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The Seven Who Were Hanged (eBook)

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Leonid Andreyev (1871-1919) wrote a collection of tales in Seven Who Hanged. It is the story from sentence to execution of five condemned Russian terrorists and two murderers. As the revolutionists await their death, it is seen that each of them is a hero whose courage and purity of soul remain constant to the end. These haunting tales were written by one of Russia's most Leonid Andreyev (1871-1919) wrote a collection of tales in Seven Who Hanged. It is the story from sentence to execution of five condemned Russian terrorists and two murderers. As the revolutionists await their death, it is seen that each of them is a hero whose courage and purity of soul remain constant to the end. These haunting tales were written by one of Russia's most popular turn-of-the-century prose writers. Considered artistically and philosophically revolutionary, the author contemplates such themes as chaos, madness, destruction, and death. The collection includes "The Seven Who Were Hanged," which focuses on the agonizing ordeal of young terrorists facing execution.


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Leonid Andreyev (1871-1919) wrote a collection of tales in Seven Who Hanged. It is the story from sentence to execution of five condemned Russian terrorists and two murderers. As the revolutionists await their death, it is seen that each of them is a hero whose courage and purity of soul remain constant to the end. These haunting tales were written by one of Russia's most Leonid Andreyev (1871-1919) wrote a collection of tales in Seven Who Hanged. It is the story from sentence to execution of five condemned Russian terrorists and two murderers. As the revolutionists await their death, it is seen that each of them is a hero whose courage and purity of soul remain constant to the end. These haunting tales were written by one of Russia's most popular turn-of-the-century prose writers. Considered artistically and philosophically revolutionary, the author contemplates such themes as chaos, madness, destruction, and death. The collection includes "The Seven Who Were Hanged," which focuses on the agonizing ordeal of young terrorists facing execution.

