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What Men Live by and Other Tales

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,315 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) commonly referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer - novelist, essayist, dramatist and philosopher - as well as pacifist Christian anarchist and educational reformer. He was the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. His first publications were three autobiographical novels, Childhood, Boyhoo ...more
Paperback, 68 pages
Published September 14th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1885)
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Ammara Abid
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is written by Tolstoy so what can one presume except sheer brilliance.

The book comprises of four short stories each having unforgettable lessons and deep meanings of life.

What Men live by
"I have learnt that all men live not by care for themselves but by love".

Three Questions
"Remember then: there is only one time that is important- Now!"

The coffee-house of Surat
"The higher the man's conception of God, the better he will know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw t
...more
Omnya
كُنت بدور على حاجة كده :))
Kendel Christensen
A GREAT read. Very simple, yet very deep. You can read it at many levels and get a lot out of it on each level.

Favorite quotes. First, what men live by:
"I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love."
(Leo Tolstoy, "What Men Live By" in What Men Live By and Other Tales, TARK Classic Fiction: Rockville, MD. 2008, p.35)

"Remember then: there is only
...more
Dasha
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I find myself falling into reading more and more of the Russian literature. I guess my roots are breaking through the many years I have lived in the US.

I want my intelligence to rise beyond that of "media munchers" (those who read magazines and live through reality tv).

All in all, the stories and points of these raskasi are well written and well thought out.

Teaches of behavior, actions, and greed. People should be satisfied with what they have rather than hopping to and fro. This point may be t
...more
Shayantani Das
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it’s LEO TOLSTOY!!! I don’t think I need to explain further.

This volume contains some of my favorite short stories by him- 3 questions, The coffee house in Surat, What men live by and God is where Love Is.

There are some really meaningful quotes I this book:

“Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have
...more
Scott Harris
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tolstoy's stories are wonderful teaching tales about the nature of life and about the things that matter, or rather about the things that should matter. In this collection, he is a simple writer, without any heaviness of theology and philosophy. Though these elements are present, they are embedded in the stories and characters, and become lived realities. Three Questions is a particularly compelling story, as is the Coffeehouse.
Bettie☯
Apr 09, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Chesterton
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6157

TWELVE TYPES BY G.K. CHESTERTON

WHAT MEN LIVE BY: A shoemaker named Simon, who had neither house nor land of his own, lived with his wife and children in a peasant's hut, and earned his living by his work. Work was cheap, but bread was dear, and what he earned he spent for food. The man and his wife had but one sheepskin coat between them for winter wear, and even that was torn to tatters, and this was the second year he had been wanting to buy sheep-skins for
...more
Sadia Mansoor
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
What Men Live By: 10/10
Three Questions: 10/10
The Coffee House of Surat: 10/10
How Much Land Does a Man Need? 10/10

Finally read this collection. None can match the superior intellect of Leo Tolstoy! :)
All hail to Russians!
Cormac
This story struck a chord and made me cry in front of my eighth grade literature class.
Jeremy
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last short story in the book "How Much Land Does A Man Need" is genius. Just say'n.
Sametkoseoglu
Without a verbose explanation, Tolstoy is simply rushing towards God.
Nilgun
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I read it at the way to work...

I am so supriced again from Tolstosy!!!

Have amasing little storys are here in this book! wow.... So a diferent way to look to live and deat line...
Joe
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much different to what I'm used to when I read Russian literature.

I suppose it's a radical-Dostoevsky. With a lack of gun fights.

David Fairbairn
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sure did enjoy how nice and digestible this Tolstoy guy's stories are - maybe I should read more of them to reach my 2017 challenge count?
Juan Manuel Wills
As in each of his writings, in these three stories (What Men Live By, The Coffee House of Surat And How Much Land Does a Man Need?) Tolstoy shows his great ability to describe environments, characters, landscapes, desires, anxieties and takes advantage of any situation to generate a story less enjoyable and give the reader a moral, a lesson and a reflection process associated with ethics and Christian customs. At the time when these stories were written is clear and explicit belief (? Fanaticism ...more
Sylvester
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read, although the other version of the book was called "Stories and Legends" and contained several more chapters than this Librivox version does. I loved it all over again. I like the simple folk-tale style with the straight-forward moral to each one. Maybe it's just me, but I think Tolstoy does some of his best writing in these tales.(Perhaps I enjoy them more because they are so unlike his other writings. And perhaps it helps that the book is considerably thinner than the massive ...more
Azaghedi
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, 19th-century
What Men Live By: ***
Three Questions: ****
The Coffee House of Surat: ***
How Much Land Does a Man Need?: ****

