While in college, I read "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina", by Leo Tolstoy. I was absorbed by the stories and writing. Of course, they are considered classics.
50 years later, I just finished "Tolstoy", a biography by Henri Troyat, written in 1965. I really knew very little about the great Russian author, but considered him a hero of mine, solely because of the two books I read.
For many chapters chronolizing his early life, I was impressed by his love of nature, thirst for knowledge, and basic joie de vivre. I also began to disapprove of his immoral and rash behavior.
Midway through the book (and his life), I saw a radically different Tolstoy--in fact, a radical. I saw it coming, but didn't want to believe it. My old hero had become a religious zealot. While forsaking the church and it's icons, crucifixes, and "holy men", he formed his own internal religion devoid of all the trappings of the church.
Tolstoy became contemptable of fame, despite seeking it for much of his life. His marriage was contentious with life-long fights with his wife Sofya, 16 years younger (she gave birth to 14 children, half of which died in infancy or childhood). He was a horrible husband and father, so wrapped up in himself and his wandering,contradictory mind. Living the life of an ascetic and hermit was his goal.
He continued to write, using his characters--based on real people--to explain his ideas. He died (at age 82) while trying to run away from his home and family!
So what started out as hero worship for me (I always assumed Tolstoy was an atheist), evolved into somewhat of a loathing for the man. I could write much more about him, but you get the picture. Check out Wikipedia or whatever for more details. At least, now I know the real Tolstoy, a great writer, but one loony-tune.