30 review for The Seven Who Were Hanged (eBook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Trial, verdict, awaiting an execution: Leonid Andreyev paints vivid and livid psychological portraits of those sentenced to death – both idealists and dreamers; and also mean and calloused criminals. The story is profound, precise and frightful. Time had gone, it seemed to have been converted into space – translucent and airless – a vast physical area with everything there upon it, the earth, life and people, and all of it could be absorbed at a single glance, all of it right up to the end, to th Trial, verdict, awaiting an execution: Leonid Andreyev paints vivid and livid psychological portraits of those sentenced to death – both idealists and dreamers; and also mean and calloused criminals. The story is profound, precise and frightful. Time had gone, it seemed to have been converted into space – translucent and airless – a vast physical area with everything there upon it, the earth, life and people, and all of it could be absorbed at a single glance, all of it right up to the end, to the very edge of mystery, to death itself. Some sacrilegious hand had drawn aside the age-old curtain hiding the mystery of life and the mystery of death, rendering them no longer mysterious, though still incomprehensible. It was like a truth engraved in a foreign language. His human brain had no access to the concepts, and his human speech had no access to the words, needed to capture what he had seen. Nearness of death, closeness of a lethal hour irrevocably and radically changes human psychology and nature – it’s a journey without return.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    A professional criminal, a simmering psychopath turned spontaneous, disorganized murderer/attempted rapist, and five accused terrorists are sentenced to the gallows in early 20th century Russia, the latter group for a foiled assassination attempt on a government officer. The previous sentence contains the sum-total of action-based plot-line of Andreyev's Social Realist novel, a multifarious meditation on that which most humans fear to even catch glimpse the shadow of: inevitable death. Much like A professional criminal, a simmering psychopath turned spontaneous, disorganized murderer/attempted rapist, and five accused terrorists are sentenced to the gallows in early 20th century Russia, the latter group for a foiled assassination attempt on a government officer. The previous sentence contains the sum-total of action-based plot-line of Andreyev's Social Realist novel, a multifarious meditation on that which most humans fear to even catch glimpse the shadow of: inevitable death. Much like the jailers who guard through the keyholes of these doomed souls locked away in solitary confinement for their remaining hours, Andreyev forces us as readers to bear witness to each man and woman as they are suspended with frozen smiles and grimaces in preparation for their memento moris, running mouse-wheel laps in their minds, alone, doomed, chained to the quarter-hour chimes of the outside clock tower calling out its torturous reminders. At once both visual and internal, Andreyev's story manages to summon each cinematic hallucination, the deafening of a heartbeat pumping in the ears of the damned, frantic respirations, bitter reminiscences, apparitions, the smell of a spring morning from childhood or the shutter-snap memory of a smile, all from within the confines of a series of darkened cells. As each prisoner makes his or her peace with the Reaper, Andreyev pans a vast psychological landscape, from the terrified to the prideful all the way to the resigned. In this menagerie of heightened emotions, the chaotic storms of humans at last forced to deal with that which they had by nature previously submerged, we too are forced to a reckoning: if given the chance, how will you face your own mortality in those excruciating last moments? When I think about what it would be like to know I am indisputably about to die, to sit with it for even a moment, I imagine it would feel like drowning in a lake covered by a sheet of ice; frantically paddling, muscles locking-up, searching for a way out, a thin spot, a crack. Some way, any way out. We are designed this way. Our survival instincts are such that even we can't forcibly snuff-out our own lives in a number of ways that may otherwise kill us through unlucky chance. I think about that survival instinct, particularly in moments of darkest thought, when life seems overwhelming, when my brain is at war with itself. This is not to say I am the type to sit around dreaming up death scenarios for myself...far from it. However, I'm sure that a lot of people find themselves--at least on occasion--in a state of apathy such as would even blot-out the fear of danger greeting one's person. When I am here, I imagine a situation of impending doom: a walk through a park at night suddenly leading to a knife around the neck, a car spontaneously spinning out of control on a slick highway, waking up and finding yourself in some way abducted. And you know what I've decided beyond a doubt? I would fight like a motherfucking heavyweight. I don't want to make blanket statements, but despite the daunting numbers of depressed and disenchanted people on this earth, I find it hard to believe that there are more than a very small few who would not struggle for survival in such a scenario until their fingernails snapped off from clawing at the walls. Death is less often welcome than fought off, even in those who may think it desirable in some abstract sense. As to those who seek it, they still don't want anyone else making that decision for them. What kills in those last moments, I think, is knowing at last and certainly that there is absolutely no choice, no hope, the end. This is very likely the reason that death row inmates can maintain a calm, cool, cocky demeanor until that last walk...and then their knees give way and they drop. The howl that comes from within them was buried in some place so horrid, we who are blessed with breath at this moment couldn't even begin to fathom it. That howl is what Andreyev has attempted to capture here; the bullshit posturings and self-imposed distractions followed by that moment of absolute, paralyzing certainty: this really is it. I would think that to know even a faint echo of that hair-raising sound would be reason enough never to justify, even for retribution, the termination of a human being's existence. That said, I admit I was already against the death penalty before reading this novel. However, were I to teach a course on the subject, I would certainly include this in the syllabus, no matter what side of the fence I was on regarding capital punishment...because it's wise to think about big, important things from a number of angles, right? A good and terribly depressing book which will dig up some gunk and maybe make you feel a bit ill as a result. As an effective home remedy, I suggest vomiting up this queasy, scared feeling all over a review thread. Works for me! This is Eeyore, signing off.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    The Seven Who Were Hanged is barely more than a novella, and I read it in two afternoons, about three weeks apart. It's sparse on plot: seven people are going to be hanged (surprise), five for attempted political assassination, two for various quite violent murders. We meet each of them, we hear about their circumstances, a little, and their trials. Most of the book, however, is about the hours of freefall between sentence and execution, the end of life and the beginning of death. The reason I l The Seven Who Were Hanged is barely more than a novella, and I read it in two afternoons, about three weeks apart. It's sparse on plot: seven people are going to be hanged (surprise), five for attempted political assassination, two for various quite violent murders. We meet each of them, we hear about their circumstances, a little, and their trials. Most of the book, however, is about the hours of freefall between sentence and execution, the end of life and the beginning of death. The reason I loved this book so much is that it is about seven different depictions of fear. It's quite obviously a treatise against capital punishment, but really, it's a very good exploration of why capital punishment is such an inhuman punishment. Is it the death, or is it that gap, immediately before death, where you know there's no way to avert it? '[T]he words "I am afraid" were uttered by him only because there were no other words, because no other conceptions existed, nor could other conceptions exist which would grasp this new, un-human condition.' We follow how seven people try (and sometimes fail) to come to terms with the loss of their own dignity - in the sense of their physical integrity, freedom, and potential to be listened to or taken seriously by the people around them. That's difficult to read, and as fascinating a delivery of this argument as I've found anywhere. Andreyev deals with numbness, feelings of being apart from oneself, trying to rationalise away terror in various ways. It's unremittingly bleak. But incredibly interesting. We empathise with all of the characters. They all feel familiar. This book tacitly invites you to examine your own view on capital punishment, and how it might be to be in that place, and slot it in with the experiences of the characters. It's very compelling. Interestingly, there is no mention of religion, or an afterlife. It's very much grounded in the here and now, and I think that has probably contributed to its impact lasting a century so well. Then, there is the question of fault. All of the seven who are to be hanged have done something wrong - they have killed people, or tried unsuccessfully to kill people. Is it their fault that they're in this position? Is it the fault of the prison guard? The state? 'Although the jailers were extremely kind, even too kind. It was as if they tried partly to show themselves humane and partly to show that they were not there at all, but that everything was being done as by machinery. But they were all pale.' Seven people who have had their humanity stripped from them are then killed deliberately by people suppressing their own humanity. To me, that feels as wrong as any other aspect of this story. There is so much in here to think about, to mull over - I read it with a pencil and paper in hand, and it's definitely influenced my worldview, at least a little bit. It's not pleasant, but it's beautifully written, with layer upon layer of glorious subtlety. It's very deftly handled, and it's extremely Russian. Highly recommended - and I think the more thought you put in to reading The Seven Who Were Hanged, the more you'll get out of it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

