By Leo (Lev) Tolstoy (Tolstoi)
Happy families are all alike. Girl meets boy. Girl is previously married to bureaucratic dud. Boy is dashing officer. Not a good combination. With two other major plots thrown in; 25 percent more free. Hundreds of pages later, the reader has learned everything there is to know about the downward spiral of illicit love, but also (if the reader happens to be a writer, or interested in the craft of the novel) how a large cast can be handled with a natural, realistic, sweeping brush—if, of course, one is Tolstoy or Tolstoi.
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