A nice collection of 4 short stories by Tolstoy. They were written towards his twilight years, which means his religious and socio-political views are unabashedly transparent. He just about trounces you over the head with them. Amazingly enough, I enjoyed them despite not really buying into his weltanschauung, not in a religious sense, nor in a socio-political sense. But damn, I really lik
...more
Jacq Jardin
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very nice, inspiring little book. What Men Live By is about a fallen angel who was punished by God because he disobeyed Him. He was sent to earth and could go back to heaven only after he has learned the answer to three questions- what dwells in man, what is not given to man, and what men live by.
The story is told straight to the point. It is charming and it easily holds the reader's attention.
Vanessa Rhea
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, first of all, it's Leo Tolstoy.

You just can't ignore his literary greatness. This is a tale written simply without too much philosophical lines. It strikes everywhere and and can be read on any angle.
paige
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read but very good!
Louisse (louisseandbooks)
Poignant & truly unforgettable.
Niraj
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book with messages that can be used in life today! If my cousin had not told me it was a favorite of my grandfather's I would have never read it.
Steven
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love this book. The short stories are all great. They really have great lessons to them. I love all of Leo Tolstoy's work, he is by far my favorite author of all time!
Ghada Almoulani
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too simplistic and very predictable, like the stories one hears from religious preachers. Not my cup of tea.
Lee Razer
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four late short stories by Tolstoy are a pleasant break from reading a Stalinist-era memoir. This collection includes a story of which James Joyce wrote: "[it] is the greatest story that the literature of the world knows". It is a rich group of parables which Tolstoy imbues with the passionate religious feeling of his later years.

The title story concerns a poor shoemaker named Simon and his wife who, moved by pity, take in a man Simon finds naked and hungry. The man rarely talks but turns out to
...more
Heeju
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this story, there lived a humble shoemaker named Simon. It was a cold winter, so he went to the shop to buy a sheep-coat for his wife Matrena and himself for this winter, and he thought it might be possible to buy it, if he has a nice condition to deal with, but he fails to deal with the seller. Simon was very depressed, so he had a vodka on his way to home, and he stops and notice that there is a naked men in the front of the church. Simon surprises and bring him to his home, and Simon and ...more
Amelia
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing

Tolstoy is a master at communicating the philosophy of life that leads to contentment. Pride and self interests come before the fall in his stories.
Realini
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What men live by…. By Leo Tolstoy


I try to read much more than it is the norm today. That can get me into a kind of trouble. Because I need to exercise, otherwise I gain weight very quickly; I take a book with me at the pool. After one hour swim, I use the Jacuzzi where I read.

That made the people at the Downtown outfit comment and joke in various ways, some kindly, others insultingly…there comes the Reader.

Indeed, some of the old women using these facilities, have a very foul mouth “ baga-mi-as
...more
Jeremy
I was inspired to read this collection after encountering Jon J. Muth's gorgeous picture book version of Tolstoy's story "The Three Questions". In the adult version of the story, Tolstoy tells the tale of a King trying to lead a good life, and so he offers a reward to anyone in the kingdom who can answer these three questions:

What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?

But everybody gives him different and conflicting answers, so he visits a
...more
Girish Kohli
Its a new story yet completely dated at the same time.
Its short, but its not light.

Its the story of a poor man and his wife and desires and contentment.
Another poor man enters the story and then it becomes about sacrifices and eventually it grows into a story about love. I am sure you can predict a few plot points already.

The story is average, but, the emotions and the message is extraordinary.
The characters are ordinary but their actions will surprise you again and again.

I guess we must ri
...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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“Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!” 21 likes
“I know now that people only seem to live when they care only for themselves, and that it is by love for others that they really live. He who has Love has God in him, and is in God - - because God is Love. ” 15 likes
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