I love Tolstoj. I thought I start of with a clear statement to let you know where I stand. I have read quite a few of his books, including his two masterpieces Anna Karenin and War and Peace. I've done my share of pages. I have used Tolstoj in discussions about the bible, as to me his books have similar relevance. Probably I am offending people by doing so, but tough shit. This is his third masterpiece. Resurrection was published in '99. We're talking 1899 here, for those amongst you who are not known with the great Russian writer. The thing is, a lot of the issues in this book are still as relevant today as they were at the time he wrote them.
This is a historical novel as it gives you a clear view of Russia in those days. It is a political novel, in which the different classes get clearly pinpointed in it. It is a love novel, with the main character sacrificing his life for a girl he once treated badly. It is a religious novel, with the unique contradiction that organised religion gets attacked as much as the upper-class society, but the bible ultimately being of help for tha main character. It is an enthical novel, always trying to find out the ultimate truth, the borders between good and bad. It is drama, just a good book to read, if you manage to ignore all of the above.
The main character Nekhlyudov is said to have all the traits that Tolstoj had in that particular phase of his life, it is obvious that Tolstoj is big on ethics. In the three parts of the book we get to know him very well, we get to read his mind better than the ones of our own friends. We get to follow him during the most important changes in his life. The title is definetely no coincidence, the religious aspect is clear, though I doubt if any church would approve the thoughts, but certainly not the deeds of Nekhlyudov. The definitions of good and bad as we know them, might rock quite a bit, after you've read this book.
This book has everything, it is not considered a classic for nothing, it is the highlight of the whole pile of books I worked my way through since I left home again in August. I consider it even one of the best books I have ever read. However much I enjoyed reading War and Peace during the first part of my journey, however much I can recommend that book to everyone, even though the near 1800 pages of that volume will raise fear in even fanatic readers, this book, only five-hundred something pages has more to offer. Anybody with questions on life should be reading this book. It might not give you direct answers, but it'll at least make you think. And that's one of the important functions off literature, though it seems quite often nowadays that that particular point has been forgotten by modern authors. It might not be a book for the masses, but it has lasted over a century now and it'll last much longer than that. READ IT!!