    "it also became a mechanical process and only for that reason something to be dreaded. Fetch and grab, take away, hang, pull down on the legs. Cut rope, haul down, cart away and bury. A man has gone from the world."

  5. 4 out of 5

    JK

    This is a horrific, heart-rending novella. Andreyev tells the tale of seven prisoners sentenced to hang, without telling a tale at all. Nothing happens except his exploration of their psychological states in such close proximity to death; it’s harrowing, and it’s perfect. Each of the seven approach their fate in different ways - with fear, with pride, with apathy, with scorn. They begin to appreciate the smallest of life’s offerings, such as a breath of spring air, as they try to become accustome This is a horrific, heart-rending novella. Andreyev tells the tale of seven prisoners sentenced to hang, without telling a tale at all. Nothing happens except his exploration of their psychological states in such close proximity to death; it’s harrowing, and it’s perfect. Each of the seven approach their fate in different ways - with fear, with pride, with apathy, with scorn. They begin to appreciate the smallest of life’s offerings, such as a breath of spring air, as they try to become accustomed to what lies ahead for them. His underlying commentary on capital punishment is exquisite. Where is the punishment? Is it within death itself, or is it purely in the time between, waiting for something you have no power to delay, the worst fate, decided by someone else. After all, once death comes, surely, we are free? Ultimately, Andreyev is asking which of them we’d be when staring death in the face. All were terrified, but displayed this differently. How would you do it? Bravely? Or would you resist? Who can say until the time comes, but the thought is somehow wonderfully provoking and equally uncomfortable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma

    A very sorrowful tale. I read this book with a lot of glum written all over my face. This is a tale of the last moments in the lives of seven prisoners who are about to be executed. All seven have been tried and and sentenced to death. Most of them have committed serious offences. The question that I kept asking myself is whether their cri es justifies tge death penalty. When I read the book, I realized that they were stil human beings who are capable of experiences which other 'normal' people e A very sorrowful tale. I read this book with a lot of glum written all over my face. This is a tale of the last moments in the lives of seven prisoners who are about to be executed. All seven have been tried and and sentenced to death. Most of them have committed serious offences. The question that I kept asking myself is whether their cri es justifies tge death penalty. When I read the book, I realized that they were stil human beings who are capable of experiences which other 'normal' people experience. Their thoughts and anguish were my thoughts and anguish. Their fears were my fears. Their hopes were my hopes, their desires were my desires. The death penalty would end their humanity, but to some of them, it was not going to kill their spirit. Still the brutality of the death penalty is felt even before they are executed. It affects the mind as well as tge body with the same brutak force. I enjoyed the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryn Hammond

