Friday, September 10, 1993

A Hero Of Our Time

by Mikhail Lermontov
translated by Paul Foote

A collection of previously published stories about Pechorin, a Russian officer, who turns out to be hardly a hero. Said to be the first Russian psychological novel. In my opinion, the author himself was more interesting (he wrote this – his sole novel – between the ages of 21-25, killed in a duel over a trivial insult at 26) than his book, which had awkward, obviously translated phrases (something I have an automatic eye for these days), way too much purple prose and little action/poignancy. On the other hand, when there was interaction and emotion between the characters, it was excellent. All in all, fairly good. I liked "Princess Mary" and "The Fatalist" best.

three stars

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