Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Resurrection” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.14  ·  Rating details ·  17,614 ratings  ·  1,137 reviews
Resurrection (1899) is the last of Tolstoy's major novels. It tells the story of a nobleman's attempt to redeem the suffering his youthful philandering inflicted on a peasant girl who ends up a prisoner in Siberia. Tolstoy's vision of redemption, achieved through loving forgiveness and his condemnation of violence, dominate the novel. An intimate, psychological tale of gui ...more
Hardcover, 562 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Replica Books (first published 1899)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Resurrection, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Brittany The Maude translation is the best for any Tolstoy work; not only are they both (Louise and Aylmer Maude were husband and wife) brilliant with the lang…moreThe Maude translation is the best for any Tolstoy work; not only are they both (Louise and Aylmer Maude were husband and wife) brilliant with the languages, they knew Tolstoy personally and he himself was a proponent of their translations. The Mauds seem to capture the essence or spirit of Tolstoy's writing better than any other translator. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,614 ratings  ·  1,137 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Resurrection
Ahmad Sharabiani
Воскресение = Voskreseniye = Waskriesienie = Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy

Resurrection, first published in 1899, was the last novel written by Leo Tolstoy. The book is the last of his major long fiction works published in his lifetime. It was first published serially in the popular weekly magazine Niva in an effort to raise funds for the resettlement of the Doukhobors.

Tolstoy intended the novel as an exposition of the injustice of man-made laws and the hypocrisy of the institutionalized church. The
Steven Godin
At half the size of 'War and Peace' and two thirds the length of 'Anna Karenina' Tolstoy's Resurrection is every bit as epic, and probably his most controversial novel that appears to have strong political and religious implications as the backbone to the story, and what a story. A later Novel for Tolstoy written in 1899 under the leadership of Tsar Nicholas II and an empire repressing political opposition in the centre and on the far left. Starting out as a courtroom drama we soon get drawn int ...more
Henry Avila
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What starts off as a seduction by a Russian nobleman of a orphan peasant girl , in the late 19th century during the Czarist era , will as pages turn and the flow of life advances into the unknown future , consequences follow, bad or good you the reader must decide. Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov, from Moscow, heir to vast estates is visiting two aunts of his Maria and Sophia, who worship him, in their home in the countryside, they are large landowners too. Just nineteen, Dimitri is a student at the un ...more
MJ Nicholls
Ignore the cynics. Tolstoy's novel is a moralistic tale, yes, but the finest you are ever going to read. Life-changing.
What moved me the most in this novel is: how true is what Tolstoy says about the judicial system, even in our world of today. And this is not just in France, but all over the world. When I read those sections on judicial errors, imprisonment for lack of official papers, inhuman treatment of prisoners, and the fallacy of the 'correctional system', I really had the impression that very little has changed since his time.

But, before I get carried out, here are some more points that also moved me dee
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.”
- Leo Tolstoy, Ressurection


While not as big or beautiful as Tolstoy's great, BIG novels (War and Peace, Anna Karenina), there is still something gran
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was said repeatedly before, hence I take myself the liberty to appeal to it because this book puts a lot of emphasis on it. As a gentle and kind reminder, the real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death. Or, as for the very suggestive title of the book, the ultimate meaning of the resurrection is a death of the old and birth of the new. But, first thing first, what is (the) old, what is (the) new? And, what it happens when th ...more
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have NO idea why this book is less popular then "War and Peace" or "Anna Karenina". Zero ideas. Look at goodreaders: "AK" - 25,866 ratings, "WaP" - 11,258 ratings, "Resurrection" - 691 ratings. This is so unfair. I would never risk to write an actual review on this text, but reading it was one of the biggest turning points in my life at some point.
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Dear Tolstoy:

I heart you.




I had some reservations about reading this book because I knew going into it that it was the last novel he wrote, and I know that in his later years he became especially religious and it showed in his writing, and jeez, do we really need more of that sort of preachiness?

Apparently we do.

Resurrection isn't as popular as Tolstoy's other two major novels, Anna Karenina and War and Peace, nor is it as long as those others. Apparently when it was
Ivana Books Are Magic
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perhaps Resurrection is not Tolstoy at its best, but even so, this novel is a powerful piece of writing, a gem of philosophy and a great insight into Tolstoy's thinking. It is definitely a novel that spoke to me, and even if I don't agree with all of the Tolstoy's thoughts in this book, I was touched, inspired and provoked by this book. What more can a reader want?

