When a troubled schoolboy forges a cash coupon to pay off a debt, his deed starts off a chain reaction of tragedies that effects the lives of dozens, leading to thefts, imprisonments, murders, and in the end redemption. Originally published posthumously, this was one of the last works of Tolstoy, now excommunicated and raging against the hypocrisies of the Russian state and church. Narrated by Michael Ward
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About 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.