Mar 01, 11
Read in March, 2011
This is Tolstoy's last novel. It is definitely written as his 'moral statement'--his Bible, really. Tolstoy demonstrates the injustices and hypocrisy with many of man's institutions. He criticizes religion, prisons, education, etc. The novel starts with a very interesting dilemma. The heroin of the story is a prostitute who is being tried for a crime she did not commit. One of the jurors happens to recognize the prostitute as the sweet servant girl, who many years earlier had worked for his family. He does some investigating and realizes that he was the source of her 'down fall' (he impregnated her when she was very young and her life went down hill from there). So the novel shows the turmoil that this knowledge causes him and his eventual 'resurrection'. Tolstoy is great when it comes to showing moral dilemmas. I guess my criticism of this book really would be that the moral philosophizing was clearly more important than telling a great story....I want both! By the end I was sick and tired of hearing about prisons, but it did contain a few really great passages.