The Gospel in Brief  -     By: Leo Tolstoy, Dustin Condren
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The Gospel in Brief

HarperPerennial / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

* An acclaimed novelist offers a down-to-earth retelling of the greatest story ever told! Making Jesus' life accessible to everybody, Tolstoy applies his brilliant literary skills to integrate the four Gospels into one seamless narrative. Never before published in English, this landmark attempt to "bring the gospel to the people" is masterfully translated by Condren. 224 pages, softcover from HarperPerennial.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: HarperPerennial
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)
ISBN: 006199345X
ISBN-13: 9780061993459
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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."

Author Bio

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.

Publisher's Weekly

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.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

“Dustin Condren captures, in this fresh idiomatic translation, the dazzlingly audacious achievement of The Gospel in Brief, Tolstoy’s daring synthesis the New Testament accounts of Jesus.”
“A fascinating and thoroughly unorthodox rewriting of the Gospels and restatement of Christianity.”
“Newly translated by Dustin Condren, Tolstoy’s Gospel in Brief offers us a Jesus stripped of the overlay of Christian dogma and ancient metaphysics: his Jesus confronts readers with a real challenge and a call to change their lives.”
The Gospel in Brief lives at the center of Leo Tolstoy’s thinking about the meaning of life. ... Beautifully translated by Dustin Condren. ... Although little known, this book remains hugely important.”
“A fresh translation destined to introduce a new generation to a fuller understanding of Tolstoy’s mind.”

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