• A Confession

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (279 ratings)

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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.

©2011 christianaudio.com (P)2011 christianaudio.com

What listeners say about A Confession

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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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Wow

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

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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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.

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Chapter 11 = the essence

Fine reading of a fine story of a spiritual seeker. Still relevant 140 years after its completion.

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Thank you, God, for Leo Tolstoy.

The content and narration were perfect. Would you expect something less from a Tolstoy work performed by Simon Vance? Thank you, Audible.

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I understand why I never enjoyed Tolstoy now.

Tolstoy is a literary giant and is absolutely deserving of that mention. Personally, however, I never enjoyed his great works. As stories, I find them to be incredible journeys. As that which to live by and enjoy in my heart, I could not.

This short but brilliant book really explains exactly why that is and I respect Tolstoy all the more deeply for it. His discussion about why he was motivated by non-religious life, the reality of meaninglessness when using only reason to justify life, that is precisely what made War and Peace and the like leave a poor existential taste in my mouth.

His discussion about faith and what I would contextualize as “genuineness in being” hits so close to home for me that I was nearing tears throughout half of the books runtime. Such an interesting perspective and so familiar to me that I feel as if we are brothers in thought.

Highly recommend this book to anyone whom is secular but questioning or religious and worrisome. Very interesting listen/read.

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Profoundly Reflective

This brutally & beautifully real recount of Tolstoy's spiritual journey somehow imparts at once a sense of the terror & immensity of life at its darkest, & the equally profound comfort, relation & closeness of genuine, unguarded sincerity. A book that may not (& seems at times not to strive to) impart convictions of Christianity on its audience, but will certainly leave one feeling like a more compassionate, empathic, & dare I say better person.