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The best books by Leo Tolstoy for fans of Russian classical literature

Study guide




Definitely one of the people who has kept Russian literature at its peak forever is Leo Tolstoy. His troubled personality led him to pay special attention to social issues and to create works such as “War and Peace”, “Anakarnina” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. In this introduction, we get acquainted with the best books of Leo Tolstoy and his different and detailed view of his social and human issues. If you are interested in Russian literature and especially this author, join us.

Biography of Leo Tolstoy at a glance

Undoubtedly, Leo Tolstoy is one of the most influential writers in Russia and the world. This can be understood from the fame of the magnificent works he left behind and the influence he had on later writers. Apart from being a writer, he is also known in his country as a social activist and an influential figure in 19th century Russian society. Leo’s family was religious and wealthy. He lost his parents as a child and has been cared for by his aunt ever since. As a young man, he dropped out of part-time university and joined the military. Participating in the Caucasus War as a soldier and later traveling to Europe greatly influenced his thoughts and worldview.

He began writing with the book “Childhood” and became famous with the book “War and Peace”. The atmosphere of society and social issues was Tolstoy’s main concern for writing. Tolstoy, after a tumultuous youth, which he says has been full of guilt and disobedience, then experiences a midlife crisis that engages his mind sharply in the fundamental questions of why he exists. This crisis and the search for answers to these questions engage him for the rest of his life, he explains in detail in the book “Confession”.

At the age of 82, after creating valuable works and a prosperous life, Tolstoy decided to leave his home and family for the south of France, where he said he would be free and live a different life, but died on the way and at the train station.

Introducing the best books by Leo Tolstoy

1. war and peace

Translator: Soroush Habibi (Suggested by users)
Publications: Niloofar (Suggested by users)
number of pages: 1692

What makes “War and Peace” one of Tolstoy’s most significant works and, of course, Russian literature is its historical significance. Which makes it one of the best war books ever. By creating 580 characters in this novel, which is an unprecedented record, Tolstoy goes under the skin of Russian society and depicts the social, political and cultural situation of that time.

Therefore, this work is considered an important historical source in the 19th century. War and peace can be analyzed not only in terms of history and history, but also in terms of literature and philosophy. This feature has made those interested in different literary styles have this book in their reading list.

Everyone lives by their own vision. You lived for yourself and you say that there was nothing left to ruin your life, and happiness when you knew you started living for others, but my job was just the opposite. My goal in life was to have honor, but well, what is honor? It is the same love for others. The desire to serve them to enjoy their praise.

2. Anacarnina is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Anacarnina is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Soroush Habibi (User Suggestion)
Publishers: Niloofar (suggested by users)
number of pages: 1032

“It’s the best novel I’ve ever read,” says Dostoevsky, one of the greatest novelist giants in Russian and world literature. Anacarnina is among other works of Tolstoy in terms of importance and popularity alongside war and peace. For this reason, it is always on the list of Leo Tolstoy’s best books and, of course, the best novels in the world.

The story is about a woman of the same name; But, as one would expect from Tolstoy, it is not just “Anna” whose life and character are the target of the book. What makes Anacarnina more compelling than the story and its flow is the book’s stunningly illustrated illustrations, which will stay in the audience’s mind forever, like the stunning sequences of a film. Tolstoy wrote this book after meeting Schopenhauer, and many believe that the philosophical dimensions of the book are influenced by his philosophy and, of course, Kant.

“This nation is a very vague word,” Levine said. Department secretaries, teachers, and one in a thousand peasants may know what the issue is. The other 80 million Russians, like Mikhailich, not only do not express an opinion, but have not the slightest knowledge of what is going on in Serbia. I do not understand why we give ourselves the right to say that the will of the nation is this or that?

3. Resurrection

The Book of the Resurrection is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Parviz Shahdi (suggested by users)
Publishers: Majid (suggested by users)
number of pages: 736

The Resurrection is the last novel written by Tolstoy and is about the impact of our actions, especially our sins, on others. The Orthodox Church declared Tolstoy an apostate for publishing the novel. The story is about a woman named Maslova who works as a housewife; But his relationship with the nephew of the family he works for changes the course of his life forever.

