In these two famous short novels, Leo Tolstoy takes readers to the brink of despair. At the end of life, worldly ambition offers no consolation for the spiritually empty soul, but Tolstoy is the master of themes and redemption. He turns his morbid topic into hope, leading toward spiritual awakening. Tolstoy offers his readers a lifetime of perspective on death.
Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a small book with singular depth of insight. The book was published in 1886, breaking a nine-year literary silence after the publication of Anna Karenina. It is considered to be one of the great explorations of death and dying in all of Western Literature. No author in so few words summons so many emotions into the reader's soul. This masterpiece has been paired here with another of Tolstoy's short novels, Master and Man, which too examnes the human response to mortality. Together these two stories will ultimately offer encouragement to the spiritually hungry.
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- R. J. Newell