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Oblomov: A Novel Hardcover – December 2, 2008
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Despite the unattractiveness of Oblomov's preferred lifestyle, Goncharov manages to make Oblomov a very lovable character.Read more ›
Because all reviews for various editions seem to be lumped together on a single page, I'd like to clarify as to exactly which edition I'm warning people away from:
Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: World Library Classics (August 22, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
Ivan Goncharov is at his best when he describes the mental processes of Oblomov that lead to his bumbling life. There is no better description of how the mind of a pessimistic person manipulates the perception of reality than in this book.
"The Saint of Sloth" is the title of a review written by the critic V.S. Pritchett for the New York Review of Books. It captures nicely the two main aspects of Oblomov's character. On the one hand, Oblomov is lazy, irresponsible, pessimistic, paralyzed, complacent, slothful; but on the other hand he is idealistic, true to himself, honest, child-like, innocent, saintly. He is ultimately a lovable human being. He does not lack wisdom, he lacks resolve.
As can be expected, Goncharov's book is not an action-packed thriller. On the first 50 or so pages, Oblomov barely manages to get out of his bed. A patient reader who keeps reading, however, is rewarded with a wonderfully realistic love story (including all the ups and downs), and many wise comments by the bachelor Goncharov on life, love, passion, duty and marriage.
The new Pearl translation contains so many unnecessary typographical errors--comma disease, carriage returns that insert white lines in the middle of paragraphs more than once, quotation marks regularly lost track of--that the edition is too broken to use with pleasure.
Stylistically Pearl's done something different from Magarshack, "updating" the old-feeling language. This sometimes works well in dialogues between characters, but not so much in the voice of the narrator, in my opinion.
In the Pearl translation, you will experience the wry humor of Goncharov. You will encounter Goncharov's amazingly drawn characters as if they were real people: the pathologically lethargic but lovable Oblomov; Zakhar, his loyal servant and Sancho Panza; Stolz, his super-organized, energetic, yet affectionate German friend; and the poignantly sweet Olga.
Don't miss the chance to devour this Russian classic in fresh, crunchy English. It's a great read!Oblomov
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite books of all time, A universe in a small village. Raises very question about life & living.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
Many reviews of this book focus on Oblomov only, but there are some very strong sections on Oblomov's polar opposite and lifelong friend Stolz, along with a brilliant section... Read morePublished 8 months ago by steelkilt
Oblomov is unmotivated, indecisive, anxious, uncertain, and lethargic. In short, he suffers from clinical depression. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Eric Leventhal
I can't remember now why I chose this book to read for I had heard neither of the book nor of the author. Read morePublished 11 months ago by MechPebbles
I wish I had read this book many years ago. Perhaps I would have been inspired to do more with my life. What higher compliment can one give to a work of literature?Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
Beautifully translated very Russian story. Translator Pearl clearly deserved prize won for translation of the brilliant novel. Funnier that I thought it would be. Read morePublished 15 months ago by lovegoodbooks
On par with Dostoyevsky and Turgenov. Really enjoyed this one.Published 16 months ago by Matthew T. Aaron