Sebastien's Reviews > Resurrection

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy
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Jan 28, 09

Read in January, 2009

What can I say, one of the main subjects of this book (other than the examination of the human soul), the Russian penal system, doesn't exactly enthrall me. There are some interesting insights and philosophical parts in the book... but overall the main character's actions don't make much sense, just seems like he jumps from one life changing decision to another without much deliberation or reason. Not to mention the fact that this main character is constantly judging others and so full of anger and hate. I have nothing against anger and hate, so long as they lead to destruction, revenge, stuff getting blown up, sort of like in the Rambo series (I have mentioned this before). But when anger and hate are internalized and buried, and only talked about, well, that's not good enough in my book. Blow some stuff up already.

The book is pretty cool for the simple reason that Tolstoy gives light to the way life was back in the day. Or at least the way he saw it, which seems quite accurate. The justice system was brutal, capricious, and arbitrary, while the economic disparity between rich and poor was ridiculous. All this was not much of a surprise (and it's interesting to see how many of these problems still dog us today, especially how the flaws of early 20th century Russia's justice system are mirrored in our contemporary justice system).

Anyhow, I didn't really need someone like Tolstoy to tell me that being a peasant was awful, or that the justice system was unfair, I sort of figured that peasant life wasn't stellar living back in the day and that justice is not always served (those with money will always have the system lean in their favor, big surprise!). But Tolstoy does bring it all to life...
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