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What Men Live by and Other Tales

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This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work. - What Men Live by - Three Questions - The Coffee-House of Surat - How Much Land Does a Man Need?


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This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work. - What Men Live by - Three Questions - The Coffee-House of Surat - How Much Land Does a Man Need?

30 review for What Men Live by and Other Tales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ammara Abid

    The book is written by Tolstoy so what can one presume except sheer brilliance. The book comprises of four short stories each having unforgettable lessons and deep meanings of life. What Men live by "I have learnt that all men live not by care for themselves but by love". Three Questions "Remember then: there is only one time that is important- Now!" The coffee-house of Surat "The higher the man's conception of God, the better he will know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw t The book is written by Tolstoy so what can one presume except sheer brilliance. The book comprises of four short stories each having unforgettable lessons and deep meanings of life. What Men live by "I have learnt that all men live not by care for themselves but by love". Three Questions "Remember then: there is only one time that is important- Now!" The coffee-house of Surat "The higher the man's conception of God, the better he will know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw to Him, imitating His goodness, His mercy, and His love of man". How much land does a man need? "Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Henning

    The tales "What Men Live by" and "How Much Land Does a Man Need", which I already read earlier in its own book, really got me. Very thoughtful and philosophical as I expected.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kendel Christensen

    A GREAT read. Very simple, yet very deep. You can read it at many levels and get a lot out of it on each level. Favorite quotes. First, what men live by: "I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love." (Leo Tolstoy, "What Men Live By" in What Men Live By and Other Tales, TARK Classic Fiction: Rockville, MD. 2008, p.35) "Remember then: there is only A GREAT read. Very simple, yet very deep. You can read it at many levels and get a lot out of it on each level. Favorite quotes. First, what men live by: "I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love." (Leo Tolstoy, "What Men Live By" in What Men Live By and Other Tales, TARK Classic Fiction: Rockville, MD. 2008, p.35) "Remember then: there is only one time that is important--Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!" (Leo Tolstoy, "Three Questions" in What Men Live By and Other Tales, TARK Classic Fiction: Rockville, MD. 2008, p.41) THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE! Ho.ly cow. This quote evokes in me a reverence of the meaning of life. We should plan ahead, we should remember the past, but life only HAPPENS in one moment--RIGHT NOW! Don't squander it with preoccupation with either the past or future. Joy is to be had in the present, now and always. "The higher a man's conception of God, the better will he know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw to Him, imitating His goodness, His mercy, and His love of man. Therefore, let him who sees the sun's whole light filling the world, refrain from blaming or despising the superstitious man, who is his own idol sees one ray of that same light. Let him not despise even the unbeliever who is blind and cannot see the sun at all." (Leo Tolstoy, "The Coffee-house of Surat" in What Men Live By and Other Tales, TARK Classic Fiction: Rockville, MD. 2008, p.51) (On tolerating other's belief systems. A great short story that pitted different religious leaders against each other in a most contentious manner--far from the love that each religion advocates but too quickly forgets when dealing with people who believe differently from themselves)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dasha

    I find myself falling into reading more and more of the Russian literature. I guess my roots are breaking through the many years I have lived in the US. I want my intelligence to rise beyond that of "media munchers" (those who read magazines and live through reality tv). All in all, the stories and points of these raskasi are well written and well thought out. Teaches of behavior, actions, and greed. People should be satisfied with what they have rather than hopping to and fro. This point may be t I find myself falling into reading more and more of the Russian literature. I guess my roots are breaking through the many years I have lived in the US. I want my intelligence to rise beyond that of "media munchers" (those who read magazines and live through reality tv). All in all, the stories and points of these raskasi are well written and well thought out. Teaches of behavior, actions, and greed. People should be satisfied with what they have rather than hopping to and fro. This point may be transferred to real life examples...such as men and women hopping around and "dating" absolutely everyone rather than choosing, being satisfied, and working with the one person their heart tells them is theirs. People give up on what they have to easily and it seems as though it is never enough. Once a person gives up, they launch themselves on an everlasting quest of finding the one person who fits them 100% and that is just...well...improbable which in turn causes one to use another and move on at the first sight of a fault. People are giver uppers. =/ I enjoyed these short stories and believe many people would benefit from reading them carefully to get the full meaning and messages. Swallow and release your pride, be humble, be moral, and compassionate.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott Harris

