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Download The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Last Year Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoys Last Year, by Jay Parini Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (478 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jay Parini Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As Leo Tolstoy’s life draws to a tumultuous close, his tempestuous wife and most cunning disciple are locked in a whirlwind battle for the great man’s soul. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth and thirteen children, Tolstoy dramatically flees his home, only to fall ill at a tiny nearby rail station. The famous (and famously troubled) writer believes he is dying alone, unaware that over a hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.
 
Jay Parini moves deftly between a colorful cast of characters to create a stunning portrait of one of the world’s most treasured authors. Dancing between fact and fiction, The Last Stationis a brilliant and moving literary performance. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/catalog/display.php?isbn=9780739369982#sthash.Kdu3howu.dpuf

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of those rare works of fiction that manages to demonstrate both scrupulous historical research and true originality of voice and perception. . . . What lifts this book high above most historical novels is Jay Parini’s remarkable ability to enter the minds of his characters. The New York Times Book Review
  • A powerful story. . . . Witty [and] immensely moving. . . . Parini draws the reader into the tumult of the Tolstoy household. Christian Science Monitor
  • One of the best historical novels written in the last twenty years. Gore Vidal
  • Vivid and moving. . . . It is to Jay Parini’s credit that he has been able to flesh out the saga and make it ever new, to give it a shape and resonance we might have thought unimaginable. Newsday
  • This wonderful book combines scholarship and sensitive re-creation of a man’s struggle to be true to himself and to others. Dallas Morning News
  • The Last Station offers proof that the historical novel has a lot left to say to and about literature. And any novel with as perfectly beautiful a final sentence as this one deserves to be read all the way through. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Poets who write novels are a strange and wonderful breed, in love with language as well as character. In The Last Station, Jay Parini has tackled an awesomely ambitious novel and succeeded brilliantly. Erica Jong
  • Tolstoy imagined—and illuminated. Boston Globe
  • [A] coup of period re-creation. . . . [Parini] is very good at showing how an artist or visionary can be at once idealistic, mundane and incompetently avaricious. Chicago Tribune 
  • A searching view of the last year in the life of the author of War and Peace. . . . A kaleidoscopically rich and skillful novel. Publishers Weekly
  • An impressively knowing and sensitive performance, a wistful late twentieth-century tribute to the giant conflicts of a more titanic age. The Observer (London)
  • Jay Parini has written a stylish, beautifully paced and utterly beguiling novel. The Sunday Times (London)
  • Entertaining. . . . A three-dimensional portrait of a complex literary figure. . . . Biographers have described the events of Tolstoy’s life in great detail, but none so insightfully and eloquently as Jay Parini in The Last Station. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • A gem of a historical novel. . . . A novel with a lyric tone that manages to extract excitement from an unlikely subject. Newark Star-Ledger
  • A skillful tapestry. . . . The Last Station illumines the larger than fiction life of a literary giant. USA Today
  • Utterly satisfying. . . . A loving and thoughtful rendering of the complex character of Leo Tolstoy. . . . Parini captures marvelously the paradoxical nature of this genius whose mind and body seemed ever to be at war. Washington Post Book World
  • Fascinating. . . . Parini has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of Tolstoy. Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • A subtle masterpiece. . . . Tolstoy himself would probably have recognized the work of a true artist. The Times Literary Supplement

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Nicky | 2/19/2014

    " I felt like there was lack of character development, especially of Sophia. And what was the point of all the different names for the same person? I did learn some about Tolstoy so not all was wasted. The author did a good job writing and telling the story. I guess it just wasn't that interesting to me as I don't care much for family squabbles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Charissa | 2/14/2014

    " This book wasn't extremely exciting, in fact it moved rather slowly at times, but it was still a really interesting look at the last year of Leo Tolstoy's life. What made it most intesting is the fact that it's told from multiple points of view, not just one, so you get an idea what everyone around Tolstoy was going through during that time period. I learned a lot about Tolstoy from reading this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Douglas Armstrong | 2/13/2014

    " At first, the novel is a compelling read, detailing the titanic struggle over the loyalty and life work of Leo Tolstoy, pitting his wife of 48 years against Tolstoy's ideological best friend, who wants all of the novelist's copyrights to become public so everyone will have free access to the master's words. The narrative works well for 150 pages or so, told in the separate viewpoints of Tolstoy's wife, his friend, his secretary, his daughter, his doctor, and Tolstoy's own diaries (which, unfortunately, are not all that distinguishable in voice). However, it's his wife's constant hysterics and the protracted battle that inevitably become tedious and irritating without advancing the story quickly enough in the second half of the book as it heads toward the final crisis. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Fay | 2/2/2014

    " I found most of the book to be dull. "

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