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The Forged Coupon

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,454 ratings  ·  202 reviews
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
Kindle Edition, 101 pages
Published May 17th 2012 (first published 1911)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Фальшивый купон = Fal'shivyi kupon = The Forged Coupon, Leo Tolstoy

Fedor Mikhailovich Smokovnikov, the president of the local Income Tax Department, a man of unswerving honesty--and proud of it, too--a gloomy Liberal, a free-thinker, and an enemy to every manifestation of religious feeling, which he thought a relic of superstition, came home
from his office feeling very much annoyed.

The Governor of the province had sent him an extraordinarily stupid minute, almost assuming that his dealings had
...more
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Clive on www.whisperingstories.com

We all know that at some stage in our lives we should read War and Peace and Anna Karenina but do we all have the time and commitment to cope with the 1272 and 964 pages that they respectively fill? The Forged Coupon gives us an opportunity to pick up Tolstoy’s attention to detail and his Christian beliefs in a brief novella.

At just seventy nine pages the book can easily be read in two sessions although I am sure that most readers will take adva
...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
Tolstoy's take on the butterfly effect. Needing a little scratch to pay off an insignificant debt to a friend, a boy hoodwinks a shopkeeper with a faked line of credit. This is then passed off from one person to another, snowballing in significance and causing much residual havoc. The Forged Coupon is an examination of the lower classes, ala Dostoyevsky. In fact, towards the end, this short story becomes almost Dostoyevsky-esque. I really wanted it to continue on another hundred pages or more! ...more
B. P. Rinehart
My last review of the year, just in time for Christmas! I had to make it Tolstoy. I read this novella chiefly because it (part 1 to be exact) is the basis for the movie L'Argent that I planned to watch, it is also a Tolstoyian moral tale, which always goes well with Christmas/Easter. Also this story I listened to on a Somalian prisoner who managed to read Anna Karenina by Morse code: https://www.npr.org/templates/transcr... Really beautiful.

Two students forge a bank note and that begins a hellis
...more
Bettie
Wiki description: The story is divided into two parts. In Part I, schoolboy Mitya is in desperate need of money to repay a debt, but his father angrily denies him assistance. Dejected, under the instigation of a friend Makhin, Mitya simply changes a 2.50 rouble bond coupon to read 12.50 roubles, but this one evil deed sets off a chain of events that affects the lives of dozens of others, when his one falsehood indirectly causes a man to murder a woman at the end of Part I, and then seek redempti ...more
Viv JM
Of all the Tolstoy short stories/novellas in the collection I have read, this is one of my favourites. It begins when a hard up student uses a forged coupon to pay for goods in a shop. This begins a cascade of deceptions and wrongdoings, affecting more and more people, and leading to ever more heinous deeds - culminating in a murder. In the second part of the story, the murderer from part 1 seeks (and finds) redemption through religion and this too has a cascading effect leading to more good dee ...more
Chrissie
OK, written by Tolstoy, I simply cannot say the writing is bad, and the story does display a knowledge of human behavior.

The novella, in two parts, is written as a parable. It says, loud and clear, that good behavior leads to more good behavior, and bad behavior to more bad behavior. It’s a story illustrating the domino effect. I find this all too simplistic, t-o-o-o-o moralistic and way t-o-o-o-o preachy! It shakes a finger at the reader and says, pay attention, this is the way you must behave
...more
Rami Hamze
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, russian
(3.5/5)

A schoolboy forges a (~$10) coupon to pay a friend's debt and, as a result, a, series of evil deeds is caught into a multiplier effect leading to more theft and murder.

A smart depiction by Tolstoy on how evil leads to more evil and how the cause and effect spreads out into community.
...more
James Henderson
The stories of Leo Tolstoy are linked by what the French scholar and translator Michel Aucouturier calls Tolstoy's "gift of concrete realisation", and an ever-restless breed of philosophical inquiry – a combination that could produce works of an intensity that surprises even after repeated readings.
Tolstoy's greatest short story, The Death of Ivan Ilyich revolves around the eponymous judge discovering, as he slowly, painfully expires, that his entire life has been a sham, built on bourgeois triv
...more
The Cute Little Brown-haired girl
This book is one of my all time favorites! It's short, sweet, and to the point. A great and twisted plot and a real lesson on materialism, the love of money and how greedy we really are underneith...but how virture, honesty, and the love of our fellow man always and forever will outweigh these shortcomings. This is a great short read for those who love Russian literature. ...more
Phoenix2
Aug 22, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The Forged Coupon is a story that is implored by a forged coupon and how it made its way through various people, influancing their lifes and, like aweb, these people influanced the lives of others.

It spands through a handful of years and follows various POVs, with a clever switch from one character to another, always in a third person narration, and a quick pace, that is aided by short chapters.

And yet, and even though the begining was strong, towards the ending I found myself being confused b
...more
Edward O'Neill
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely little edition of one of Tolstoy's greatest short works.

Towards the end of his life, Tolstoy increasingly worked in a much smaller compass than his familiar great realist novels, in which the writer's great strengths at expansion, dilation and detail are hard at work. But in these smaller works--novellas, if you wanna be technical--you find every bit as much precision, but condensed and then arranged like a fantastic puzzle.

THE FORGED COUPON is about Christianity, make no doubt
...more
Suyog Sonar
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The whole story is revolved about a coupon which is forged by a kid, Mitya, who was persuaded by one his friend to repay the money which Mitya had borrowed. But he did not know that it will cause the gravest of crime including murder.

