Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hadji Murat by Leo Tolstoy

Hadji Murat by Leo Tolstoy (1912, 212 pages, with introduction)

Leo Tolstoy's Last Work

Hadji Murat was Leo Tolstoy's (1828 to 1910-Russian) last work.   It was published posthumously.   Since I began my blog in July 2009, I have posted on two of his shorter works of fiction, "How Much Land Does a Man Need" and "Ivan the Fool".   (There is some background information on Tolstoy in my prior posts on him.)

I think it is hard to read the secondary fiction of Tolstoy without having in your mind his big books, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.   To those new to Tolstoy, I would say go for it and first read War and Peace and then Anna Karenina.   (I just saw a commercial for the Greta Garbo Anna Karenina movie.  It is a great movie but try to read the book before you see it as Garbo is so great as Anna you will not be able to see Anna any other way.)

As the translators of this work (Kyril Zinovieff and Jenny Hughes) say in their very well done introduction the basic story line sounds like something we might hear on CNN.   Political leaders in the Georgia area rebel against Russian overlords.    The plot is about the life and leadership of one of the Caucasian  leaders, Hadji Murat.

I found the plot really interesting and there are lot of great details that bring the story to life for us.   Murat is forced to side with the Russians when they take his family hostage.   I will leave the plot unspoiled but there is a good retelling of it here for those needing homework help .  

I was sent a complementary copy of this very well produced book by the publisher, One World Classics.   I extend to them by thanks for this.   

I think this book would be good background reading for anyone interested in the history of the region.  

The introduction does a good job of explaining the political history of the region.   There is also about a twenty page article on the life and work of Tolstoy at the end of the book.  The publisher and translators have done a good job with the extra materials.   

Mel u


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Mel, thanks for the hurricane well wishes, I appreciate it!

Suko said...

It has been too many years since I've read any Tolstoy. His last book sounds quite interesting.

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