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JulieM

JulieM

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Rick Yancey
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The Kreutzer Sonata (Modern Library Classics)

The Kreutzer Sonata - Leo Tolstoy The story is set on a train in Russia where the passengers are debating about the future of marriage. One passenger who had been silent speaks up. He is Pozdnyshev, who is infamous for killing his wife who he suspected of infidelity. The rest of this short novel is told by Pozdnyshev who recounts the story of his marriage and how it led to him murdering his wife. He shares his views on how the act of marriage subjugates the woman and hardly differs from prostitution. He is incredibly extreme and zealous on his views about lust and the hypocrisy of marriage. Based on his final act of killing his wife who he suspects of having an affair, but is never positive, it seems clear that Pozdnyshev is crazy. What I found disturbing was the afterword in the book written by Tolstoy, where he discusses his own views on women and marriage and he is as extreme as Pozdnyshev. This is the same man who wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina? The Kreutzer Sonata was written near the end of Tolstoy's life after a late conversion to Christianity. What a different type of novel compared to his other works. I have loved both War and Peace and Anna Karenina, especially the altruistic behavior of many of his characters. Wow - what a different take by the same author.