Synopses & Reviews
The most celebrated novelist of all time retells "the greatest story ever told," integrating the four Gospels into a single twelve-chapter narrative of the life of Jesus. Based on his study of early Christian texts, Leo Tolstoy's remarkable The Gospel in Brief—virtually unknown to English readers until this landmark new translation by Dustin Condren—makes accessible the powerful, mystical truth of Jesus's spiritual teaching, stripped of artificial church doctrine. "If you are not acquainted with The Gospel in Brief," wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose life was profoundly influenced by it, "then you cannot imagine what an effect it can have upon a person."
"Tolstoy's no-frills, just-the-facts-ma'am version of the life of Jesus Christ and his teachings makes a readable account out of the four Gospels that begin the New Testament, but it bears little stylistic trace of the Tolstoy familiar to most readers. Starting with the conception by an 'unknown father' (but glossing over the first 30 years of Jesus' life) and ending with the crucifixion (but avoiding the resurrection), Tolstoy's account is a tight, accessible, and refreshing distillation of Christ's teachings. The author eschews the miracles from Christ's story to focus instead on his messages. Those messages can be pedantic, but generally are conveyed with economy, although some of Christ's teachings--for instance, his views on celibacy for bachelors--are a hard sell today. Tolstoy's preface, in which he explains his conversion to Christianity and justifies his reconstruction of the Gospels by arguing that Jesus never wrote his own version, is a nice addition, as is the appendix of verses the Russian author draws on for his life of Christ. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
The greatest novelist of all time retells the greatest story ever told, the life of Jesus Christ, in The Gospel in Brief—Leo Tolstoys riveting, novelistic integration of the four Gospels into a single, twelve-chapter narrative. Virtually unknown to English readers until now, Dustin Condrens groundbreaking translation from the Russian opens a precious new world of Tolstoys masterful literary talent to fans of War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
About the Author
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and other classics of Russian literature.