    Perfect craft in this story on the cruelty of execution. I don't know a better story in the world. Follows on from Dostoyevsky's passages on capital punishment in The Idiot and the short work important to him in his turn, Victor Hugo's The Last Day of a Condemned Man. I think, though, they'd each be proud to have written this. It not only has the seven perspectives -- terrorists and common murderers -- but the effects on guards; and begins in theme with the political victim who gets away, but no Perfect craft in this story on the cruelty of execution. I don't know a better story in the world. Follows on from Dostoyevsky's passages on capital punishment in The Idiot and the short work important to him in his turn, Victor Hugo's The Last Day of a Condemned Man. I think, though, they'd each be proud to have written this. It not only has the seven perspectives -- terrorists and common murderers -- but the effects on guards; and begins in theme with the political victim who gets away, but not before he discovers the psychic torture of a scheduled death. It's gutting: go in with care. But profoundly humane.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/artic...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Leonid Andreyev belonged to that unhappy generation of Russians fortunate enough to see the Tsar fall and unfortunate enough to see the rise of the Bolsheviks. His eventual exile into poverty in Finland ended his career. His oeuvre is small, a few plays and a wide-ranging prose. I have great affection for “He Who Gets Slapped” made into a remarkable silent movie by Lon Chaney, Sr. Of the stories in the volume, “The Seven Who Were Hanged” is the best-known and is a triumph: few writers can constr Leonid Andreyev belonged to that unhappy generation of Russians fortunate enough to see the Tsar fall and unfortunate enough to see the rise of the Bolsheviks. His eventual exile into poverty in Finland ended his career. His oeuvre is small, a few plays and a wide-ranging prose. I have great affection for “He Who Gets Slapped” made into a remarkable silent movie by Lon Chaney, Sr. Of the stories in the volume, “The Seven Who Were Hanged” is the best-known and is a triumph: few writers can construct and maintain seven distinct characters in a long novel, let alone a long story, but that is precisely what Andreyev delivers in his five inept revolutionaries, almost feral peasant, and petty criminal. He had an eye for turning the Bible on its head: “Lazarus” records the unpleasant man that the title character became after being raised from the dead. “Ben Tobit” happens upon the Crucifixion with no sense of its historical or religious impact. “The Red Smile” is a series of fragments from a war presages the horror of the trenches of World War I. In Andreyev's world nothing is as it seems, and it is dangerous to trust even those one loves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bev Spicer

    Set at the time of the first Russian revolution in 1905, the book opens with a plot to kill an important official, a plot which has been foiled by Russian police. Later, the authorities arrest three young men and two young women who are accused of terrorism and condemned to death by hanging. There are two other prisoners who will join them on the day of their execution, one a servant who murders his master and tries to rape his master's wife and the other a bandit and a murderer. We know from the Set at the time of the first Russian revolution in 1905, the book opens with a plot to kill an important official, a plot which has been foiled by Russian police. Later, the authorities arrest three young men and two young women who are accused of terrorism and condemned to death by hanging. There are two other prisoners who will join them on the day of their execution, one a servant who murders his master and tries to rape his master's wife and the other a bandit and a murderer. We know from the title that there is no escape, but this does not detract from the tension. What makes this a truly astonishing book is that Andreyev involves the reader in the fates of his characters by revealing what is in their minds. He leads us through the psychological mazes that each of the condemned criminals wanders around, never able to find an alternative exit. The gallows awaits them and they can only escape the overwhelming reality of their imminent death by conjuring new worlds where such a horrendous outcome is made acceptable. Andreyev is informed by his professional experience as a police-court reporter and also draws on his interest in psychology to strengthen his profoundly affecting depiction of what happens to the mind when a human being is left devoid of hope. The ending is particularly moving, but I shall not go into detail, as this would spoil the reader's enjoyment of what is a highly intelligent and thought provoking novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Covers the crimes, trials, and last days of the titular Seven Who Were Hanged. Interesting to compare and contrast with the last chapter of The Stranger by Camus; French vs. Russian, existentialist vs. the varied and passionate feelings by these prisoners. Quite dragging at some parts, and repetitive in its portrayals of the prisoners' thoughts-- understandably thorough of the dark subject matter, but the work itself probably would have been stronger as a short story rather than a novella; still Covers the crimes, trials, and last days of the titular Seven Who Were Hanged. Interesting to compare and contrast with the last chapter of The Stranger by Camus; French vs. Russian, existentialist vs. the varied and passionate feelings by these prisoners. Quite dragging at some parts, and repetitive in its portrayals of the prisoners' thoughts-- understandably thorough of the dark subject matter, but the work itself probably would have been stronger as a short story rather than a novella; still, not a terribly long novella, and certain paragraphs themselves (especially the last few) paint the succinct, brutal portrait that make the book strong as Russian literature and as a work dealing with capital punishment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maz

