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The Forged Coupon

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,086 ratings  ·  150 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 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,086 ratings  ·  150 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
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 been dishonest.

Fedor Mihailovich felt
...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: crime, fiction
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!
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
James
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
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
Wes
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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.
MEGAN C
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Realini
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L’argent, written and directed by Robert Bresson, based on the short story by Leo Tolstoy
Eight out of 10


This film has benefited form an extraordinary positive critical acclaim – it has a Metascore of 95 out of 100, which is phenomenal.

It has also been nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival and this is nec plus ultra.
The Cannes Festival prize confirms the value of a film much more than the Oscars or Golden Globes. At least in the opinion of the under signed.

Robert Bresson,
...more
Elite Group
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A small misdemeanour causes a ripple effect of disasters.

A young student, in desperate need of money, forges a coupon and cashes it in, little knowing that this minor sin will affect the lives of so many and lead to terrible consequences.

Tolstoy wrote this short novel in the later years of his life and it apparently took a long time for him to finish it before it was finally published. This may be due to the fact that the story has an extremely complicated structure which follows the many people
...more
James
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After believing I had finished reading Tolstoy to find another book was and is a true joy. This story is a mix of ideas and thoughts. Predominantly this book deals with the main character Stepan, who, as a young man, gets involved with forging a document to gain a few roubles. Whilst he gets caught his friend doesn’t. Their lives then takes different courses. Over the period of time, it follows Stepan‘s life, pitfalls and him ultimately looking for redemption.

Mixed in with this, the story interw
...more
Kjsbreda
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novela is intricate plotted out and is circular in structure. It is far more complex than the cover blurb and the foreword lead the reader to expect. In part one, two boys alter a payment coupon by adding a digit and then use it to pay for a something. The shopkeeper later realizes that the coupon is no good but passes it on a poor man selling a cord of wood. The fraud keeps multiplying as the coupon is passed along, until people are lynched, others are murdered in their beds, people serve ...more
Nathan
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't need to wax lyrical about what an absolute BAMF Tolstoy is. The problem with his status as an all time great are his two most known works (War&Peace and Anna Karenina) are the same size as most houses, this puts most people off and rightly so. After all who has time for a book that is easier to read, then run around.

The Forged Coupon on the other hand is no more than eighty pages and can be consumed easily in one sitting.

Admitly I have done this a few times as I am unsure whether readi
...more
skip thurnauer
What do you read when you forgot to pack the book you are currently reading? Tolstoy's The Forged Coupon filled the bill perfectly. The story begins with a simple crime. When Fedor Mikhailovich refuses to give his son Mitya an advance on his allowance, Mitya turns to his friend Makhin for a loan. Instead of a loan, Makhin forges the 2.5 ruble coupon (promissory note) given to Mitya by his father to read 12.5 rubles. This dishonest act creates a domino effect, impacting scores of lives, additiona ...more
Candice
I found this in a box of donations to our Little Free Library so I took it for myself before putting it out for everyone to read. I have enjoyed Leo Tolstoy's books ever since reading War and Peace several years ago. I wish I had paid more attention to the characters in this book, perhaps writing them down as each one was introduced. Basically it's a morality tale of what happens when one person does something wrong, such as forging a coupon. That forged coupon was passed on to someone else with ...more
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Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; 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 pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider To ...more

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