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Tolstoy Paperback – March 30, 2001
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Original Language: French
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Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, Leo Tolstoy was the greatest writer the world has ever produced. I've read other biographies of him, and consider Troyat's to be the best for many reasons, not the least of which is his selective restraint with detail. It's obvious that he probably read upwards of a million pages in order to give us this 900, and the finished product is never tedious. His look at Tolstoy is unbiased, he does not try to canonize him. It takes a great man to have every stone of his life upturned like this, and yet emerge as a hero. Tolstoy does!
Tolstoy is a man of many dichotomies and this is at least partly what makes his life so very interesting. He was one of the greatest writers of all time, yet he despised literature. He inspired a peace movement led by Gandhi, and yet at one time owned peasants (admittedly early on in his life). He wrote of how life should be lived, and yet could not get along with his own wife (and wound up dying in a train station at the age of 82). The life of Leo Tolstoy cannot be summarized in a few short paragraphs, and even if it could, it would be doing a great man a grave injustice. Tolstoy deserves a biography which is comprehensive in depth and contains details not only of his life but also of his works......Troyat has given us this.Read more ›
The strength of this book is its depth and scope. It covers everything from Tolstoy's birth to death, and I mean everything: The young nobleman obsessed with charity, the artistic ectasy, the sexual scandals and insatiability, the marriage and the children, and yet the saintliness of the philospher and theologian, monk and hermit. Troyat amazingly covers the entirity of Tolstoy's life and works. It is an entire world revealed, in infinite detail, to its horizons and then beyond. (800 pages and, no, that is not large type) This tale of Leo Tolstoy proves the man is every bit as large as his legend, and so much more. Every page is filled with breathtaking revelations, touching and frightning displays, family secrets and public explosions, and intimiate looks behind every deed of the man in the very words of his own hand. This book is psychology, philosophy, theology, anthropolgy, poetry, truth, and on yes, biography so incredibly well-written it reads better than most novels.
M. Troyat, my hat is off to you. Thank you for one of the most enjoyable and informative reads of my life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredible biography of a very complicated, brilliant man, It looks like this writer spent many years working on this to get the whole picture. He writes somewhat like Tolstoy. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M. Dali
Troyat maintains a certain emotional distance most of the time, which is best considering the contradictory subject. Read morePublished on September 10, 2012 by Ryan P. Sullivan
I found an old Doubleday edition at one of the local thrift stores, and purchased it for fifty cents. It was a wonderful discovery. Read morePublished on December 20, 2011 by Michael R. Perkins
I agree with the other reviewers, at times this biography reads like a Tolstoy novel itself. This book brings the Russian writer to life better than anything else out there and is... Read morePublished on May 31, 2011 by J. Smallridge
If you want "detail" about Tolstoy... this is the book. It is well written and chock full of detail. Read morePublished on March 26, 2011 by MTK
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967)
(New York: Crown, 1980; paperback) 762 pages
A biography of Leo... Read more
Troyat is thorough and comprehensive in telling Tolstoy's story from childhood through youth and into the great creative mature years and the decline and old age. Read morePublished on December 5, 2004 by Shalom Freedman
an excellent informative book about tolstoy
most fascinating is his relationship described with Turgenev, doestevosky and later chekov. Read more