Prince Stepan Kasatsky experiences a disappointment with his fiancé and decides to become a monk! There is a story line, but beneath it, Father Sergius struggles to find peace and, if not happiness, then at least contentment. But he is always disillusioned and ultimately unsatisfied. Only in the end does he find his way by letting go of what he struggled to attain all his life, i.e. to be better than everyone else in whatever he did, and settle for the mundane. (Summary by JCarson) (1 hr 55 min)
A pointless life, full of self-deceit and false morality. It's Russian, alright.
A man seeks a life of spiritual fulfillment. Or does he? Perhaps he just wants prestige and honors. He selflessly heals the sick with his saintliness- or perhaps he just wants the attention? He retires into holy hermitage, seeking to avoid temptations. Will he succumb at the very first chance? Much mental writhing and contortions of conscience fill out the book. An interesting story, but Tolstoy has the French Existentialists beat for sheer bleakness.
Tolstoy's story of St. Sergius is well told. It is reminiscent of the story of St. Macarius visiting the woman who is more holy than him, though married and not a monk. I learned a lot from this read and am grateful for the reader!
This is a profound and deeply moving story of the journey of a soul in his relationship with God. Everyone can learn something from this small masterpiece. Beautifully read, with feeling.
A curious story of a man searching for a life with meaning. The reader did a good job.