This was an interesting short piece but not a work of genius or even close. I guess Tolstoy was still flexing his literary muscles. The autobiographies are probably a reasonable entry point into his work. I read Anna Karenina previously and thought it was good. I do intend reading War and Peace, but I have always struggled to justify the time it would take to read with the many great shorter novels I could finish in that time. I should take the plunge, probably with a more modern translation.
As for ‘Childhood’ – I am not sure it is worth a look unless you are really interested in Tolstoy. He is very frank throughout but I didn’t think his childhood was interesting enough to be immortalised in an autobiography – unlike Gorky of course.