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The Devil (The Art of the Novella series)

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Leo Tolstoy

"Small wonders"  —Time Out London    "I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."  —Ron Rosenbaum,The New York Observer  

Tags: Books
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Publisher: The Art of the Novella
1 review about The Devil (The Art of the Novella series)

This is a beautifully written tale

  • Mar 28, 2010
The devil in this diminutive drama is the gnawing need of an otherwise good husband to have sex with another man's wife or it is, at least from the good husband's perspective, the adulterous wife herself. Eugene Irtenev was a good son and brother. When his father died he took over his father's estate and scrupulously paid his father's debts, supported his mother and gave his brother his fair share of the property. Eugene recognized that he had a need for sex, only for health reasons, of course. He developed a relationship with the beautiful wife of a peasant who was frequently away from home, which he piously discontinued when he decided to marry another woman. Eugene's wife was ideal in every way, except for beauty. She treated him exceptionally well. Eugene did all in his power to avoid his prior consort even though she gave birth to a male child who was probably his. But then he saw her again and wanted her again with all his being.
Tolstoy describes the "horrors" of his "torment" very well and how he repeatedly tried to overcome it and what happened to him, his wife and the wife of the other man. He offers two alternative endings to his story and readers can choose which of the two they like best.

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