This book as I found later, presents many of Tolstoy's beliefs on good and evil, and his moral preoccupations, and his view on Christianity. This was written in his last years of life, which makes it more insightful on what he thought in his dying years.

Its quite di
...more
Tyler Jones
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wise and naive and complex and simple.
I don't care what anybody says, I think Tolstoy can write.
...more
Shabana Mukhtar
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yours, according to whether you send the money or not, with scorn, or love, Grouchetsky.

Let me relish it for a while. Detailed Review to come.
Lukas Sotola
An interesting story with well-drawn characters, as always from Tolstoy. I could've done without having a new character introduced every five pages or so, but that's a personal preference and not really a major flaw. ...more
Indran Fernando
Quality declines in the second half. Tries to do too much for a novella of only 90 p; confusing number of half-developed characters. Didacticism isn't my complaint, as the novella manages to have this quality without sacrificing artfulness and succinctness.

I read it in a rush for class and the first 30 or so pages were impressive, that's for sure.
...more
Jacob Tilmon
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella showed me most clearly Tolstoy’s understanding of his faith. One small lie like a forged check sets up a spiral of terrible circumstances that injure many lives. A small act of kindness fueled by the life-changing gospel of Christ in a peasant sets up another domino effect that causes waves of blessings. Tolstoy believes that sacrificial love fueled by Christ is the only hope in a Russia where a few oligarchs benefit from subjugating their peasants.
Wes
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story by Tolstoy. I really enjoyed reading this book. Oddly enough, this book is relevant even now. The position of the church in Russia is coming back to what it was in Tolstoy's time. ...more
Megan
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It was pretty confusing keeping everyone in order. It was a quaint little morality tale and I certainly won't be forging any coupons (or the contemporary equivalent) anytime soon. The language is quite straightforward and basic for the most part but I think that is mostly due to the translation. ...more
Rundown
Aug 15, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was short, quite entertaining and easy to read. At times it was confusing with regard to the numerous characters, getting mixed up.
I give the book 4 stars.
Tolstoy tries to expound his religious beliefs in the book, and at the same time he shows how one thing leads to another and that everything we do has an effect, and in a way the book displays karma or kamma.

The reason I give the book 4 stars is that I like how life's situations effect the characters and swing them one way or the oth
...more
Jerome Berglund
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like if they could have overcome the language barriers, Tolstoy, Hugo, Cervantes, and Dickens would all have got on just marvelously together.
Ryan
It's been a while since I last read Tolstoy, given I read The Death of Ivan Ilych back in late-January. And since I've once again, come to a standstill in reading philosophy, I decided to relax and go to Tolstoy. I had originally considered reading Resurrection or Hadji Murad, but instead chose this rather late novella.

The story is rather interesting, as it's a form I never expected to see in Tolstoy. It's a domino effect story. Yet I would say it's more of a story en constante expansion. In tha
...more
Therese May
This short story (though it wasn't very short) was incredible.

It reminded me a lot of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life". In the movie we see a good man's life and then we see how the place he lived and the people he knew would have been if he hadn't been alive.

In this story, we follow the results of two boys falsehood: the forging of a coupon. It's amazing and inspiring to see how one bad act could change so many people's lives for the worst, but other good actions could reverse the damage don
...more
Alma Pašić
Quite an interesting concept and a play on the idea of the Butterfly Effect. It's a rather short novella (around 70 pages) which was quite a breeze to read considering that other Tolstoy novel's are prodigious. Me, I consider myself a Dostoyevsky fanboy but that in no way stops me from enjoying the works of Tolstoy when it's due. However, one thing irked me the entire time I was reading it, and Tolstoy had absolutely nothing to do with it: the translation. My God, reading it in English made my e ...more
Jake
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Tolstoy so of course it's good. The first half is like a reverse "pay it forward" kind of thing where small bad acts snowball into large ones. For example, a dad yells at his son who gets pissed and rips off a shopkeeper's wife whose hubby berates her for it and on and on until throats are slit and blood flows in the Russian streets. The mood picks up in the second half which is about redemption. It's a pretty good introduction to Tolstoyian Christianity which is one of the better varieties ...more
Jeremy
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1910s, russians
Not because of the violence but because of the pitch and verisimilar tone of voice this is the first time I'm hearing Cormac in Tolstoy, in reverse echo. This late (last?) novella is perfect, from various aesthetic POVs (realist, modernist, romanticist, even ancient classic; if this were translated backward in time into Job-ic Hebrew or Middle Kingdom hieroglyphic, it'd fit). I'm surprised this hasn't been adapted to film. ...more
Gregory
Really kind of a follow-the-money-romp that starts with a kid drawing an extra digit on a bill for more $ and watching the giant cartoon boulder of chaos roll and accumulate gillian flynn-esque drama. Pace in this is amazing. Really telling of how Tolstoy's personal life was at the time of writing during the second half though, it really becomes a religious thesis near the end. Very top heavy, but hey, aren't all the best records top heavy with songs? ...more
AJ Conroy
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first question is does anyone have a diagram showing the relationships between the characters? My second question is why isn't this part of the common high school curriculum? It's short and easy to consume and analyze. ...more
Kristina A
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, talk about the butterfly effect! I love how easy Tolstoy is to read and how he provokes a lot of philosophical thought with his characters.
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Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; most appropriately used Liev Tolstoy; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacl ...more

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