In the continuation of the story, we witness the adventures of Maslova and, of course, his encounter with those who have brought his life to this day. What is interesting in this book is the expression of Tolstoy’s thoughts in the form of a story.

Each of us certainly finds what he does useful and important; Therefore, every person, in any situation, has an perception of his social life that allows him to consider his activity important and useful.

4. Death of Ivan Ilyich

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Saleh Hosseini (User Suggestion)
Publishers: Niloofar (suggested by users)
number of pages: 152

Unlike other books by Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a smaller novel. In this book, Tolstoy introduces us to a new aspect of his powerful pen. In this way, unlike other novels, it is not the flow of the story that accompanies us, because he declares at the very beginning of the book that “Ivan Ilyich”, the main character of the book, is dead! In this work, Tolstoy takes us to the insides and minds of Ivan Ilyich, and we are supposed to see life through his eyes.

This book introduces us to Tolstoy’s ideas about life and death, which have always been his main concerns. Death and how to live are the main topics of this book. If you are looking for a small novel by this author to get acquainted with his pen and his thoughts, the death of Ivan Ilyich is a good option.

What can we say about the life of Ivan Ilyich, which could not be found simpler and more ordinary and therefore more terrifying. He was a member of the court and died at the age of 45.

5. Sergey’s father

Sergey's father is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Soroush Habibi (User Suggestion)
Publishers: Spring (suggested by users)

number of pages: 77

Given that Tolstoy had religious families, religion was always one of his main concerns. In “Sergey’s Father” we read the story of a man who, just when he falls in love with a girl and is going to marry her, decides to become a monk and follow the path of his life in a different way.

Like many of Leo Tolstoy’s books, this one tells the story of the protagonist, whom the author gradually introduces to us and his inner self. The story of Sergey’s father seems very simple and ordinary; But there are deep implications at the heart of the story.

I lived for human beings under the pretext that I live for God, and this woman lives for God, while she thinks she lives for human beings.

6. what should we do?

What should the book do?  One of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Mehdi Samsar (User Suggestion)
Publishers: Cup (suggested by users)
number of pages: 178

“what should we do?” It is the result of Tolstoy’s encounter with urban life and civilization. He travels to Moscow for a while; But seeing the poverty in the city and the large number of beggars is very much on his mind. This book is not a novel or a story made by his mind; Rather, it tells the true story of what Moscow saw in society in those days.

He describes his current situation and experiences in a detailed and self-explanatory way, rooting out problems and solutions to the question “What should be done?” presents. Studying this work acquaints us more with his social concerns

Sometimes when I talked to one of them to find out why they were working, I felt exactly what their heart wanted to say: “You belong to another world, what are you doing here?” who are you? “A rich man who wants to have fun watching our situation and eliminate his nostalgia at the cost of our torture.”

7. Confession of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Confession is one of the best books by Leo Tolstoy

Translator: Abtin Golkar (User Suggestion)
Publishers: گمان (suggested by users)
number of pages: 123

The main character of the book “Confession” is Leo Tolstoy himself. In this book, he reveals all his confusions and mental challenges about why he lives and the purpose of his survival. What makes Confession a compelling non-fiction book is the author’s honest account of his personal circumstances and the psychological crises with which he has always been involved. Tolstoy seeks answers to his questions in various sciences and religions and studies them seriously. He often thinks of committing suicide while desperate to find an answer, but does not take action.

What is interesting about the confession is not his answers but his courageous confrontation with doubts. Despite the availability of financial resources, the sweetness of popularity and the charm of fame, he does not deceive himself and prefers to face one by one the doubts and questions that are very fundamental and important. Reading confession has a sense of empathy and healing for those who are concerned with these fundamental questions about existence.

I said to myself: Shari’s life is meaningless. There is no doubt about this. But I lived, I still live, and all of humanity lived and still lives. How is it possible? What does humanity live for when it can not live? Can it be said that only Schopenhauer and I are wise enough to realize the meaninglessness and evil of life?

You say

During his career, Tolstoy tested his pen with both fiction and non-fiction, leaving his ideas to us in both categories. In this introduction, we introduced a number of Leo Tolstoy books. How familiar are you with this Russian writer? Which of his works have you interacted with the most? Write to us which book is empty in our introduction list?

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The best books by Leo Tolstoy for fans of Russian classical literature

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