The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year
7 journalers for this copy...
Set in the last tumultuous years of Leo Tolstoy's life, The Last Station centers on the battle for his soul waged by his wife, Sofya Andreyevna, and his leading disciple, Vladimir Cherkov. Torn between his professed codtrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children, and a life of hedonism, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny rail station at Astapovo, he believes that he is dying alone, whle over one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condidtion. A brilliant recreation of the mind and tortured soul of one of the world's greatest novelists, The Last Station is a richly inventive novel that dances bewitchingly between fact and fiction.
I expected this to be a very dry read, instead it was rich with relationships and connections. It was fascinating to see the different viewpoints of the players and see them partaking in a merry dance. Not knowing anything about Tolstoy or his life I was compelled to do a little research whilst reading just to see how close to the facts it came. It would seem that this is a very plausible story.
I will now look to pass this on elsewhere.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Taken to the meetup today.
Will have to join Mount Toobie for a little while, but not for too long I hope.
As the final year in Tolstoy’s life it was a fascinating insight into the lives of this family and the events surrounding his final days. As others who have read Parini’s book, I too feel the need to discover more of this giant among Russians and must get on and read Anna Karenina, a copy of which I have had for some time now, just waiting for the right impetus.
Annodyne, Sale, Cheshire, UK
tagesmann, South Yorkshire, UK
wanderingstar8, London, UK
Kiri, California, US
I agree with other readers that the book gives a fascinating insight into the lives of two people who are dealing with extraordinary circumstances. Like everyone in the novel, I was driven to distraction by the tantrums and instability of Sofya Andreyevna, but would she have been driven to such extremes of jealousy and irrationality if the man she shared her life with had not been the superstar of his age, surrounded by disciples and hangers-on? I think Jay Parini must have had the same thought.
A good read! Ready to be forwarded to tagesmann once I have an address.
On its way to Kiri.