The characters were intriguing, but often they were a bit overshadowed by the strong philosophical aspect of this novel. Quite frank
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Chrissie by: dely
So what is this book, Tolstoy's last novel (published in 1899), about? Five things:
1. The brutality and injustice of both the legal and prison system.
2. The grimness of life for the peasantry in Russia in the early decades of the 1800s.
3. Land ownership.
4. Religion.
5. The importance of compassion and empathy for others.

The book is clearly written as a polemic! As such it was too preachy for my taste. Knowing that Tolstoy at midlife transformed himself from a dissipate aristocrat into a peniten
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
" 'What is it all for?' Nekhlyudov asked himself, but, more than ever, he felt that sensation of moral nausea turning into physical nausea which overcame him when he visited the prison; and he could find no answer to his question. "

Prince Dmitri Nekhlyudov finds himself as a jurist for a murder trial. One of the accused is Maslova, whom he seduced and abandoned when he was young. Cue Tolsoyan spiritual crisis.

Very Tolstoy. Very goody-good. Private property is bad. Live to serve your neighbour
In the heart of 19th-century Russia, a man feels guilty for leading a woman he loved to decay, and then goes to try everything to achieve redemption.
One could say at first glance that the story has some lengths, but what satisfaction, once the reading finished! It is a satisfaction for me because it is not a question of a simple love story or of what one would like to put it in; for me, the story was only a pretext for the author to reflect on the conditions of detention of criminals in Russian
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last major novel by Tolstoy. According to Wikipedia, Vladimir Nabakov heaped superlatives upon "Anna Karenina", but questioned the reputation of "War and Peace", and sharply criticized "Resurrection" and "The Kreutzer Sonata". My opinion is the exact opposite.

To me, this is a more mature and riveting work than "Anna Karenina", because it contains deeper spiritual and social insights, the upshot of the author's personal struggles and growth in the intervening years. In "Anna Karenina", we wit
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incensed Indictment of Criminal Justice and Penal System: More Sermon Than Story

Leo Tolstoy's last major novel (1899) is a twilight indictment of Russia's criminal justice and penal systems. The novel opens with Russian prince Dmitri N. ("PDN") serving on a jury in a criminal trial of 3 peasants accused of poisoning and robbing a man. PDN recognizes Ms. Maslova, one of the two accused women as a young maid he deflowered when both were teens a decade earlier during a visit to his aunts' home. The
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book has been described as preachy in tone and outdated in content and I couldn't disagree more. One of the major themes of this book is the difficulty of living a moral life in a society that makes it difficult to achieve life's satisfactions and remain moral. In exploring this theme, you get not only the wonderful social commentary Tolstoy is so known for, but also a synthesis of the moral philosophies that characterize his later work. I know that a lot of people might not agree with Tols ...more
Czarny Pies
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christian socialists
Recommended to Czarny by: Steven Godin
Shelves: russian-lit
"Resurrection" is like an anthology of Russian literature for the 19th and 20th Centuries. As in Turgenev's "Hunter's Sketches" or Gogol's "Dead Souls" the work is comprised primarily of short portraits of the types of person that one meets in Russia. Similar to Dostoevsky's "House of the Dead" there is a lengthy reflection on revolutionaries and the Siberian exile. There are other passages that address correct path to take for the reformer that prefigure the social realism of Gorki or Sholokhov ...more
Umut Rados
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite books of all times. I read it when I was really young, and I admired Tolstoy for writing such a gripping story with very impressive characters. It's definitely a delight to read this book, and I would really recommend not to read a shorter version.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books to profoundly change my perspective on life and challenge beliefs I had previous considered unshakeable - most notably that a civilised society should lock away it's criminals.

This book is a great read and more accessible perhaps than Tolstoy's longer books. It has a similar atmosphere to that of a Zola novel - dark and gritty yet vividly relatable.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Just finished this book and I am going to say that it rivals my favorite, "Sister Carrie." I am still processing it though and need to give it another read before I declare it my favorite book, but it is great. The story is good, the philosophy great and eye opening. I wanted more of an "answer" in the end to the question of the point of life, but the fact that he doesn't spell it out is evidence of his belief. I honestly right now can not even attempt to state his main point, but I can say that ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Girish by: dely
"One may deal with things without love. But you cannot deal with men without it. It cannot be otherwise, because natural love is the fundamental law of human life."

Leo Tolstoy's last novel is a thinker's book. It is brutally honest and realistic journey of guilt, redemption and making sense of the world. It is also dark (as reality is prone to be) commentary on the missing pages between the Imperial Government rule and the Russian revolution of 1905.

