Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Cossacks & the Raid Review

This is my latest review for the classics club. The Cossacks and the Raid is the first book by Leo Tolstoy that I have read. Actually, the book consists of two stories and not just one, they are also part of his earlier works. While I didn't dislike either story, at the same time I didn't love them either. The first in the book is The Cossacks, which tells the story of a small village of the everyday life, soldiers lives, and the people of it as well. Since I am not that familiar with the history and different groups that make up Russia, it was a tad confusing trying to figure out the various people (who liked who, what side was fighting against the other). Some parts there was long stretches with no dialogue, which normally do not bother me, but in some areas it was very repetitive. The ending was a let down I thought, as I felt there was more that could be said. The Raid is a very short story (50 pages or so), and in some ways I enjoyed it better than The Cossacks. In the beginning it made you think about courage and war, but mostly focused on a battle and a few soldiers. One character got on my nerves with his attitude. This story was another that did in some ways leave more questions than answers. I hope this isn't a trait of Tolstoy's work, in that the endings seem short, as I have a few of his other works to read. I am going to rate both books 2.5, as I am glad I read them but do not see myself reading them again. I feel that a author does a disservice to the reader when they leave so many things unanswered. Next book to read: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

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