The brilliance of the story is how a normal bureaucrat, a judge in this case, has a small accident that winds up gradually taking his life. As he deals with this incident, with hope at first, and then despair, he comes to terms with his family, his life, and his mediocrities that we all suffer with except for the exceptional few. This story rings a particularly poignant note for those in early middle age facing the next part of their lives. Tolstoy's story is considered his best. Keywords: War and Peace, Anna Karenina, God Sees the Truth-but Waits, The Kreutzer Sonata, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Gogol.