"Hadji Murad" by Leo Tolstoy

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This is my first immersion in Tolstoy. This is novella-length, and tells the true story of a Chechen leader who goes over to the Russian side and assists Nicholas II conquer the Caucasus in 1852. Tolstoy's focus, I believe, is to bring out the pointlessness of war, and the horrific, wasteful-on-a-grand scale Czarist policies of the time.

By reputation, I understand Russian translates well into English, but this edition of this story is not a good example. I wouldn't say it's stilted, but it is quite stiff in places.

There are interesting descriptions of the broad landscapes, and the broad designs of the rapacious Russian royalty. I doubt this is high in the Tolstoy canon. It probably doesn't deserve to be.
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