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A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
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A Hero of Our Time (1840)

by Mikhail Lermontov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (41)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Bluesy, Devil-may-care young officer comes to a bad end. Ouch! Slow-moving, roundabout, VERY good novel. Left me wondering who took all the oxygen out of the room, ( )
  NathanielPoe | Mar 3, 2019 |
A Hero of Our Time is a novel in a superficial sense. By that I mean it cannot be seen alongside later Russian epics by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy. It is a series of sketches, foreshadowing both the psychological insights of Dostoyevsky and the fragmentary episodes found in Tolstoy's short stories. Therefore, I am left in a dilemma. On the one hand, how can I criticize a progenitor of the classic Russian novel? On the other, any honest reviewer will remark that Lermontov's effort is deficient relative to those of his followers. Indeed, if an alien were told that A Hero of Our Time was written at the same time as The Idiot or Anna Karenina, he would wonder why we even bother with Lermontov. In the same vein, I read for pleasure and cannot wax lyrical now about what in 1840 ought to have been considered a masterpiece.

Lermontov's descriptions of the Caucasus landscape are a bore. This novel is all about the protagonist, military officer Pechorin, and the highlights are found in his diaries. Pechorin is flawed. He teases, humiliates, insults, lies. He places no value on friendship, has no respect for women, love is but a whim. Some reviewers say that he is not so harshly painted. I disagree. I cannot see an iota of compassion in him. I almost wish Pechorin was the loser in his pitiful duel. In my favourite passages Pechorin describes passionately his upbringing and history. Just for a moment I feel sorry for him, but then he ruins another life and his transgressions once more put his ego to the fore.

One cannot, try all he might, escape the unique context of this novel: the tsar's criticism of A Hero of Our Time, the death of Lermontov himself in a duel, the birth of a new genre of Russian writing. All studiers of the Russian novel, but not necessarily all admirers, should read this work. ( )
  jigarpatel | Feb 27, 2019 |
This is a re-read of this classic short 1840 Russian novel about a "superfluous man", an army officer Grigory Alexxandrovich Pechorin, and his adventures, especially romantic ones, in the Caucasus. Much of it is quite amusing, but this lacks the punch of the great Russian classics by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and I found it a bit more of a chore than on my previous read nine years ago. This edition was oddly formatted with alternating lines containing large blank spaces, though it did include illustrations from the original Russian publication. ( )
  john257hopper | Nov 22, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
a brilliant psychological study with early exploration into layered narration and non-linear plot sequence. The irony and humor are sublime. Don't skip the Foreward! Truly a literary landmark!

( )
1 vote lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (79 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lermontov, Mikhailprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foote, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Labute, NeilForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Longworth, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malmsten, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nabokov, DmitriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nabokov, VladimirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, Nils ÅkeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Randall, NatashaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schot, Aleida G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vladimir Vladimirovich NabokovTranslated from the Russian bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallenius, AliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I was travelling post from Tiflis.
Quotations
There's a gang of them formed, armed with lorgnettes, and they look menacing. (pg 113)
my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse fellings of love, devotion and fear in me - is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? p110
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447954, Paperback)


The first example of the psychological novel in Russia, A Hero of Our Time influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov, and other great nineteenth-century masters that followed. Its hero, Pechorin, is Byronic in his wasted gifts, his cynicism, and his desire for any kind of action-good or ill-that will stave off boredom. Outraging many critics when it was first published in 1840, A Hero of Our Time follows Pechorin as he embarks on an exciting adventure involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers.

This edition includes a new introduction, chronology, suggestions for further reading, maps, and full explanatory notes.


@BAMF Who is that sublime woman? She is perfect. Oh, excellent: Grushinsky seems to like her. I’m going to cock-block him. How typically me.

My plan to seduce her is simple: act like I always have better things to do, insult her, and act as though I have nothing left to live for.

Apparently she’s begging for an introduction? I wonder if this kind of thing works in real life?

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:13 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In five linked episodes, Lermontov builds up the portrait of a man caught up in and expressing the sickness of his times. A marvelous novel and an early landmark in Russian literature, A Hero of Our Time served as an inspiration for many later Russian authors, including Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

The Planet

2 editions of this book were published by The Planet.

Editions: 1908478535, 1908478527

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832343, 190783236X

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