    Brutal, pessimistic and powerful. A story about the last moments of seven people, written against capital punishment, Leonid Andreyev's astonishing skill is beyond description!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lemar

    Leonid Andreyev wrote an introduction to the English translation of The Seven Who Were Hanged in which he says, "Literature, which I have the honor to serve, is dear to me just because the noblest task it sets before itself is that of wiping out boundaries and distances." Reading this a century after it appeared, I would add time to Andreyev's list of boundaries that literature transcends. Andreyev's message is equally important in every language and in every time. This is a tough book; it deals Leonid Andreyev wrote an introduction to the English translation of The Seven Who Were Hanged in which he says, "Literature, which I have the honor to serve, is dear to me just because the noblest task it sets before itself is that of wiping out boundaries and distances." Reading this a century after it appeared, I would add time to Andreyev's list of boundaries that literature transcends. Andreyev's message is equally important in every language and in every time. This is a tough book; it deals with Death in an uncompromising personal way. Andreyev makes an effective case against capital punishment by making it personal, by putting us inside the cells with those who are to be hanged. He does not diminish their crimes or culpability but he does remove the comfort of seeing criminals as inhuman monsters. The writing is superb, and beautifully translated by the Jewish activist and journalist Herman Bernstein. Andreyev makes palpable the horror of knowing the imminence of one's death and the psychological toll that knowledge takes on both an intended victim of an assassination and those who are to be hanged. He describes how time manifests itself to the prisoners who hear a bell toll every 15 minutes. "Like large, transparent, glassy drops, hours and minutes descended from an unknown height into a metallic, softly resounding bell." Earlier in my life I was in favor of capital punishment because I saw justice in depriving life from those who took it selfishly and horribly from their victims. I have changed my mind for at least two reasons. First I believe that at is not applied impartially. The second reason, the fundamental, overarching reason that Andreyev dramatizes, is that when the state commits murder we all are made culpable. Like the soldier who drops his gun and falls face first in the snow, I am overwhelmed at being made part of this. Andreyev, with Bernstein as his English voice, say it all in one line, "When thousand kill one, it means that the one has conquered."

  14. 5 out of 5

    dely

    3,5 This is a very short book but it is thought-provoking. First of all, Andreyev is against death penalty and he writes about it through seven characters. There are seven convicts who are sentenced to death because of different crimes they had committed (two were murders, five of them had organized a political terrorist attack which failed). How do you face death if you know the exact moment when you will die? All the characters face it in a different way, they react in different ways and there a 3,5 This is a very short book but it is thought-provoking. First of all, Andreyev is against death penalty and he writes about it through seven characters. There are seven convicts who are sentenced to death because of different crimes they had committed (two were murders, five of them had organized a political terrorist attack which failed). How do you face death if you know the exact moment when you will die? All the characters face it in a different way, they react in different ways and there are deep insights in human feelings. Andreyev shows us that also murders are human, with their fears and emotions. They killed for the most different reasons but committing a crime doesn't make a person less human. From the introduction: The misfortune of us all is that we know so little, even nothing, about one another - neither about the soul, nor the life, the sufferings, the habits, the inclinations, the aspirations of one another. Literature, which I have the honor to serve, is dear to me just because the noblest task it sets before itself is that of wiping out bounderies and distances.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    One of the most famous of the Russian writer’s stories, in which he describes the execution of a group of Terrorists, analyzing their sensations in their separate cells, and on their journey together to the foot of the gallows. -- Bartleby.com Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6722 BBC Book Features article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/artic... 6 AUG 2016 - a terrific read. It is said this book inspired the revolutionaries to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand and thus ignite th One of the most famous of the Russian writer’s stories, in which he describes the execution of a group of Terrorists, analyzing their sensations in their separate cells, and on their journey together to the foot of the gallows. -- Bartleby.com Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6722 BBC Book Features article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/artic... 6 AUG 2016 - a terrific read. It is said this book inspired the revolutionaries to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand and thus ignite the spark of WWI.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amalie

