• A Confession

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (292 ratings)

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A Confession

By: Leo Tolstoy
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

At this time I began to write, from vanity, greed, and pride. In my writings I did exactly as in life. In order to possess the glory and the wealth for whose sake I wrote, it was necessary to conceal the good, and to display the bad. And so I did.

Tolstoy’s autobiographical essay is a dissection of his soul, a study of his life’s movement away from the religious certainties of youth, and a vital piece of reading which contextualizes the great works he is best known for. Marking the point at which his life moved from the worldly to the spiritual, Tolstoy’s philosophical reassessment of the Orthodox faith is a work that holds vital spiritual and intellectual importance to this very day.

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What listeners say about A Confession

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Wow

The overall experience was more valuable than I expected, I highly recommend this to everyone!

6 people found this helpful

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Makes you feel a little less alone in the world.

I listened to this book in one sitting. Couldnt turn it off. This book is one of the rare books you will listen to and it will make you noticebly feel better about life and the strange world we live in.
Definitely a book any man that is going through existential problems in life should read. It will help you realize that (at least it did me) that you are far from alone in the world.
If you are going through existential crisis or struggling with the hard questions in life you will find a kindred spirit in this great mind.

5 people found this helpful

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In the end all that matters is truth.

We all struggle with our humanity and our morality, Leo Tolstoy is no exception to the laws of nature and of God.

But to write about your deepest longings and experiences when you are "at the top of your game" takes much courage.

Tolstoy knew that his "Confession" would be published and like a more contemporary writer Thomas Merton, Tolstoy gives us the gift of himself, his deepest secrets, his deepest regrets, his deepest truth. Like Merton, Tolstoy from the deepest part of himself, knows that he has to let his truth be revealed or he will be forever living in the deep abyss, the deep abyss of nothingness. To go through the stages of hell, purgatory and ultimately heaven, one has to progress lithely and pray for grace to get through. This is a difficult journey and should be taken slowly but with faith that in the end, love will prevail.

Towards the end of his "Confession" Tolstoy reveals to us a dream that gave him meaning and knowledge about the depths that he had experienced.

Tolstoy wrote his interpretation of the dream and all dreams become a collective dream, meaning that they are for everyone. In reading the dream and putting yourself into the dream like it is your own dream, you can see that it is a journey, a journey that will go on eternally. There are no stops just crossroads.

More than 100 years later, Tolstoy "Confession" is looked upon as being very significant for those of us who are serious in finding our own truth

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Incredible. Great insight into Tolstoy

I loved this memoir. Short but fantastic! I wish we had more like this. Very good insight into Tolstoys feelings and life.

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Tolstoy the Legend!

Tolstoy takes us inside his mind to witness the internal philosophical/scientific/ metaphysical argument he poses and answers to determine what the purpose of life is, if there is a God and if so, who is He?

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An exceptional work with infinite possibilities

For those facing depression, for those with questions why should I continue, what's it all for... Tolstoy faces his dark existence in an apocalyptic Russia and finds a reason for living. A must read for those going through bleak times, for those who no longer have a rug under them to be pulled out from beneath them.

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Tolstoy Becomes Real Christian!

He tells how he went from a social elite, but really useless person to one who has real trust in God. There were many parallels with Christian scripture. What I got from this is what Jesus said about how it's very hard for the rich to come to him. It also shows how you must be like a child to enter the Kingdom. I think any Christian would enjoy listening to this and could learn from it.

Being a writer and an intellectual, Tolstoy of course explores the nuances of what real faith is. That's why I so enjoyed it. It is good to have a real understanding of what faith is in general terms, not only for oneself but to discuss with your Christian brothers and sisters. Many times he related what he was saying to Christian scripture. The experienced Christian will easily see other scripture references that he did not mention, as well.

It is also good for discussing with the unbeliever, in natural perhaps secular terms, what it means to believe in God, and why faith is necessary. So it has an apologetic aspect also. Certainly for the would be apologist I would very much recommend this book!

Narration was excellent. Vance has a very pleasant voice, speaks slow enough and clearly. He is very easy to listen to.

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The truth seeking journey of an intellectual

the narrator had a very clear voice. made a 3 hour drive fly by fast. great overall message.

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Hard to look away

Convoluted, but fascinating first-person narrative of Tolstoy's life-long struggle with the questions "how should I live?", "why should I live?, "what do I believe in?", and "why do I believe it?". Agree or disagree, he makes you think.

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Life changing for the better.

I hung on every word and felt that every thought expressed was my own. I am undoubtedly closer to the truth.