Master and Man
by Leo Tolstoy
Read by Walter Zimmerman
Unabridged - 2 Compact Discs / 2 hours.
Audiobook Published by Brilliance Audio
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FICTION: Tolstoy is known primarily for his epic novels like War and Peace and Anna Karenina, but he also wrote a number of excellent short pieces that carry the same kind of themes on a much smaller scale. Two of the best are "Master and Man" and "The Death of Ivan Ilych." In "Master and Man," a land owner named Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov takes along one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey to the house of the owner of a forest. He is impatient and wishes to get to the town more quickly to purchase the forest before other contenders can get there. They find themselves in the middle of a blizzard, but the master in his avarice wishes to press on. They eventually get lost off the road and they try to camp. The master's peasant soon finds himself suffering from hypothermia. The master attains a spiritual and moral revelation, and Tolstoy once again repeats one of his famous themes: that the only true happiness in life is found by living for others as the master acts in a way he never thought was possible. The book was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude.