What the Russian press is saying about the book by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov):
Mikhail Seslavinsky, “Noah’s ark of the
book market” (University Books): When it
comes to modern prose I am not the biggest fan, although I
must say that not so long ago, after taking up
Archimandrite Tikhon’s book with a certain amount of
skepticism, I then devoured it because this work has an
aura. When a person is really into something in his life,
when he tells about it in a simple and extraordinarily
interesting language, bringing in living examples, his
book becomes a super bestseller.
Natalia Narochnitskaya (Arguments and
Facts): What a wonder these stories are! What
style! What images! Anyone who opens this book will not be
able to put it down until morning! It is amazing how in
exquisite, small sketches and notes filled with respect
and good natured irony, in characters that might seem like
ridiculous oddballs or even petty tyrants, a magical and
real, simple and wonderful world opens before us!
Valery Konovalov (Trud): We haven’t
had anything like this for a long time. In a subway car I
saw three people reading copies of this book at the same
time. Now you can recognize it from a distance. I have
seen people reading it in cafes, clinics, and parks. As
for my friends and acquaintances, there are many more of
them who have read it than those who haven’t yet. It
is a forgotten feeling: for a fresh book to be the topic
of general discussions by all different kinds of people.
Vera Krasnova (Expert Online): In Everday
Saints you see the wide screen of an inner
conflict—between duty and personal interest, freedom
and passion, humility and pride, and other forms of piety
and sin. Sometimes the “camera” also catches
the external consequences of a spiritual battle—that
is, the choice a person makes—and we see a real
drama, or a tragedy.
Vladimir Voropaev, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor
of Moscow State University: Of what genre is this
book? Perhaps this is a modern patericon, or a collection
of the biographies of ascetics of piety, or simply a
collection of personal memoirs? In fact, this book could
be called an encyclopedia of Church life in our times; not
the official life, but the internal, the spiritual.
Sergei Shargunov (Pravoslavie.ru): I read
this book by Father Tikhon all day, without interruption.
It is a large book that keeps your attention like a movie.
These are stories about elders, ascetics, monks, holy
fools, the demonically possessed, atheists, and about how
both ordinary and famous people were touched… These
stories are unforgettable; you go back to them, you retell
Svetlana Shepel (Our Contemporary): The
release of Archimandrite Tikhon’s
(Shevkunov’s) Everday Saints is undoubtedly a
great event—not only for our religious life, but for
Russian literature as a whole. Its enduring vitality
despite all the confusing and troubled waves of mass
culture testifies to this fact.
Natalia Egorova (Moscow Journal): What a
hitherto unknown, unfathomed, blindingly bright, joyful
world appears to us from the pages of the new book by
Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Everyday Saints
and Other Stories! How many ascetics of piety,
spiritual feats, and prayers there are in this world! So
much love, forgotten and lost in our vain, earthly,
The author is undoubtedly gifted with literary talent.
This is true prose, sustained in the spirit of the
loftiest tradition of Russian literature.
Vladimir Krupin (Russian House): The book
Everyday Saints is a lesson for everyone: for
writers—this is how you should write about spiritual
traditions; for critics—this is what you should hold
up for attention; for publishers—this is what you
should publish; for booksellers—this is what you
should be selling to people. This is what you should buy,
what you should read, where you should be learning how to
cultivate the soul.
I can really understand the emotional ecstasy of those who
read this book, their nighttime phone calls to their
friends and relatives, saying, “Did you read the
book Everyday Saints? I can’t tear myself
I think that this book is a stage in our collective
consciousness. It is hard to believe that anyone could
doubt that Russia is worthy of just such literature.
Alexander Shchipkov: From the pages of
Everday Saints an authentic Christian life
literally breaks forth upon the reader, without
histrionics and a segregation of the faithful into
“us” and “them”. Orthodox authors
of books—the faith of monasticism, grannies,
intelligentsia, young people; this is all our Russian life
in which the Spirit bloweth where it listeth.
Archpriest Maxim Kozlov: This book is
unprecedented in modern religious literature! I
congratulate my senior friend with his undoubted success,
and assure him that many readers are already waiting for a
Liudmila Iliunina (Pravoslavie.ru): No other
book with an Orthodox theme has had such an unbelievably
wide reader demand in recent times as has the book by
Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Everyday Saints.
In fact, both secular and religious people are equally
interested in the book.
Deacon George Malkov (Russian
People’s Line): This book is not only
spiritually instructive, not only filled with
human—Christian!—inner nobility and the
sincerest love for all its characters, it is just plain
entertaining and interesting.
I strongly recommend that you read it, and you will
partake of a true joy—the joy of Our Lord and His
faithful children, the “everyday saints” of
Russia during the last half century.
Valery Konovalov (Komsomolskaya Pravda):
“To join a monastery.” For many these words
hide disappointment, boredom, a dark, colorless picture.
With Father Tikhon it’s just the opposite…
What is this world and why is it so attractive? Who are
these people who inhabit it and how are they different
from us? After the archimandrite’s book, much is
revealed in these complex questions, even to a person who
is very far from the Church.
It is like the end of childhood, when you suddenly begin
to understand that the world is set up is such a way that
the brightest, happiest things in life exist only in fairy
tales. But in Everday Saints, the beautiful and
magical unfolds in real life. You just need to reach out
your hand and take a step toward it, and you will find
yourself in that world.
Valery Nikitin (Orthodoxy and Modernity):
Everday Saints is a superlative example not only of
bestsellerism and homiletics, but also of essay writing;
and that is the most difficult genre, which presumes the
ability to think paradoxically, operate in imagery and
associations, and speak in aphorisms. How many
right-on-spot, on-the-fly words and expressions! The
author sprinkles them throughout in generous handfuls. In
a word, it’s a “delicious book”.
Father Tikhon’s stories are addressed to a broad
audience, and they leave no one indifferent. The book has
already gone through four reprintings, its print run over
nine months is reaching a million copies—a fact that
is absolutely unthinkable in the realm of modern
spiritual, even secular domestic literature.