    Amazing reading! Read it with the group. This is about seven people condemned to death, five for an attempt of a political assassination and two for common murders. The story shows how they face their ordeal, with reactions varying. All are well seven is well differentiated with psychological insight (male characters were far well written than the female) They are each treated with this amazing insight and with an understanding that is never maudlin.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Following the arrest and the thoughts of the people who know that life is over in advance of their subsequent hanging. While it is a tad grim the writing is excellent, close to being philosophical without quite getting there. Certainly one for the shelves of the discerning reader.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Valentina

    "Thus did men greet the rising sun." Loving how this book ends and how the characters evolve during the plot. It asks questions such as what is life and how we face death.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mobyskine

    A novella about seven prisoners facing their few last days before execution. It was heartwarming, honestly. I love the story telling from their trials to living inside their cells to the end of their day, the narratives and each side of stories from each prisoners. Very Russian, very realistic. The moment each came to realization about the horror of their punishments, those phrases and questions of fate, and how they all facing their end of life-- regretting or just let it be, their wandering th A novella about seven prisoners facing their few last days before execution. It was heartwarming, honestly. I love the story telling from their trials to living inside their cells to the end of their day, the narratives and each side of stories from each prisoners. Very Russian, very realistic. The moment each came to realization about the horror of their punishments, those phrases and questions of fate, and how they all facing their end of life-- regretting or just let it be, their wandering thoughts and feelings. Lovely writing by Andreyev. Intriguing and soul-stirring much.

  20. 5 out of 5

    quattuor

    Describes how different personalities cope with the idea of impending death. Reading it, one can't help thinking about Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Ilych, except here a similar concept is deployed towards different ends - social rather than ethical / existential. The prose can stop one in one's tracks at times: My love is wider than the open sea, unbounded by the shore-line of our lives.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The book tells the story of five terrorists, arrested before they could carry out their assassination of a government minister, and two criminals guilty of murder. But it begins with the minister’s horrified discovery that the assassins had planned to kill him at one o’clock that day, and he couldn’t stop thinking about the cruel fate that some people had had in store for him because it’s not death that’s terrifying, only knowing about it. By focussing on this minister’s terror, Andreyev shows t The book tells the story of five terrorists, arrested before they could carry out their assassination of a government minister, and two criminals guilty of murder. But it begins with the minister’s horrified discovery that the assassins had planned to kill him at one o’clock that day, and he couldn’t stop thinking about the cruel fate that some people had had in store for him because it’s not death that’s terrifying, only knowing about it. By focussing on this minister’s terror, Andreyev shows the horror of judicial execution at its most fundamental. One of the stories tour guides like to tell in St Petersburg is the story of Dostoevsky’s last minute reprieve from the firing squad. As a member of a Russian intellectual literary group known as the Petrashevsky Circle, he (like the others) had been sentenced to death for being critical of the Tsar. We were told that it was at the St Peter and Paul Fortress that a rider hurtled into the square with orders from the Tsar that the execution was not to take place, and those of us who knew who Dostoevsky was were suitably impressed at his narrow escape. But it turns out that although Dostoevsky was certainly imprisoned at the fortress for months, not only did this reprieve take place elsewhere at Semyonov Square, but also it was not a show of mercy in response to international outrage, but a mock execution, designed to foster fear, terror and gratitude. (See here). The Tsar knew that it was the horror of knowing the hour of imminent death that is the most gruesome experience that can be inflicted. To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/10/06/s...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    'My task was to point out the horror and the iniquity of capital punishment under any circumstances.' - Andreyev A scintillating psychological exploration on death and war. Tried in secret with a sentence of death by hanging 5 terrorists and 2 peasants actions, and thoughts are shared during trial and while in their cells as they await their fatal fate. With an appeal not being an option, these seven are rendered helpless, their hanging inevitable. Defendants are introduced with the focus on th 'My task was to point out the horror and the iniquity of capital punishment under any circumstances.' - Andreyev A scintillating psychological exploration on death and war. Tried in secret with a sentence of death by hanging 5 terrorists and 2 peasants actions, and thoughts are shared during trial and while in their cells as they await their fatal fate. With an appeal not being an option, these seven are rendered helpless, their hanging inevitable. Defendants are introduced with the focus on the males more so than the two females. Post hanging descriptions are vivid with details leading the reader to believe their death was anything but quick. While carrying explosives and guns PRIOR to causing harm - five terrorists were apprehended; 3 young men and 2 young girls. A secret trial ensues with a sentence of death by hanging. The other two are sentenced to hang as well. One of which confesses to murder and theft the other a drunk who acts without thought resulting in the murder of his master and the attempted rape of the master's wife. He protests hanging until his sentence is made final. There is an extremely poignant scene between one of the defendants and his parents which is affecting in both writing and content. Very very emotional. A favored story as well as his best by the accomplished Leonid Andreyev. Nothing better than Russian lit, but I am biased, huge Russian lit fan.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Richardson