    Tolstoy's stories are wonderful teaching tales about the nature of life and about the things that matter, or rather about the things that should matter. In this collection, he is a simple writer, without any heaviness of theology and philosophy. Though these elements are present, they are embedded in the stories and characters, and become lived realities. Three Questions is a particularly compelling story, as is the Coffeehouse.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    The last short story in the book "How Much Land Does A Man Need" is genius. Just say'n.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sametkoseoglu

    Without a verbose explanation, Tolstoy is simply rushing towards God.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cormac

    This story struck a chord and made me cry in front of my eighth grade literature class.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shayantani

    Well, it’s LEO TOLSTOY!!! I don’t think I need to explain further. This volume contains some of my favorite short stories by him- 3 questions, The coffee house in Surat, What men live by and God is where Love Is. There are some really meaningful quotes I this book: “Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have Well, it’s LEO TOLSTOY!!! I don’t think I need to explain further. This volume contains some of my favorite short stories by him- 3 questions, The coffee house in Surat, What men live by and God is where Love Is. There are some really meaningful quotes I this book: “Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!” If only more people interpreted religious scriptures like he did! At the risk of sounding overdramatic, I would say that, Leo Tolstoy’s books make my heart sing with joy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6157 TWELVE TYPES BY G.K. CHESTERTON WHAT MEN LIVE BY: A shoemaker named Simon, who had neither house nor land of his own, lived with his wife and children in a peasant's hut, and earned his living by his work. Work was cheap, but bread was dear, and what he earned he spent for food. The man and his wife had but one sheepskin coat between them for winter wear, and even that was torn to tatters, and this was the second year he had been wanting to buy sheep-skins for http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6157 TWELVE TYPES BY G.K. CHESTERTON WHAT MEN LIVE BY: A shoemaker named Simon, who had neither house nor land of his own, lived with his wife and children in a peasant's hut, and earned his living by his work. Work was cheap, but bread was dear, and what he earned he spent for food. The man and his wife had but one sheepskin coat between them for winter wear, and even that was torn to tatters, and this was the second year he had been wanting to buy sheep-skins for a new coat. Before winter Simon saved up a little money: a three-rouble note lay hidden in his wife's box, and five roubles and twenty kopeks were owed him by customers in the village.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    I really do love the moral tales that Tolstoy offers up in most of his short stories, but these four are particularly wonderful. The fun part for me is that the tales are lined up in the book in my order of preference! Brilliant! One of the things I love best about short stories that they hit you quickly with a punch and make you think. Keep in mind that these stories do tend to have a spiritual element. Each one of these stories does just that and reading them aloud as a family would make for a I really do love the moral tales that Tolstoy offers up in most of his short stories, but these four are particularly wonderful. The fun part for me is that the tales are lined up in the book in my order of preference! Brilliant! One of the things I love best about short stories that they hit you quickly with a punch and make you think. Keep in mind that these stories do tend to have a spiritual element. Each one of these stories does just that and reading them aloud as a family would make for a powerful discussion as each story could easily be understood by most ages. In fact, at least two of these stories have been turned into children's books!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sadia Mansoor

    What Men Live By: 10/10 Three Questions: 10/10 The Coffee House of Surat: 10/10 How Much Land Does a Man Need? 10/10 Finally read this collection. None can match the superior intellect of Leo Tolstoy! :) All hail to Russians!