It starts out as a courtroom trial where Pri
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Resurrection is the last, and viewed by many as the least of Tolstoy's major novels. Due to its history and its didactic reputation I had been dreading reading it for years. As much as I admire Tolstoy, the didactic sections of War and Peace run like great flaws across a masterpiece. But because War and Peace is such a monumental story, those windy portions, to my mind, could be easily overlooked since they were swallowed up by the larger story. Arguably, with the Levin sections (the ones ignore ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Laura
Description: Resurrection (1899) is the last of Tolstoy's major novels. It tells the story of a nobleman's attempt to redeem the suffering his youthful philandering inflicted on a peasant girl who ends up a prisoner in Siberia. Tolstoy's vision of redemption, achieved through loving forgiveness and his condemnation of violence, dominate the novel. An intimate, psychological tale of guilt, anger, and forgiveness, Resurrection is at the same time a panoramic description of social life in Russia at ...more
Ştefan Bolea
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The description of the excesses of the statal machine which distinguishes itself through the cruelty and injustice of its punishments clearly foresees the advent of communism. The anatomy of Nekhlyudov's enlightenment reminds me on The Death of Ivan Ilych . Heidegger should have used it extensively to shed more light on the condition of the "they-self". An important part of Tolstoy's book deals with the distinction between the animal and spiritual aspect of the human nature. Although that since ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The last of Tolstoy's major novels but the first of mine about world literature. I remember the day that i met this book , i was at my thirteen. An old translation with blue cover in the classics shelf of the small town library. I think this book is one of the causes of my interest with books. Very, very special for me.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
it is one of my favorite parts of this masterpiece:

On the Carnal Man vs. the Spiritual Man
“[A]ll this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. This he had done because it was too difficult to live believing one’s self: believing one’s self, one had to decide every question, not in favor of one’s animal I, which is always seeking for easy gratification, but in almost every case against it. Believing others, there was nothing to dec
If you can get past the annoying main character and his epiphanies this is a really interesting look (albeit obviously sensationalised for the sake of propaganda) at the criminal justice system in Russia at the turn of last century, as well as the obscene gap in living standards between the rich and poor. I think it was quite interesting to see the change in Tolstoy's views in comparison to his earlier works like War and Peace, since they do delve a little into class inequalities, but nothing qu ...more
Sasha C.
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible depiction of life in late 19th century Russia, from all its angles. Tolstoy's ideologies of religion and society are rather interesting, and are brought out in this novel magnificently. I would recommend this novel to anyone who's ever questioned religion, society, law - government! Humanity... this novel raises outstanding inquiry in these topics, thus provoking thought and even a better, sort of anarchistic, outlook towards life...if you don't mind it, that is. I definite ...more
Brent McCulley
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, novels
Tolstoy's last fiction novel published after his spiritual awakening, "Resurrection" is truly a delightful, prosaic, fluid piece of Russian literature filled with Tolstoy's philosophy unlike his previous lengthier works. In it, he explores themes such as the right, or lack thereof, to private property, civil institutions, ethics, capital punishment and the entire penal system, human suffering, evil, and more. The characters are extremely likeable, even if sometimes Tolstoy's own autobiographical ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is Tolstoy in his preachy-crazy-old-man phase. I admire him deeply as a person, because he was willing to live his convictions, but I think he was wildly misguided by this point in his life. You get a lot of points for trying hard to do good, but at some level the total train wreck that your actions make of the lives you touch does have some weight. What you actually accomplish does matter, in the end, when considered beside what you intend. The novel is uninteresting.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 3 15 Sep 02, 2019 10:57AM  
煙油に多くの種類 1 2 Jun 08, 2018 04:03AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Idiot
  • Demons
  • Fathers and Sons
  • Una famiglia decaduta
  • The Adolescent
  • Dead Souls
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Oblomov
  • The Brothers Karamazov
  • The House of the Dead
  • The Gambler
  • The Insulted and Humiliated
  • The Captain's Daughter
  • Yama: The Pit
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Home of the Gentry
  • The Master and Margarita
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
70 likes · 33 comments
“Every man and every living creature has a sacred right to the gladness of springtime.” 92 likes
“One of the commonest and most generally accepted delusions is that every man can be qualified in some particular way -- said to be kind, wicked, stupid, energetic, apathetic, and so on. People are not like that. We may say of a man that he is more often kind than cruel, more often wise than stupid, more often energetic than apathetic or vice versa; but it could never be true to say of one man that he is kind or wise, and of another that he is wicked or stupid. Yet we are always classifying mankind in this way. And it is wrong. Human beings are like rivers; the water is one and the same in all of them but every river is narrow in some places, flows swifter in others; here it is broad, there still, or clear, or cold, or muddy or warm. It is the same with men. Every man bears within him the germs of every human quality, and now manifests one, now another, and frequently is quite unlike himself, while still remaining the same man.” 84 likes
More quotes…