    A book as much about life as it is about death. This book literally disintegrated as a read it, which seemed fitting. “And it was not because he saw death that Sergey suffered, but because he saw life and death at the same time. A sacrilegious hand had lifted the curtain which from all eternity hidden the mystery of life and the mystery of death; they had ceased to be mysteries, but they were no more comprehensible than the truth written in a foreign language.”

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thom Swennes

    First published in 1909 The Seven Who Were Hanged by Leonid Nikolasvich Andreyev is the story of the last few days of seven condemned prisoners. Two of the seven were charged with murder and the other five (three men and two women) were found guilty of terrorism. Like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn the shadow of depression hangs over the work. As I was reading it, the picture it painted was in black and a multitude of shades of gray. Although this book was writt First published in 1909 The Seven Who Were Hanged by Leonid Nikolasvich Andreyev is the story of the last few days of seven condemned prisoners. Two of the seven were charged with murder and the other five (three men and two women) were found guilty of terrorism. Like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn the shadow of depression hangs over the work. As I was reading it, the picture it painted was in black and a multitude of shades of gray. Although this book was written and published in the time of Tsar Nickolas II and Solzhenitsyn’s work while Russia was under communist rule, the two have very much in common and serve to show that not everything changed after the October Revolution. Because of its depressing nature I can’t truthfully say that I enjoyed it as I would another work of fiction but it does shed light on the unjust and often barbarous conditions within the Russian penal system.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tamar Nagel

    Gripping, tragic, and powerful story. Read this to see the blackness closing in, your vision growing constricted and painful while the beauty of the human soul grows infinitely large. Andreyev is a master of emotion, a master of human nature and the subtleties of human experience. One of my favorite aspects of his stories is that the characters sense the abstract as real: physically, horribly real. Insanity? It has a physical form, as do life, death, joy, anger, and contempt. I loved the structur Gripping, tragic, and powerful story. Read this to see the blackness closing in, your vision growing constricted and painful while the beauty of the human soul grows infinitely large. Andreyev is a master of emotion, a master of human nature and the subtleties of human experience. One of my favorite aspects of his stories is that the characters sense the abstract as real: physically, horribly real. Insanity? It has a physical form, as do life, death, joy, anger, and contempt. I loved the structure of the Seven Who Were Hanged. It lends itself naturally to analysis. And I loved the sentences and the characters. You'll fall in love and feel insane and it is wonderful. "It was as if he were walking along a very high mountain ridge, narrow as the edge of a knife blade; on one side he could see life, and on the other death, like two deep, beautiful, glittering seas that merged on the horizon into a single, infinitely wide expanse."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tom Lichtenberg

    "It was terrible for them to utter even a word, as though each word in the language had lost its individual meaning and meant but one thing—Death" Leonid N Andreyev, The Seven Who Were Hanged A very interesting short novel by a contemporary of Tolstoy (free from Project Gutenberg) about a collection of terrorists and criminals who were hanged in a group together. Andreyev is an impressionist writer, using color and sound effectively to vividly bring personalities and events to mind. This is the ki "It was terrible for them to utter even a word, as though each word in the language had lost its individual meaning and meant but one thing—Death" Leonid N Andreyev, The Seven Who Were Hanged A very interesting short novel by a contemporary of Tolstoy (free from Project Gutenberg) about a collection of terrorists and criminals who were hanged in a group together. Andreyev is an impressionist writer, using color and sound effectively to vividly bring personalities and events to mind. This is the kind of writing that helps you see the world in a different way than your normal perspective. I especially love literature for that quality. "Like large, transparent, glassy drops, hours and minutes descended from an unknown height into a metallic, softly resounding bell." (Church bells as heard from prison)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Once regarded as one of the most gifted writers of Russia's "silver age," Leonid Nikolaevich Andreyev's reputation has waned considerably, and he is now almost unknown outside of his native Russia. This is unfortunate,because The Seven Who Were Hanged is a masterpiece, elegant and understated in its treatment of the last days of five convicted terrorists and two murderers. Andreyev was an outspoken opponent of capital punishment; and his depiction of the condemned is sensitive yet honest at the Once regarded as one of the most gifted writers of Russia's "silver age," Leonid Nikolaevich Andreyev's reputation has waned considerably, and he is now almost unknown outside of his native Russia. This is unfortunate,because The Seven Who Were Hanged is a masterpiece, elegant and understated in its treatment of the last days of five convicted terrorists and two murderers. Andreyev was an outspoken opponent of capital punishment; and his depiction of the condemned is sensitive yet honest at the same time. In an age when the term "terrorist" is used to demonize anyone the speaker happens to disagree with, Andreyev's sympathetic portrayal of the humanity of the five would be assassins is refreshing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Book Wyrm

    You can literally taste the agony and anguish, hear the remorseless stomp of time towards the gallows, cringe in painful sympathy at the palpable heart break of loved ones left behind. The Seven feel exceptionally real, from swaggering arrogance, morbid terror, basking in martydom, a series of strange coping mechanisms, utter imcomprehension and we even watch the terror of the man who knows he survived the assination attempt, with the residue of events still bleeding through and leaving no one un You can literally taste the agony and anguish, hear the remorseless stomp of time towards the gallows, cringe in painful sympathy at the palpable heart break of loved ones left behind. The Seven feel exceptionally real, from swaggering arrogance, morbid terror, basking in martydom, a series of strange coping mechanisms, utter imcomprehension and we even watch the terror of the man who knows he survived the assination attempt, with the residue of events still bleeding through and leaving no one unscathed. Russian misery at its finest and most sensitively written.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melusina

    The Hanged Men is an ironic title, as Andreyev never actually describes the real hanging, but it is a magically curious novella about the human condition, faced with death and life at once. Language gets reduced to nothing, there are but agony and coping mechanisms in the face of certain death. At the end, all one sees is the endless beauty of the sea as opposed to the corpses with swollen tongues and bulking eyes. Russian writers in near-revolutionary Russia made death look so easy and life atr The Hanged Men is an ironic title, as Andreyev never actually describes the real hanging, but it is a magically curious novella about the human condition, faced with death and life at once. Language gets reduced to nothing, there are but agony and coping mechanisms in the face of certain death. At the end, all one sees is the endless beauty of the sea as opposed to the corpses with swollen tongues and bulking eyes. Russian writers in near-revolutionary Russia made death look so easy and life atrociously torturous.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Layla

    I want to give it a 4,5 but that isn't possible on goodreads obviously. This is truly an amazing book, it is incredibly well written. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because it was a little difficult to read. My English is good, but not THAT great haha. I really recommend it if you have the patience to read something like this. It is beautifully written, but the writer has used many difficult words you don't always understand.

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