  13. 4 out of 5

    WaLiid

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. . Tolstoy is love. 4 short srories, each is a testimony of Tolstoy's genius. "Remember then: there is only one time that is important—Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!” Title: "HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED?" Last sentence . Tolstoy is love. 4 short srories, each is a testimony of Tolstoy's genius. "Remember then: there is only one time that is important—Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!” Title: "HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED?" Last sentence : "Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a very simple read. It has some good lessons. However, reading this book as an adult, it felt like I have already read these lessons over and over again in books and articles and such. Perhaps they were already inspired by this book. So, I wish I read this when I was much younger. These lessons could have been rather fresh for me to form a basis for my understanding of them. Still, a good and simple read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nilgün

    I read it at the way to work... I am so supriced again from Tolstosy!!! Have amasing little storys are here in this book! wow.... So a diferent way to look to live and deat line...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Much different to what I'm used to when I read Russian literature. I suppose it's a radical-Dostoevsky. With a lack of gun fights.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    The book consists of three distinct chapters/ short stories: 1- What men live by: This is a story about Michael, the angel. And here is my favorite quote from this chapter: "Then I remembered the first lesson God had set me:‘Learn what dwells in man.’ And I understood that in man dwells Love!" "What dwells in man I already knew. Now I learned what is not given to him. It is not given to man to know his own needs." "I have learned that all men live not by care for themselves but by love. " "I have now The book consists of three distinct chapters/ short stories: 1- What men live by: This is a story about Michael, the angel. And here is my favorite quote from this chapter: "Then I remembered the first lesson God had set me:‘Learn what dwells in man.’ And I understood that in man dwells Love!" "What dwells in man I already knew. Now I learned what is not given to him. It is not given to man to know his own needs." "I have learned that all men live not by care for themselves but by love. " "I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth, it is love alone by which they live." 2- the three questions: This story is about the three questions of which a king tries to find the answers. To me, the climax of this chapter is: "Remember then: there is only one time that is important--Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!" 3- The coffee house of Surat: This one is a story of a public discussion that takes place in a coffee house amongst the present travelers, ignited by a Persian scholar and his servant. My favorite quote for this part is: "It is pride that causes error and discord among men."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Brilliant!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah

    The last story, How much land does a man need?, deserves five stars. The last sentence thereof deserves more.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sherry B

    Powerful, tools one can use for a lifetime.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    I love reading short stories. They give me something to ponder on a day at a time. And reading stories from Tolstoy makes them all the richer. He employs morals that can be found in everyone’s life. Whether one wants to accept it or not, the questions and answers Tolstoy employs in his stories are universal. There is much for everyone to gain by reading his wisdom.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah

    although this book only contained 4 stories that were really short and simple yet you can't imagine how much these stories can impact you in so many ways. each story gave a moral lesson regarding an important aspect of life my favorite one was "How much land does a man need?" i kept wondering while reading this story, i mean how much land does a man really need, i learned the answer in the last line of this story .

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    I sure did enjoy how nice and digestible this Tolstoy guy's stories are - maybe I should read more of them to reach my 2017 challenge count?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juan Manuel Wills

