The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year

by Jay Parini | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781841959672 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingcanongatebookswing on 10/31/2007
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingcanongatebookswing on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Journal Entry 2 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Many thanks Cannongate Books for this book. I will read it soon (possibly early 2008) and post a review.

Journal Entry 3 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Synopsis:

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.

Review:

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.

Journal Entry 4 by molekilby at Pen and Wig pub OBCZ in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, March 01, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (3/1/2008 UTC) at Pen and Wig pub OBCZ in Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Taken to the meetup today.

Journal Entry 5 by wingCassiopaeiawing from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, March 01, 2008
Couldn't resist this, another canongate book! Thanks molekilby for bringing this today to the Cardiff meetup.
Will have to join Mount Toobie for a little while, but not for too long I hope.

Journal Entry 6 by wingCassiopaeiawing from Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 06, 2008
What I really enjoyed about this novelisation was that it really didn’t matter if I knew who Tolstoy was or not. I could still appreciate the narrative, as a very gripping and revealing commentary on the lives of two people, where one has given up all, for the enhancement of the other, but the point comes when the sacrifice just isn’t enough; and thereby hangs a tale!

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.

Forwarding Bookray:

Annodyne, Sale, Cheshire, UK
tagesmann, South Yorkshire, UK
wanderingstar8, London, UK
Kiri, California, US





Journal Entry 7 by wingCassiopaeiawing at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, May 19, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (5/19/2008 UTC) at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

In the post today to Annodyne in Cheshire.

Journal Entry 8 by Annodyne from Sale, Cheshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 22, 2008
Thank you Cassiopaeia. The book is now with me, and as I'm on the last few pages of my current read, I'll be making a start on it right away.

Journal Entry 9 by Annodyne from Sale, Cheshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 05, 2008
This is a historical novel, but had a strangely contemporary feel to it. We tend to think that ours is the age of the cult of celebrity, but here it is, and in a fairly well-developed form. It's extraordinary to think that, without the benefit of "the Media", and with a largely illiterate population, there was scarcely anyone in Russia who did not know of and revere the name of Tolstoy.

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.


Journal Entry 10 by Annodyne from Sale, Cheshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 07, 2008
Now on its way over the Peaks to tagesmann, as I posted it today.

Journal Entry 11 by tagesmann on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Received yesterday, safe and sound.

Journal Entry 12 by tagesmann on Wednesday, July 09, 2008
This wasn't quite the book that I was expecting. But it was very enjoyable. The way the story is told from different viewpoints, all of them quite believable from each person's perspective works particularly well. Often when a book changes from one narrator to another it doesn't work. This does.

Journal Entry 13 by wanderingstar8 from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
just received. I'll read it soon!

Journal Entry 14 by wanderingstar8 from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, August 22, 2008
I'm afraid I'm giving up on this. It's a pity, because I think the story could be really interesting. But I wish the author had chosen to turn his research (into the diaries and memoirs of the people around Tolstoy) into non-fiction instead.

On its way to Kiri.

Journal Entry 15 by Kiri from Santa Rosa, California USA on Tuesday, September 09, 2008
TBR

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