Monkeyshines

Present Tense Book Review – Fathers and Sons

This week I’ve gone for a classic novel by Ivan Turgenev. I like a little bit of Russian literature every now and then, and this is a good ‘un. The title tells you the main theme of the book, and it thoughtfully explores the characters of men (and the odd lady, which the emphasis on ‘odd’) from different generations. There’s not much plot to speak of, but that’s not the point; it’s involving, and the descriptions of the Russian countryside are lovely.

The edition I’m reading is quite an old translation, from the early Sixties, by Rosemary Edmonds. The introduction has a lovely reference to ‘beatniks’ being the nihilists of the current day. And there’s a particularly choice quote, in chapter 11 (I think): “Not for nothing was he a nihilist”.


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