This was my first little bit of Tolstoy that I've read. I'm a HUGE fan of Dostoevsky and I knew I would love all kinds of Russian literature, so I was quite excited to get into this. Each of the three stories was better than the last:
- How Much Land Does A Man Need
- The Death of Ivan Illych
- The Kreutzer Sonata (favorite!!)
All were very impressive and brought their point across nicely. The day I finished it, I eyed my copy of War and Peace for a while, wondering when I should pick it up and hoping it would be very soon. I still am.
Recommended, most definitely, but not for everyone. The Kreutzer Sonata talks of a man who stabbed his wife to death, much due to jealousy; also underlying is the way beauty deceives and how easily we lie to ourselves. How Much Land Does a Man Need deals with greed and uses Satan to personify it...very accurate if I do say so myself. And The Death of Ivan Illych is about the life of a man who was ordinary, thought he was extraordinary, and when he died realized the truth about himself. There are a lot of struggles with hatred in these stories, which makes them more intense than I'd expected. Absolutely worth reading.