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The Cossacks Paperback – August 3, 2011


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The Cossacks + Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy (Perennial Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463748124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463748128
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

He should've married Maryanka!!!urgh.
Mia Persson
Tolstoy tells a wonderful story but what interested me most was his insight into seeing and understanding different cultures - their life style and values.
Bruce Olsen
Viewed in this way, this is a great book to get a taste of Tolstoy's writing style, characterizations, and even favorite themes.
Chip Hunter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Chip Hunter VINE VOICE on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Many readers have been attracted to this short novel as a 'Tolstoy-tester' of sorts, before jumping into the daunting, but more popular, WAR AND PEACE or ANNA KARENINA. Viewed in this way, this is a great book to get a taste of Tolstoy's writing style, characterizations, and even favorite themes. At the same time, this is obviously a much simpler tale than those others, lacking the depth of plot or feeling that they have, and cannot be expected to live up to the standards of those seminal works.

This is a story of a restless and jaded Moscovite setting off to the frontier in search of adventure, self-reflection, and possibly romance. THE COSSACKS succeeds brilliantly in capturing the wistful nature of the young Olenin, whose meandering thoughts about the meaning of life, love, and happiness seem truthful and timeless. Indeed, Olenin could almost be from any part of the world and from any time in history, as he faces the same sort of search for fulfillment that all young people do, maybe especially those from a life of privilege. Very little 'action' in this novel, as even moments of would-be excitement are interwoven with the deeper philosophical meanderings of Tolstoy. There is plenty of suspense however, as a fledgling (but forbidden) love blossoms in Olenin, where Tolstoy succeeds in portraying the tortuous (but wonderful) feelings of uncertainty, desperation, and helplessness in the love-struck young man. Will Maryanka believe and accept Olenin's heartfelt pleas, or will the reality their very different lives strike the relationship down? This story of a life-changing (but not life-threatening) adventure describes a soul-searching period for a very believable character.

As an example of Tolstoy's writing, I think that THE COSSACKS serves nicely.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Olsen on November 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the book. Tolstoy tells a wonderful story but what interested me most was his insight into seeing and understanding different cultures - their life style and values. We may dream of leaving a simpler life in a far place, for me it is Aftica, but at the end of the day we must accept the fact that we are not from that world and risk deluding ourselvies into thinking we understand them but often fail because people and their relationships cannot be reduced to some scientific formula or diseration. I think Tolstoy picks up on this them and describes it wonderfully.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Supposedly based on Leo Tolstoy's own experiences, this early 1862 short novel tells the story of a bored Moscow nobleman, Dmitri Olenin, who hopes to start a new and simpler life with the Cossacks. Even though it is a mere 150 pages long, it is rich with detail and I soon learned a great deal about the Cossack community and their way of life. The Cossacks are depicted as a simple people who work hard, fight hard and do not have the pretensions that existed in Moscow society.

The descriptions of the area and the life of the Cossacks are rich with descriptive detail of the lush countryside and the way of life of the Cossack people. Olenin soon makes friends, and falls in love with a young woman who is betrothed to a Cossack soldier who we see winning accolades in battle as well as stealing horses. Each of the characters are so expertly drawn that the story really brought me to the time and place depicted and I was soon seeing the world of the Cossacks through the eyes of Olenin.

I really enjoyed reading this. It is an early synopsis of the hand of the master who created later masterworks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ORR on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This kindle edition, despite its price, should be passed over for a different translation. This translation is dated and often awkward. A number of Tartar- and Chechen-derived words are simply left untranslated and with no explanation. Tolstoy's eloquent Russian deserves better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nom de guerre on July 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Am not going to read it as the format is terrible to read so will probably purchase a modern library or everyman's library edition, which I should have done in the first place. So lovers of Tolstoy, stay away from this publication.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could hardly finish this book. Most of it revolved around a community with one person moving into the community...then they lost me for a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By etrain on March 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
boring, so not like his great books i.e. Anna K, I did not finish it, an unusual effort for me as I usually stick with a book.
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This brief narrative by Tolstoy must have been dug up by someone and translated. The translation is rough and confusing in places. The tale told, however, sounds very much the truth of a young Tolstoy in his cadet days with the tsar's military. Tolstoy could well have written down what he felt as a young man, dreaming of purity among the simplicity of life with the rough Cossacks. Maryanka could have sprung from the young man's fancy ur be true to life account. I'd recommend it more strongly if this particular translation were better edited. As it is, it remains good reminder of the closeness of the Western world to Allah's believers.
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