Tolstoy: A Biography by A.N. Wilson Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Tolstoy: A Biography

In this landmark biography of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, A.N. Wilson narrates the complex drama of the writer’s life: his childhood of aristocratic privilege but emotional deprivation, his discovery of his literary genius after aimless years of gambling and womanizing, and his increasingly disastrous marriage. Wilson sweeps away the long-held belief that Tolstoy’s wor

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    Chrissie

    Why should I continue reading a book that is making me miserable?

    I have completed 1/4 of this very long book. I have had enough. What follows explains why I dislike it.

    The language used is sophisticated rather than clear. At times one is even unsure who exactly the author is speaking of!

    The author sees Tolstoy as the greatest writer of all time. He doesn’t approach the man or his writing with balance.

    Sweeping, judgmental statements are made that can surely be questioned!

    Much is devoted to an e

    I have completed 1/4 of this very long book. I have had enough. What follows explains why I dislike it.

    The language used is sophisticated rather than clear. At times one is even unsure who exactly the author is speaking of!

    The author sees Tolstoy as the greatest writer of all time. He doesn’t approach the man or his writing with balance.

    Sweeping, judgmental statements are made that can surely be questioned!

    Much is devoted to an explanation of how we should interpret Tolstoy’s books. I am looking for a biography, a book that instead tells me of the events in his life, rather than an explanation of his books. The book’s focus is wrong for me, but may fit others.

    In chapter 3, the author states that a novelist should not leave it up to a reader to ponder the message that is to be drawn from a book; all questions should be given crystal clear answers. We readers should not have to think; that is the author’s job, not ours. I quite simply do not agree. I want to be nudged to think about interesting questions. I enjoy considering diverse alternatives on my own! I want to be given alternatives, not fast and firm answers.

    Information is repeated. It is as if the different chapters were written at different times, and who ever put the book together hasn’t checked the content of previous chapters.

    Neither do I like the narrator of the audiobook – John Telfer. He over dramatizes. He turns the information into theatrics, He whispers to increase suspense. He changes volume and speed to help us understand the import of the author’s lines. Seriously, I neither appreciate nor need this help! I do understand what he is saying so the narration I have given 2 rather than 1 star.

    I very, very rarely dump a book, but I am doing this now. I am rating and reviewing the book because I think it is helpful for people to be provided with different points of view. I am fully aware that what another is looking for may be very different from what I am seeking. It is for this reason I have stated what it is that displeased me.

    ETA: This audiobook is based on the 2012 edition of the book.
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    Nathan

    Jul 11, 2009

    rated it
    it was ok

    Shelves:
    franklin-library

    This is almost two books in one. Wilson begins the book with glittering literary praise, flushed with admiration for Tolstoy’s novels and driven by an obsessive fan’s knack for relating the fiction to Tolstoy’s life and Tolstoy’s Russia. Wilson is obviously well-acquainted with these substantial works, and his easy expertise is impressive, if rather showy.
    When the narrative reaches Tolstoy’s revolutionary period, there is a jarring shift in tone: the breathy te deums are replaced with a sneering

    This tension between Wilson’s unabashed admiration for Tolstoy’s novels and his barely-contained contempt for his political views disrupts the flow of the narrative, which, when detailing the objective facts rather than Wilson’s opinion, is nicely intimate and well-crafted. If Wilson had stayed in the background as an historian, rather than playing judge and jury, his book would have been infinitely more valuable.
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    mark

    Dec 21, 2013

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Recommends it for:
    Literature fans, Russian history

    The only Tolstoy I’ve read is what has been excerpted in this book … so I am at a huge disadvantage to the author, A.N. Wilson. However, I suspect he is probably one of only a handful of people who have read The Complete Works of L.N. Tolstoy. I suspect David Foster Wallace might be one of those handful, who has bragged, Wallace, that he’s read everything you have. I say this because I see things—things that make me think Wallace got some ideas, not only philosophical ideas, but ideas for charac


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