- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 16, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192833928
- ISBN-13: 978-0192833921
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 255 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,687,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fathers and Sons (Oxford World's Classics)
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Though most of the characters are “old money”, landed pseudo-aristocrats and Russian military in background (and reasonably well educated – at least the men) thus giving the reader a view of Russian life from their perspective, the thrust of the novel illuminates the age-old differences between the generations and the gaps between science and superstition.
“Fathers and Sons” is not a sweeping epic tome that launches you into the great endless Russian landscape. Rather, it’s short, about 220 pages, and yet is filled with adventure, great characters, a little humor, personal triumphs and tragedy, to say nothing of the sounds, smells, tastes, travels, food and drink of the day. Thus, it is tidy and centered only on the story of the particular fathers and sons. It’s a sumptuous brief novel which reads exceedingly well and quickly. The translation is modern and apt. Each of the 2 sons (who are great friends in their 20’s at the time of the novel) are as different as can be. At first for during the initial 40 or 50 pages or so, I began to think the 2 young men (the sons) were “more” than just pals. I was wrong about that and glad for my mistake. Their growing pains and pleasures, constrained by culture and protocol of the time, seem normal and universal by the end of the story. One — Arkady Kirsanov – eventually marries happily and the other – Yevgeny Bazarov, the nihilist …. well, you’ll have to read it to find out.
Not one page disappoints. “Fathers and Sons” is true treasure to discover and devour. It’s a 5 for sure, a classic.
This short novel, it’s stunning characters, and the inherent conflict of the younger new ways breaking loudly through the quaintness of the older views of the prior generation are no less relevant now than in mid-nineteenth century Russia. This plot will likely always remain fresh and relevant.