This 1862 novel, in a vibrant new translation by Peter Constantine, is Tolstoy’s semiautobiographical story of young Olenin, a wealthy, disaffected Muscovite who joins the Russian army and travels to the untamed frontier of the Caucasus in search of a more authentic life. While striving to adopt the rough and ready lifestyle of the local Cossacks, Olenin falls in love with a free-spirited girl whose fianc+¬ turns out to be a formidable opponent. Showcasing the philosophical insight that would characterize Tolstoy’s later masterpieces, this long overdue translation is a revelation.
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Modern Library Classics