© and (P)1986 Jimcin Recordings
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
The translation was OK. The audiobook was OK. Not my favorite Tolstoy piece. Completely forgetable all in all.
Leo Tolstoy is a master ... this short story though extremely simple is extremely deep ... i would read anything for Tolstoy .. his short stories are always packed with treasures ...
This story is an extremely simple Christian fable: a man who's had a hard life has fallen into depression. He starts to read the New Testament, becomes calm and content, and stops drinking. He then applies the teachings of the gospel and become blissful. That's basically it. Nothing wrong with it if you're religious, I suppose, but as literary fiction I found it, well, embarrassing. I kept waiting for some sort of plot development or non-trivial (to my taste, anyway) insight, but there was nothing. It's hard to believe that this is the same Tolstoy who wrote War and Peace or The Death of Ivan Ilyich. I personally have nothing against stories with a religious message in them -- I loved Ivan Ilyich, for example, or G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday -- but only if they have some literary quality as "compensation".
As for the narrator: I thought he was perfectly fine. True, he has a noticeable Boston accent, but personally I don't mind it -- after all, Tolstoy wrote in Russian, and a British or "General American" accent would be just as foreign to the piece.
The bottom line: Unless you're looking for an inspirational Christian fable, I wouldn't bother with this audiobook.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is a good story but is a bit predictable, simple, and preachy. The narration is solid and pleasant. This is far from a great short story, but is still worth the short time it takes and the one buck cost (don’t use a full credit).
I honestly haven't finished this story EVER. I fell asleep the first time I tried to listen to it, and since then have only used it to help me fall asleep and boy does it work! Great sleep aid and far cheaper and healthier than Tylenol PM! The story may be fantastic, but I've never been engaged enough to listen! :/
I had recently listened to Ghandi and Churchill and learned about Ghandi's respect for Tolstoy's ideas about society. This book was sweet but not a model for social change
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