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Fathers and Sons (Penguin Classics) Paperback – May 30, 1965
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Turgenev manages to leave no stone unturned, casting withering attacks on peasants, psuedo-intellectualism, government officials, corruption, and conventions. The book mentions that Turgenev alienated and angered many in Russia with this book, and the reader will quickly see why.
Turgenev recognized the backwardness of Russia, and that it must change if it were to survive in a new world. The big question was how, and Turgenev shows that while idealists like Bazarov may have new ideas (Bazarov's idea was nihilism, a belief in nothing), those ideas mean nothing if not backed up with solutions to the problems.
An excellent book, and very readable. The price is low enough that most people really don't have an excuse to give this one a shot.
I loved this book when I first read it as a teenager and I enjoyed it even more on subsequent rereadings. It makes the world of 19th century Russia seem strangely familiar and it gives many a current political thread a grounding in meaningful history.
'Fathers and Sons' achieves that very well, pitting old Muscovite traditions against the new Western ideas. It's not a page turner, because it isn't supposed to be.
I thought it was a brilliant piece. Turgenev outlines quite clearly using only a handful of characters just how opposed the two sides of Russia are. And in the end, he makes very clear that one will have to give. The story is made better because Turgenev shows no favoritism. He carries out his job as an author to the letter: to present the problem, without offering the solution. That is for the reader to decide.
And as the book draws to a close, the reader is left wondering, 'Which direction is better?'
So here we have two young men with all the potential of their living beings contrasted with Nikolai and Pavel and their strange life outcomes. What complicates the matter is that Basarov is a nihilist - someone called him the first 'angry young man'. He is cynical and argumentative - prepared to accept Nikolai's simple innocence and honesty in living, unprepared to tolerate Pavel's Anglophile airs and graces.
The young men move on to Basarov's parent's place (simple folk living a traditional old age) but on the way meet Madame Odintsova - quickly called Odintsov (presumably because she is widowed). They spend some time with Odintsov and we learn her name is Anna Sergyevna. Anna lives with her younger sister Katya and and older aunt. The contrasts are once again evident. Anna has no feeling for Arkady at all and quickly Arkady and Katya become friends as Anna and Basarov fascinate each other. But Basarov is appalled at his romantic feelings - not what he expects a nihilist should experience! And when Odintsov's flirting causes him to express that love he has to flee to his parent's place horrified by what he has felt.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poignant and contemporary story. The writing is visceral, the plot moves forward with action and dialogue. A novelist's novel as Joseph Conrad said, and I agree.Published 3 months ago by Jeff Lacy
Everything you like in a Russian novel, and it's short! What could be better!!Published 4 months ago by wil liam
This 1962 Washington Square Press edition was translated by Bernard Isaacs and edited and introduced by Neal Burroughs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kyle L.
Fathers and Sons is an old Russian classic that still resonates true today. As the father of two grown sons I made many connections with the relationships of the two young men in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer