Tolstoy could be anti-Aesop. While Aesop used animals instead of humans in fables, Tolstoy gives people beastly traits. I understand why Tolstoy made that choice but simply didn’t care for the forced analogies (especially since there are so many good ones which can be observed almost daily).
There are no characters in this short story I could see myself in, like, or even sympathize with. Pozdnyshev seems irrational at best and just plain nuts at worst; he seems to relish describing things in an appalling way in order to shock his audience.
Regardless, Tolstoy managed to write a powerful story in a short amount of space. That is a good thing because I don’t know if I would have been able to read a full length novel with the characteristics mentioned in previous paragraphs.
- 128 pages
- Publisher: Modern Library
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812968239
Buy this book in paper or electronic (Kindle) format.