    As in each of his writings, in these three stories (What Men Live By, The Coffee House of Surat And How Much Land Does a Man ​​Need?) Tolstoy shows his great ability to describe environments, characters, landscapes, desires, anxieties and takes advantage of any situation to generate a story less enjoyable and give the reader a moral, a lesson and a reflection process associated with ethics and Christian customs. At the time when these stories were written is clear and explicit belief (? Fanatici As in each of his writings, in these three stories (What Men Live By, The Coffee House of Surat And How Much Land Does a Man ​​Need?) Tolstoy shows his great ability to describe environments, characters, landscapes, desires, anxieties and takes advantage of any situation to generate a story less enjoyable and give the reader a moral, a lesson and a reflection process associated with ethics and Christian customs. At the time when these stories were written is clear and explicit belief (? Fanaticism?) The author by the teachings of the Catholic religion. further highlights the virtues and flaws and obsessions for which a man must fight in the course of his life. Solidarity towards others, pride, love, ambition, pride, bribery, suffering. Simple yet profound stories that have an impact and can be a cause of a process of reflection. Tolstoy certainly is one of the greatest contemporary writers. --------------------------------- (Spanish) Como en cada uno de sus escritos, en estos tres cuentos ("What men live by", "The Coffee House of Surat" y "¿How Much Land Does a Man Need?") Tolstoy muestra su gran habilidad para describir ambientes, personajes, paisajes, deseos, ansiedades y se aprovecha de cualquier circunstancia menor para generar una historia amena y entregar al lector una moraleja, una enseñanza y un proceso de reflexión asociado con la ética y las costumbres cristianas. En la época en que estas historias fueron escritas es evidente y explícito el convencimiento (¿fanatismo?) del autor por las enseñanzas de la religión católica. resalta las virtudes a seguir y las obsesiones y defectos por los que el hombre debe luchar en el curso de su vida. La solidaridad hacia los demás, el orgullo, el amor, la ambición, la soberbia, el soborno, el sufrimiento. Historias sencillas pero profundas que tienen un gran impacto y pueden ser motivo de un proceso de reflexión. Tolstoy, sin duda, es uno de los mas grandes escritores contemporáneos.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Azaghedi

    What Men Live By: *** Three Questions: **** The Coffee House of Surat: *** How Much Land Does a Man Need?: **** A nice collection of 4 short stories by Tolstoy. They were written towards his twilight years, which means his religious and socio-political views are unabashedly transparent. He just about trounces you over the head with them. Amazingly enough, I enjoyed them despite not really buying into his weltanschauung, not in a religious sense, nor in a socio-political sense. But damn, I really lik What Men Live By: *** Three Questions: **** The Coffee House of Surat: *** How Much Land Does a Man Need?: **** A nice collection of 4 short stories by Tolstoy. They were written towards his twilight years, which means his religious and socio-political views are unabashedly transparent. He just about trounces you over the head with them. Amazingly enough, I enjoyed them despite not really buying into his weltanschauung, not in a religious sense, nor in a socio-political sense. But damn, I really like how the man wrote.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacq Jardin

    A very nice, inspiring little book. What Men Live By is about a fallen angel who was punished by God because he disobeyed Him. He was sent to earth and could go back to heaven only after he has learned the answer to three questions- what dwells in man, what is not given to man, and what men live by. The story is told straight to the point. It is charming and it easily holds the reader's attention.

  27. 4 out of 5

    almina

    What a light refreshing read, in between all the soul drowning socalled masterpieces of today. The holy morals of anpther century kindly illuminates its final lights on us with this book. Even though the religious allegations are used to strengthen the moral doctrine, it still somehow manages to get its ironic story to the twenty first century-reader and makes us question our own acts. All in all, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is not considered one of the best authors of all time for nothing

