A balanced and objective commentator, sensitive, intelligent, Turgenev is dedicated to the highest claims of art. His work lives for its universal qualities of understanding and devotion to aesthetic standards.
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Smoke will satisfy
What started out as a cure for insomnia and an attempt to make up for my misspent youth has turned into a love affair with 19th century Russian novels. Doestoevsky and Tolstoy portray the brooding passion of the people, the dangers of journeying across borders and classes, the barren backdrop and gilded palaces, but Turgenev is the master of the depiction of the good an evil in every man and woman. His characters' falling in and out of love and back again are told with a loving intracacy that reminds me of Jane Austen, with the added measure of guilt that only a man could deliver. The tragic turns of the lovers' conversations are gripping. The picture of the smoke rising into the distance in one of the final chapters was truly delicious. The flitting back and forth from Russian to French finally helped me understand the role of French culture in this period. The reading by Stuart Langton is inspired. If you are interested in pre-revolutionary Russian culture, love reading about relationships, love Trollope and trains, you will love this book.
11 people found this helpful
- colin kerr
Not his best
Such a great writer, though plagued by, I think, poor relationships with women due to self-esteem issues, thanks to his mom. This is an unduly depressing story. He's an amazing writer and brings images to life, but not a good story.
Don't be put off by the sample extract of this book. The narrator has a strong accent when reading the introduction but the actual book is beautifully read and sounds completely different.
The book is less famous than Fathers and Sons, although like his other works it is amusing, sensitive and intelligent. Well worth a listen.
3 people found this helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes - entertaining view of mid-19th century Russian society and mores
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I leave that sort of thing to Turgenev!
Which character – as performed by Stuart Langton – was your favourite?
Potugin was the least disagreeable
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
A pity the narrator doesn't know French and mispronounced it constantly