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Extended Audio Sample The Cossacks Audiobook, by Leo Tolstoy Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.6 out of 54.6 out of 54.6 out of 54.6 out of 54.6 out of 5 4.60 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leo Tolstoy Narrator: David Thorn Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455183661
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Olenin is an aimless young nobleman who is disenchanted with city life. Taking a post as a Cadet in the army, he finds himself assigned to the remote Cossack outpost in the Caucasus. It is here, among the Tatars, the Chechens, and the Old Believers, that he will fall in love with a beautiful Cossack girl. The only problem is that she is promised to a Cossack warrior.

In the setting of what is present-day Kazakhstan, Tolstoy examines two psychological problems. The first is the dilemma of a young man who desires both fulfilling love and a place as a respected member of society. The other is the difficulty of a primitive society to accept domination by a higher culture that has no understanding of the traditions it asks its colonists to cast aside.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best story that has been written in our language.”

    Ivan Turgenev

  • “It was with a kind of amaze that I read [The Cossacks] and felt, word by word and line by line, the truth of a new art in it.”

    William Dean Howells

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 5/22/2011

    " I read the Magarshack translation. A great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 5/22/2011

    " A very long soap opera. Some parts of the book were page turners, other parts were a drag to get through. Very good author and can display the characters emotions on you with precision, overall not bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cissie | 5/19/2011

    " This was the perfect book to read while snowed in for weeks! ( well, snowed in by choice) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 5/19/2011

    " This was a long one, but I got attached to the characters. It's a good one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/18/2011

    " To think I'd have anything to add... Tolstoy is always so deeply, deeply human. And I love him for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 5/17/2011

    " Takes a long time, but well worth it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 5/16/2011

    " My favorite book ... Ever!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katinka | 5/13/2011

    " Very impressive book, sad too but the kind of book that stays with you for a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magdad | 5/13/2011

    " Tolstoy writes like nobody else I have ever read. He can describe the simplest or most complex situation or human emotion "eyes and smiles" are what make you fall in love. Anna, Levin, Vronsky, Kitty, Dolly, what unforgettable characters. A great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/12/2011

    " Beautiful. You can tell Tolstoy cares about his characters, even when they are unlikeable. "

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About the Author
Author Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born about two hundred miles from Moscow. His mother died when he was two, his father when he was nine. His parents were of noble birth, and Tolstoy remained acutely aware of his aristocratic roots, even when he later embraced doctrines of equality and the brotherhood of man. After serving in the army in the Caucasus and Crimea, where he wrote his first stories, he traveled and studied educational theories. In 1862 he married Sophia Behrs and for the next fifteen years lived a tranquil, productive life, finishing War and Peace in 1869 and Anna Karenina in 1877. In 1879 he underwent a spiritual crisis; he sought to propagate his beliefs on faith, morality, and nonviolence, writing mostly parables, tracts, and morality plays. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910 at the age of eighty-two.

About the Narrator

David Thorn spent his childhood in the Channel Islands off the coast of France, was schooled in England, and then immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-three. He is retired from international commerce and currently resides in California.