Tolstoy wrote this book shortly after he finished “Anna Karenina”. He was in his early 50s, in full possession of his mental and physical powers. wealthy, famous and well-respected, and yet he despaired of life so much that he was on the verge of suicide. This state of mind is also partly reflected in the character of Levin in “Anna Karenina”.
This book gives a candid, stunning account of the author’s struggles and search for the meaning of life. He looked for answers in experimental sciences, metaphysics, philosophy, art and religion (mainly Christianity), and examined their relations to the fundamental question of life. I’m impressed by his clear reasoning and intellectual integrity. Many of his views are still valid more than a century later.