The Cossacks

The Cossacks

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Overview

The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy

THE COSSACKS is one of the finest portrayals in all Russian literature. Written in part in 1852 while Tolstoy was serving in the army of the Caucasus (though not published until 1862, three years before the first installment of his epic WAR AND PEACE), this novel is rich in the descriptions of that superb region.

In a uniquely Russian form, this story is the old romantic European drama of "The Noble Savage." The young hero, Olenin, an educated aristocrat like Tolstoy, comes to the Caucasus to find himself. Olenin falls in love with a young Cossack girl, Maryanka, She shreds his cherished control and refinement, and the desires she awakes in him take his emotions by storm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605013039
Publisher: MobileReference
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Series: Mobi Classics
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 312 KB

About the Author

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy ( 1828 - 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, he is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852-1856) and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and Hadji Murad. He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays. --Wikipedia

Date of Birth:

September 9, 1828

Date of Death:

November 20, 1910

Place of Birth:

Tula Province, Russia

Place of Death:

Astapovo, Russia

Education:

Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47

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Cossacks 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tolstoy¿s COSSACK is another fascinating story where purpose is found in the atmosphere of war. This goes for the jaded Olenin, an heir to a fortune that he had half squandered until he abandons his jaded life as a Moscow socialite for the adventures as a soldier in the Caucasus where he finds his purpose and true love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book evokes all the old tales about the ethnic groups in Russia and the Caucasus. The book begins with a young, powerful man (Olénin)leaving with the Czarist army toward the regions around the Caspian sea, in search for love, since he has never been able to love a woman. With an excellent accuray, the author then portrays what the life in a cossack village is all about, as well as the relationship with the tartars, chéchens, etc. The book goes on describing Olénin's search for love amongst the typical cossack girls. Tolstoy's style in describing the everyday human behaviour and the mindmaze of the main character captivates the reader through the novel to then come across a surprising -and shocking- ending.
mishmashmusic More than 1 year ago
When you think of Tolstoy, you most likely think of his epic novels, like Anna Karenina or War and Peace. You probably don't think of his shorter pieces like The Cossacks, a shorter novella that is considered to be the author's autobiography. The book centers around an unhappy Muscovite nobleman named Dmitri Olénin who joins the army in search of adventure and purpose in his life. He winds up in the Caucasus and is intrigued by the geography and the simple people who live there. Along the way, he discovers himself and falls in love for the first time, and in turn discovers the pain love can bring. We meet a cast of characters that includes the manly Cossack soldier Lukashka, the beautiful Cossack girl Maryanka, and the larger-than-life grandfather figure, Uncle Yeroshka, each of who play an important role in the life education of Olénin. Since this has always been one of my favorite books, I was curious to see how it translated into the audiobook format. The voice work is done by Jonathan Oliver, an English actor who has over a decade of experience reading audiobooks for the blind. At first, I was a little thrown by his English accent, as I know many Russians personally, and I always lent a Russian accent to The Cossacks characters in my mind. But as the story progressed, I got used to Oliver's accent and it became very natural sounding, as he took on the life of the characters. He also did a wonderful job of changing out his vocal style as each different character spoke, making it easy to tell who was speaking as the conversations took place. I especially liked his portrayal of Uncle Yeroshka, the colorful old man of the Cossack village who takes Olénin under his wing. Oliver's voice bellows and rings out with intensity, bringing the character to life in incredible fashion. Oliver is obviously very familiar with the story as well as Tolstoy in general, and he adds touches here and there to make the story even more special. For example, he reads the descriptive sections with the same enthusiasm as the speaking roles, painting a perfect picture of the Cossack village and the activities of its inhabitants as they go about daily life. He also sings their songs with a convincing air, staying in character the whole time. As far as classic literature goes, this one is an easy listen. It is not too long, and the story moves quickly, filled with adventure and a touch of innocent romance. Plus, it is a great introduction to Tolstoy without getting lost in the epic length of some of his other works. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even his first novel held the romantic style of writing that later made him famous. It's a very simple story, but it is written so well. It's not just a look at where Tolstoy began his literature career, but it's also a look at Tolstoy's life. He himself was actually stationed in the Cossacks and used his experience to effectively write the book. The book is a pretty quick read too, so there's no reason not to read it.
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