Grace Tjan's Reviews > Tolstoy

Tolstoy by Henri Troyat
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's review
May 29, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, russian-literature, 2009, yasnaya-polyana
Read in March, 2009

Troyat's 700-plus pages biography reads like a Tolstoy novel. It follows Tolstoy's life in detail, quoting extensively from his and his family's copious diaries. His marriage, which started happily enough, and then turned into a nightmare for both him and his wife was morbidly fascinating. It was like watching a slow train wreck. Altogether, a satisfiying if rather lengthy portrait of a complicated genius.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar I read that he's kinda cruel to his wife. Is that true?

message 2: by Grace (last edited Jul 31, 2009 10:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Grace Tjan Yes and no. Their relationship is very complex. Their early married years were happy but they ended up torturing each other. Do you know that she had copied in longhand the 1000 plus pages of the War and Peace manuscript 7 times?

message 3: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar I just read that in Tempo mag! What a dedicated wife she was :(

Grace Tjan Ayu wrote: "I just read that in Tempo mag! What a dedicated wife she was :( "

Is that in the new Tempo mag?

She was a dedicated wife. But she could also be domineering and mean. When she was older, she had a mental disorder and tried to kill herself. Tolstoy finally ran away from home (with his daughter) to try to escape her, but he died in a train station on the way. So tragic.

I read that they're going to make a movie about Tolstoy and his wife, not sure when it's going to be released.

message 5: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar I think it's from last week edition. I bet the film will be interesting, if we see the conflicts on their marriage :I

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