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Oblomov by Ivan Gontsjarov

Oblomov (original 1859; edition 2008)

by Ivan Gontsjarov, Wils Huisman (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,889None3,615 (4.06)88
Authors:Ivan Gontsjarov
Other authors:Wils Huisman (Translator)
Info:Amsterdam [etc.] : Van Oorschot
Collections:Your library

Work details

Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov (1859)

  1. 21
    How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson (CraigHodges)
    CraigHodges: If the likes of Goncharov's Oblomov is too dense with dialogue, the characters to difficult to grasp, then come down a notch. Yes, take it easy and read a contemporary humorous slacker piece by Hodgkinson.
  2. 12
    The World of Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Oblomov and Bertie Wooster are quite a lot alike and from the same social class, just in different countries.
  3. 02
    Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Shteyngart's protagonist is an updated Oblomov

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English (30)  Dutch (4)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
What a wonderful book. No wonder that Goncharov produced little work of any significance other than this. It must have been an exhausting process to produce such social comment and such characters. Written in typical langurous style of the period nothing is hurried. Everything is described and discussed thoroughly. In the lives of his two main characters Oblomov and Stolz Goncharov explores different approaches to life. One constantly striving for a better life, one contentendly accepting whatever comes. Oblomov is certainly not the lazy idler he is often portrayed to be. ( )
  Steve38 | Jan 21, 2014 |
What can I say about this book that other reviewers haven't? Don't know, so I guess I'll just write what stood out to me.

Oblomov went from funny to pathetic to inspiring to sad to heartsick to pathetic again and ended on awe-inspiring. A lot of this is because I can see so much of Oblomov in me. I like retreating into my little safe cocoon of an apartment with my books or computer. Not a big fan of large groups of people. I don't like other people knowing intimate details of my life. I hate doing things spur of the moment. New situations make me uncomfortable. I'd much rather prefer other people to take care of problems I don't understand [just ask my mechanic!].

But, we also differ. Oblomov had a very twisted view of what life should be like. Work was an evil to be avoided at all costs. Effort was Evil and Komfort was King. [like the alliteration? I trust my sacrifice of grammar will be appreciated]
Oblomov resided in a world that he created in his imagination and when the real world didn't conform to that idea, he was thrown into the pit of despair and gave in to sloth and apathy.

When I first started reading, I was amused by the banter and back and forth between Oblomov and his servant Zakar. The verbal sparring, the bouts of temper and fits of sulkiness on both sides. Then we see more of how Oblomov has retreated from life by how he interacts with other friends. It takes too much effort to resist Tarantyev, so he goes along with just about anything he suggests. Other friends suggest, cajole, insinuate, etc but all to no avail as Oblomov has no higher ambition than to recline on his couch and relax. It was getting to the point where I was wondering if Oblomov had ANY redeeming qualities that weren't destroyed by his apathy and sloth.

Then along comes the girl. Oblomov falls in love. He strives. He struggles. You can see the blood beginning to burn once again in his veins. He is becoming the man promised in his youth. Plan are not only talked about, but action is taken. Life is Grand and Love is Supreme.

Hark, what is this? Oblovomitis has crept back in. It has poisoned his thoughts. Oblomov goes back to living in a world he has created in his head. And the girl is not enough. And so he sinks back below even the levels we found him at in the beginning. Let this be a warning to all who think that someone or something else can be the sole instrument of their change. Change must start on the inside.

A strange, to me, interlude ensues where the girls marries someone else and we see how they live and grow closer to eachother and how their lives work. And we find out that Oblomov dies of a heart attack from over eating and lack of exercise.

At the end of the book, Oblomov's friend is visiting the grave and he whispers about Oblomov, A wasted life.

This book was entertaining, uplifting, inspiring and overall, a warning. Nothing is better than Melancholic Russian Literature!
( )
  Bookstooge | Sep 26, 2013 |
There is also a good film adaptation of this book. I like to call my children Oblomov when they are laying around doing nothing. They don't know what it means but seem to understand it's not a complement. I appreciate this book as a critique of apathy and/or priviledge. ( )
  ErikaHope | Sep 9, 2013 |
Oblomov é apático, sonhador - tanto que demora quarenta páginas antes de conseguir se levantar da cama. E ele foi também considerado parte do caráter russo, a encarnação do homem supérfluo: Lênin, em seus discursos, falava da necessidade de exorcizá-lo. Muito interessante para quem se interessa por literatura russa. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Started reading January 2013 ( )
  CaptainHaddock | Jan 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ivan Goncharovprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bukowska, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chagall, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duddington, NatalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huisman, WilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langeveld, ArthurAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langeveld, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearl, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijk, N. vanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ilya Ilyitch Oblomov was lying in bed one morning in his flat in Gorohovy Street, in one of the big houses that had almost as many inhabitants as a whole country town.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140440402, Paperback)

Oblomov was considered a satirical portrait of the Russian aristocracy, who no longer had a useful role in society. Oblomov is a nineteenth century Russian landowner brought up to do nothing for himself. He, like his parents, only eats and sleeps. He barely graduates from college and cannot force himself to do any kind of work, feeling that work is too much trouble for a gentleman. His indolence results finally in his living in filth and being cheated consistently. Even love cannot stir him. Though he realizes his trouble and dubs it 'Oblomovism,' he can do nothing about it. Eventually his indolence kills him, as his doctors tell him it will.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:19 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Farce about a gentleman who spends the better part of his life in bed. Classic.

(summary from another edition)

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