Canongate £7.99 (372pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
The Last Station, By Jay Parini
Friday 19 February 2010
One may not have thought that the last days of a 19th-century Russian writer, decrepit with age, described from the point of view of his histrionic wife of 50 years, his disciple, assistant and doctor, all fighting over his estate, would be the stuff of popular historical fiction.
But this book about Leo Tolstoy not only works through its beautifully written prose and its palimpsest of personal accounts which present a picture of a bearded, vegetarian eccentric "friend of the peasants". Its popular appeal has led to a film adaptation, starring Helen Mirren, and currently on release. The film has a lot to live up to, given the immense strength of the book on which it is based.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
V&A removes depiction of Prophet Mohamed from website amid 'severe security alert'
Game of Thrones season 5: IMAX releases new trailer with first look footage of Tyrion Lannister
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks