has ever made me weep openly while...
Published on September 22, 1999 by Ronnie Dylan

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite classic Tolstoy?
I know that Tolstoy was a genius and a talented author. However, this story seemed quite bland to me and I found that it never really "grabbed" me in a way that could be comparable to "War and Peace".
Published on December 14, 2007 by Mark Nenadov


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful story of humanity, September 22, 1999
This review is from: Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I, too, have to disagree with this 'english class' in their dull-assesment of this story. This must be a very young class of students who haven't experienced enough of human nature to fully appreciate and understand the complexity and beauty of the 2 characters in this wonderfully touching story. This is the first story that has ever made me weep openly while reading. The second, also by Tolstoy, was Strider: The Story of a Horse. If you liked Master and Man, you must find this one! That's why I'm here today; looking to replace my lost copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No, not dull... very deep and powerful., July 31, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I felt I had to respond to the above comment by saying that this is a masterfully written short story and a moving account of a Master who makes the ultimate sacrifice, whether knowing it or not, to his lowly, faithful servant. The story contrasts well the attitudes and lives of rich masters and their voluntary slaves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Superb: It Contains Two Great Tolstoy Stories Plus One Not as Great, August 14, 2007
This is a good three story collection with an introduction by Paul Foote.

Tolstoy is recognized as one of the leading writer of novels, and he was a leading Russian writer of the 19th century. He wrote three monumental works including War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and the novella The Death of Ivan Ilych." Two were written by Tolstoy at his peak around 1865 to 1980, and Ilych was written in 1886 before Tolstoy started to lose his interest in fiction.

This is a collection of three stories that were all written at the end of Tolstoy's career, all written after 1890 when he was making the transition to non-fiction polemics. Only one of the three stories was published during Tolstoy's lifetime and that was Master and Man.

The first story in the book is Father Sergius, and it was written between 1890 and 1898. It is brilliant and ambitious. It is a story about a priest who dedicates his life to religion and purity. He lives in isolation and commits his life to God, and the story is about his search for truth. Unfortunately, he is still attracted to women, and that attraction or sexual passion frightens him and the story describes how he deals with that struggle to overcome his moral shortcomings or temptations. This was a favorite story of Tolstoy.

The second story, Master and Man, is simply superb. It is about two men on a trip by a horse drawn sleigh through the winter snows near a small village. They get caught in a blizzard while on a simple business trip. It was published in 1895, and is among the finest short stories ever written. It contains many signature elements of Tolstoy's writings including detailed descriptions of the Russian characters in a rural setting: "man, society, and nature" as described by Foote.

The last is Hadji Murat, written between 1896 to 1904. It follows earlier books on the southern wars including The Raid (1835), Wood-Felling (1855), and The Cossacks (1863). It is based on real events and lacks a strong central protagonist, and that is the weakness of the story. I was not excited by this novel and prefer Tolstoy's The Cossacks which covers a similar subject matter - that is set in southern Russia - but which has strong characters with strong human emotions.

Also, his most important fiction started in the 1860s with the release of The Cossacks in 1863. That story contains emotional elements and descriptions similar to what we read in Anna Karenina." by contrast, Hadji Murat was one of his last fictional works; and, Tolstoy expressed mixed feelings about the novel and its merits. It does rise to the same level as work from his prime.

Overall, this a good buy with two superb stories and one good story. Some of the works are available individually on line free from Gutenberg.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, October 18, 2012
By 
Scott Walker (Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Not only are Tolstoy's stories enjoyable with their touching detail and, do contain valuable messages, they, are also beneficial in developing our writing skills.

Master and Man: A landowner and his worker travel the winter countryside through a peasant area in Russia drawn by a single horse sledge. The landowner has a business deal waiting for him and time is of the essence. He believes it will come to be lucrative as he gives much thought on it. Defying the weather they end up stranded in a severe snowstorm. The next day they are discovered buried under the snow. The worker is found alive with the frozen body of the landowner on top of him. The horse too is frozen. In the end, the perceived wealth did not matter, only the life of his worker.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Between the idea and the storytelling, July 25, 2011
By 
Eric Maroney (Trumansburg, NY) - See all my reviews
The Penguin Classics edition of Tolstoy's Master and Man and Other Stories contains some short story gems we would expect in Tolstoy collection.

Most have the religious sensibility of Tolstoy's later years, and only stories like "Neglect a Spark and the House Burns Down" is somewhat obvious and thereby heavy handed. The others are masterpieces of storytelling and message melded into one. "Three Hermits," "Two Old Men," "How Much Land Does a Man Need" are all famous Tolstoy stories, part fable, part wish-fulfillment, all fully crafted and realized.

Tolstoy at this best shows how short fiction can be an excellent vehicle to express religious and theological ideas without getting overpowered by them. The best of his stories in this vein walk a fine line between the power of the idea and the magic of storytelling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking classic, March 26, 2010
This review is from: Master And Man (Paperback)
Ayn Rand, in her The Art of Fiction, called Tolstoy "the archetype of a naturalist," a writer who describes events, but offers "only one layer of motivation." The writer who is "romantic" is better. He looks "not only at the immediate onion skin, but (examines motivation) as deep as the author can go." Other critiques disagree and consider Tolstoy one of the world's greatest writers. They may think that Tolstoy does not delve deep into character, but they do not see this as a negative. Despite her critique, Ayn Rand would probably agree that Man and Master is a very interesting short novel.
While its title indicates that the tale concerns two people, actually there is a third, the master's horse. The master thinks that he far smarter than his servant and nearly everyone else, including his wife. He cheats everybody, thinking they do not understand what he is doing, but he only succeeds because he is the master, not because of his wit. He takes his servant with him to buy land and cheat the seller, but gets lost several times because he thinks he knows directions. Actually the servant knows more than he does and the horse knows more than both of them.
Readers will leave the tale, as they leave all well-written stories, with many questions and their own answers. This is how good literature should excite us. What did the master learn from this experience? Did it really change his behavior and his attitude to life and to people and to money? And what about the peasant, was his life pathetic? Did the fact that he always had a good and happy reaction to everything make his life less pathetic? Is Tolstoy's portrayal of the three beings only a superficial glance at an onion skin or is the story multi layered and quite thought provoking? Does a writer have to point out everything, or are we expected to see some things ourselves?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Walk with me again, in the cold cold night..., August 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Master and Man (Kindle Edition)
What a story! This is a remarkably effective simple tale of two men, a businessman and his trusty assistant, who set off in the afternoon of a cold and bitter Russian day with a reliable horse in search of a town where a business meeting is to take place. They get lost, and a challenge for survival ensues. Read alongside Jack London's "To Build a Fire," and you will never see a pretty snowfall in the same way again.

If you are unfamiliar with the epic works of Tolstoy, this is as good an introduction to his world as any of the rest. Well worth the hour or so it will take to read.

Note: Best enjoyed while wrapped in the arms of a loved one and while drinking a cup of hot coffee in front of a fireplace.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Tolstoy, July 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Master and Man (Kindle Edition)
Genius....short story, long story.....it does not matter, simply brilliant
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and touching story., February 15, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Master and Man (Kindle Edition)
This story by Tolstoy is one of his best, a story of the joy of transformation. It truly embodies Christ's words, "he who loses his life will find it."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Realization, January 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Master and Man (Kindle Edition)
I liked the realization that Andreevich came to that the important things were not money or ownership of property, but those things you can't buy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) by Leo Tolstoy (Paperback - November 17, 1977)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.