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A Sportsman's Notebook (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – March 10, 1992


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A Sportsman's Notebook (Everyman's Library) + The Collected Stories (Everyman's Library)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (March 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679410457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679410454
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The first of Turgenev’s masterpieces . . . A Sportman’s Notebook conveys the vastness and beauty of rural Russia. It shows also the eccentricity, cruelty and nobility of many of its inhabitants . . . [Turgenev] was a careful writer, alive to each nuance of language and subtlety of style.”
—from the Introduction by Max Egremont

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brad Hoevel on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the classic book that put Turgenev on the literary map--both in his own time and for all of history. The strength of this, his first book, was such that, even if Turgenev had never written another book, he would still be recognized as the father of the modern short story. Indeed, A Sportsman's Notebook was Hemmingway's favorite book, and it is not hard to see traces of Turgenevs influence in the work of Hemmingway and other later-day masters of the short story.

Notebook contains twenty-five stories in which Turgenev shares shares memories from the hunting expeditions that lead him throughout the Russian countryside. His writing is strong because there is real life in his people and real beauty in his landscapes.

The translation by Charles and Natasha Hepburn is absolutely amazing; it far surpasses the work of Constance Garnett, whose Turgenev is for me nearly unreadable.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Owen Brady on December 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
One of Theodore Roosevelt's secretaries of state, John Hay, had trouble dealing with Russian diplomats because they lied. Now, Mr. Hay had been his country's good servant since the Lincoln administration. In that time he had almost certainly come across a liar or two. His problem with Russians, as he explained it, was that they lied for no apparent reason: Not to hide an unfortunate truth, not to advance a position, but as a seemingly automatic reaction to any question. Mr. Hay simply couldn't understand Russians.

The character sketches that pop off the pages of Ivan Turgenev's "Sportsman's Notebook" go a long way to helping explain the Russian psyche. Under the guise of a narrator afield with dog and gun, the author introduces us to a collection men and women who through their personalities and personal tales seem to explain some essential truths about the Russian folk.

The short story collection unfolds like a 19th century "Canterbury Tales," complete with characters of high, middle and low estate, educated and not. It has serfs and masters and there's even a Miller's Tale, of sorts. Unfortunately for Mr. Hay, there's little talk of lying.

Turgenev wrote much of the Notebook when he was abroad. But is seems he forgot nothing about his either his countrymen or the Russian land, which becomes almost its own character in the stories. Steppe and forest, cloud and sky, the author makes the reader feel the dust and experience summer heat as a palpable entity.

Turgenev's observations are always on the mark. In reference to a servant's questionable response to his master he says, "...in Russia it is never possible to distinguish the surly from the merely sleepy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Stephenson III on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Several years ago I was browsing around a local independent book store and this book caught my eye. It had the nice Everyman's Library cover and the built in page keeper, and the title, "Sportsman's Notebook," piqued my interest, being an outdoorsman myself. I bought the book on a whim without even flipping through it. At the time, I had never read a book by a Russian author.

Now, years later, my bookshelf is full of books by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and of course Turgenev. The beauty and depth of this book spurred a lifelong love for 19th century Russian literature which has stayed with me ever since. I simply cannot say enough for this book, and I gladly join the other reviewers here in giving it five stars.

A basic description of this book would be a collection of short stories, where Turgenev describes various situations and events he experienced in the Russian countryside. Much of this involves character sketches of people; people of all kinds from wealthy land owners to serfs and peasants. In the process, Turgenev presents the reader with an explanation of the Russian people, notoriously difficult to figure out. He also presents an enlightening way to view humanity, as he has an unrivaled ability to find beauty and strength in the often cruel Russian countryside.

This particular book comes with some beneficial extras. The introduction by Max Egremont provides good biographical information on Turgenev, as well as the historical context in which he wrote. He also provides his own analysis of Turgenev's work which I think is perceptive. There is also a chronology which compares Turgenev's personal life to the historical and literary events which occurred during his life. It is also important top not that Russian is notoriously difficult to effectively translate.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book has some of the best short fiction ever written. Hemingway said, "Tolstoy wrote the best books, BUT TURGENEV WAS THE GREATEST WRITER." And then he went on to praise the short story "A Rattle of Wheels" above all other Turgenev stories. So if Hemingway thought Turgenev the greatest writer, and "Rattle of Wheels" the greatest story he wrote, then he certainly thought "Rattle of Wheels" the greatest short story ever written (aside from his own works, of course, egomaniac that he was). And "Rattle of Wheels" is in this collection. I personally prefer "The Singers". Read this collection. You won't regret it.
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