In "The Gospel in Brief: The Life of Jesus" the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) offers his retelling of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Through his poetic and moving account of the life of Jesus, we witness the power of Tolstoy's narrative range as well as the spiritual depth of these Biblical Gospels. Perhaps no novelist has been better qualified to offer his imaging of the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. Leo Tolstoy, in his later life, became a deeply religious man, writing a prolific amount on Christian spirituality and religious mysticism. "The Gospel in Brief" skillfully envisions the Bible as literature, lending his singular gifts as a novelist to perhaps the most important book in all of Western Civilization. Though Tolstoy never moves far away from his original sources and his rewriting of the life of Jesus only enhances and makes more real the historical and spiritual world of Jesus. This is essential reading for students of religion as well as fans of world literature.