Regular price: $24.47
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $24.47
Fathers and Sons has been hailed as a masterpiece of Russian literature, but I knew nothing about it before picking it up. I was certainly impressed.
The book centers around Yevgeny Bazarov, a young radical who embraces the idea of nihilism. Bazarov rejects the old conventions of the past (religion, aristocracism, liberalism, essentially all “-isms”) and believes that life is meaningless. During his travels with his friend, Arkady Kirsanov, he discusses and argues his beliefs with both parents and other characters. Despite his insistence that nothing in life has any meaning, Bazarov is a caring, loving man.
What happens in the plot is of little importance compared to the progression of Bazarov and his beliefs over the course of the novel. The novel’s ending comes suddenly, but is not surprising.
What is more crucial to the novel’s success is the way it captures the essence of people’s relationships and feelings through Turganev’s recounting of events. One always can tell where people stand in their opinions of each other simply by their basic actions.
I was fascinated that in Bazarov,I could see feelings about tzars and social class in general which was reminiscent of the impending Soviet Communist Revolution. I also saw overtones of modern existentialism in a 19th century novel.
George Guidall does a wonderful job, and is easy to follow. Like many Russian novels, however, Fathers and Sons can be somewhat wordy and complex. I am not sure if the English translations are to blame or if the style of Russian writing is simply not what Americans are used to. Nonetheless, Fathers and Sons is a classic and should not be missed.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Fathers and Sons again? Why?
Probably. It was a good listen and an important novel but I would probably wait at least ten years to revisit it.
What other book might you compare Fathers and Sons to and why?
I think it could be comparable to works his contemporaries.
What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?
I'm not sure. He did a good job overall but I'm not sure what I would say about the performance that I liked best.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, not really.
Any additional comments?
I had always heard the name Ivan Turgenev as being mentioned amongst the top Russian novelists of the 19th century but I never got around to reading or listening to any of his works till now. ‘Fathers and Sons’ is generally considered his best novel and having George Guidall narrate only makes the experience that much better. Believing that this would be a complex novel I was happily surprised to find out how clearly Turgenev was able to show the divide between the new and old order of Russia.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful