Read for my Tolstoy and Dostoevsky Russian Lit class.
It should be noted that if I came to this expecting a NOVEL I probably would have given it three stars. The Sebastopol Sketches were a strange hybrid of fiction and journalism through which Tolstoy told readers about what was going on at the Siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War--the first one really is kind of a sketch, the second one a short story, and the third really a novella. There is no connection between the three other than the setting. If you read them as what they are, and have an idea of the conditions of, and reasons for, their writing, there is some wonderful work there.
Most importantly, this was one of the first times that someone really wrote about war without much or any glamorization. He shows how terrible and arbitrary it is and, most interestingly, explores the psychology of so many soldiers who think that they're the only ones who are scared shitless.
Unfortunately, because the professor gave us a PDF, I have no idea what translation I read. It wasn't a great one, though.