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Rhea

    Well, first of all, it's Leo Tolstoy. You just can't ignore his literary greatness. This is a tale written simply without too much philosophical lines. It strikes everywhere and and can be read on any angle.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is currently my favorite book, I own 3 copies of it and some of them have different stories in them, other than What Men Live By. My favorite story is "The Coffe House of Surat" which is about men from all over the world, trying to convince each other that their God is the one true one. And as someone living in the country where the majority of people believe in the same religion, and as someone who has friends from many other religions/beliefs, I really enjoyed this story. “So on matt This book is currently my favorite book, I own 3 copies of it and some of them have different stories in them, other than What Men Live By. My favorite story is "The Coffe House of Surat" which is about men from all over the world, trying to convince each other that their God is the one true one. And as someone living in the country where the majority of people believe in the same religion, and as someone who has friends from many other religions/beliefs, I really enjoyed this story. “So on matters of faith,” continued the Chinaman, the student of Confucius, “it is pride that causes error and discord among men. As with the sun, so it is with God. Each man wants to have a special God of his own, or at least a special God for his native land. Each nation wishes to confine in its own temples Him, whom the world cannot contain." “Therefore, let him who sees the sun’s whole light filling the world, refrain from blaming or despising the superstitious man, who in his own idol sees one ray of that same light. Let him not despise even the unbeliever who is blind and cannot see the sun at all.” Basically it's about expecting everybody's quest in finding God valuable and to be respected. It's an amazing story. My second favorite story is "Three Questions" The story takes the form of a parable, and it concerns a king who wants to find the answers to what he considers the three most important questions in life. The questions are: 1. How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? 2. Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? 3. And, what affairs are the most important, and need my first attention?” He consults wise men, promising a large sum to anyone who could answer those questions, but their answers were too diverse and did not satisfy the king. So, he goes to a hermit in search of his help. The hermit doesn't give him any answers, but instead demonstrates so that he can find the answers on his own. "Remember then: there is only one time that is important—Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was men sent into this life!” The story "What Men Live By" was also very good, especially the part with the twin girls, I got quite emotional there. But it was a bit too religious and cliche at times for my taste. It's about an angel Michael who is punished by God and turned into a mortal, God tells him that he he needs to learn 3 things 1. What dwells in man 2. What is not given to man 3. What men live by And through some events that he lives (being saved by poor men and while working for him) he learns the answers. 1. Love dwells in man. 2. It is not given to man to know his own needs. 3. All men live not by care for themselves but by love. And the last story, and my least favorite, is called "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" basically it is story about greediness. It's about a farmer who is charmed by the devil to want more land. Personally, I don't like it when people take away the free-will, by saying "the devil made me do it" or "God made me do it" but in this story, you can also think that he could have resisted the devil and he could have been more logical. In the end, he goes to a small place where strange people live, and they make him an offer. Their offer is very unusual: for a sum of one thousand rubles, Pahom can walk around as large an area as he wants, starting at daybreak, marking his route with a spade along the way. If he returns to his starting point by sunset that day, all the land his route encloses will be his, but if he does not reach his starting point, he will lose his money and receive no land. He is delighted, as he believes that he can cover a great distance and has chanced upon the bargain of a lifetime. That night, Pahom experiences a surreal dream in which he sees himself lying dead by the feet of the Devil, who is laughing. He stays out as late as possible, marking out land until just before the sun sets. Toward the end, he realizes he is far from the starting point and runs back as fast as he can to the waiting Bashkirs. He finally arrives at the starting point just as the sun sets. The Bashkirs cheer his good fortune, but exhausted from the run, Pahom drops dead. His servant buries him in an ordinary grave only six feet long, thus answering the question posed in the title of the story. You only need land as big as your body, to be buried when you die.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harsha

    My first Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy(Leo Tolstoy) book and I liked this short and quick read. It is a collection of 4 short stories packed with morality and big rhetorical/philosophical questions humans ask themselves often. The four stories are What Men Live By Three Questions The Coffee-House of Surat How Much Land Does a Man Need? I enjoyed reading the first and the last one more than the other two. There is some timeless wisdom in the message the author is trying to convey. The writing is as simple My first Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy(Leo Tolstoy) book and I liked this short and quick read. It is a collection of 4 short stories packed with morality and big rhetorical/philosophical questions humans ask themselves often. The four stories are What Men Live By Three Questions The Coffee-House of Surat How Much Land Does a Man Need? I enjoyed reading the first and the last one more than the other two. There is some timeless wisdom in the message the author is trying to convey. The writing is as simple as it gets and cuts through all the clutter to communicate the bare message. The message per se is not something which is oblivious to mortal humans, but the stories question the acts of the mere mortal humans. The read is refreshing inspite of it being a religious parable and if written in any different way and without the hold the Tolstoy has, it would definitely seem cringeworthy. I wanted to give it a good 3.5, but since it is my first LT book, it is a 4/5 :) Pick this up on a short commute and you will like it!

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