The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy Reviewed by Steve Rudd
The one way to be happy is to love, to love self-denyingly, to love everybody and everything.
If you fancy a nice little slab of classic literature, then this beauty of a story might be for you.
Set on the harsh Russian Steppes back in the nineteenth century, this simple-living yet stunningly
captivating novel pre-dates Tolstoy's far more famous masterpiece in War And Peace.
Leo, for those who might be interested, was born in 1828, eighty miles from Moscow... and during
his extraordinary lifetime fathered no fewer than thirteen children!
I wonder how many people have actually read War And Peace (which took the best part of
five years to pen and then publish) in its entirety, bearing in mind it's an epic tale in every respect.
I wonder. How many people who claim to have read it have actually read every single word and related to
where Tolstoy's characters were coming from?
The Cossacks is fascinating and thoroughly intriguing first and foremost for the awesome sense of
time and place that is conveyed with such firm majesty.
Such exquisite attention to detail is contained in the descriptions of the landscapes that
when you're reading it you get the impression that you are really watching a movie because
it is so simple to visualise the scene. In this sense, very little is left to one's own imagination,
with Tolstoy's writing style resembling Ernest Hemingway's to a large extent.
The people in the story, likewise, are well-developed and rounded characters who aren't afraid
to show their true emotions when it counts.
In this novel, a soldier by the name of Olenin comes to a small village where he stays
for a short while.
During his stay he falls hopelessly in love with one of the women living there by the name of Maryanka.
Unfortunately, she is set to marry one of the local men, and The Cossacks proceeds to chart the
delicate relationships that Olenin forges in the village as he tries - but ultimately fails -
to suppress his true feelings for her.
Never does Tolstoy opt for sentimental fussiness via his writing, and the end is something of
a sombre heart-breaking shock to the system that further ensures this novel is
literally an unforgettable read of raw emotion-rousing proportions...
(First published in 1863; this edition included in Everyman's Library in 1994)
Reviews, Books - One Man and his Bog - 20 Years of The Adelphi Reviewed By Michelle Dee
I have just returned home from a Monday night at the Adelphi club on De Grey Street clutching
a prized copy of the unique One Man and his Bog. (The History of the Adelphi)
I had new dark Kit Kats to eat but I didn't spare them a thought, until I had read
Reviews, Theatre - Julius Caesar at Hull Truck Wednesday 10th November 04 By Nicholas Boldock
Predictably, Hull Truck dispenses with tradition for this pulsating performance
of one of Shakespeare's most ambitious plays. The differences between Godber's version
and Shakespeare's are glaring - an original cast of 51 is slashed to just 6 actors
(although most of them play multiple roles)
Reviews, Films - Collateral By Steve Rudd
Starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, this rollercoasting thrill-ride is
one of the coolest of action movies to have hit the screen in 2004, as Summer goes out to the
dogs and the first pangs of Autumn strike the air.
Tom, like his ex-wife Nicole Kidman, never seems to stop working
Reviews, Books - Sitting Up with the Dead by Pamela Petro Reviewed By Steve Rudd
In the manic style of Bill Bryson, Pamela Petro gets in her car and heads out
around America in search of exciting new people, places and - above else -
Confining her extensive travels to the Eastern side of North America and,
in particular, the South-East states of Alabama, Georgia
Reviews, Books - Mick Ronson: The Spider with the Platinum Hair by Weird and Gilly Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Born and bred in Hull, Mick Ronson indeed did come from extremely humble beginnings to
become one of Britain's most respected musicians and producers.
Born in 1946, it was in the early seventies that Mick first became well known
through his work with David Bowie, with ace guitarist Mick
Reviews, Theatre - Gaffer! at York Theatre Royal By Nick Quantrill
Gaffer! is a one-man black-comedy which sees Deka Walmsley deliver a convincing
portrayal of a variety of comedy football characters and caricatures.
The central character is George, manager of struggling Northbridge Town.
George and Northbridge Town are old school. George has strong socialist values
Reviews, Films - Alien VS Predator By Steve Rudd
Whoever came up with the bright idea of violently pitting Alien against Predator
sure deserves a pat on the back and a raucous round of applause, for this big-budget
movie scores on many levels.
Whereas the bulk of the Alien franchise has long relied on
atmospheric tension rather than all-out action
Reviews, Books - The Promise of Bruce Springsteen by Eric Alterman. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Brucie, we need you - and more than ever!
A true rock 'n' roll star in every sense and then some, Bruce has had a truly staggering career in the music business, and even as we maniacally rush headlong into the 21st Century he is more popular than ever.
This biography of
Reviews, Films - Open Water By Steve Rudd
I really don't understand why this movie was ever made.
Based on true events, this follows a couple of young lovers (Daniel Travis and blonde bombshell Blanchard Ryan)
on a diving day-out as part of a vacation they're taking together.
Before we know it, they've been stranded in the middle
Reviews, Theatre - Fields of Gold at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough By Nick Quantrill
For some time now thisisUll.com has been bringing news
and reviews of events that are happening in Hull.
It is quite noticeable that what is going unreported is what's happening in the near-by towns
surrounding the city of Hull.
Reviews, Films - Five Children and It Reviewed by Ruth Wilson
The other day I went to the UGC cinema in Hull to see 5 Children and It.
It was a very good film, based on a book by E. Nesbit. It's about 5 children
(surprise, surprise! I can't remember their names, though!) who get sent to live
with their loopy uncle in the country during the
Kids, Reviews, Books - Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie Reviewed by Ruth Whitehouse
I have recently read a brilliant book called Friends, Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie,
a teenage book, part of the Ally's World Series. If you want me to be precise, it's number 4.
Now, onto the actual review. It is about a teenage girl called Ally who has a best