Sunday, July 15, 2007

The 306 Greatest Books #61 - Fathers and Sons

I am going back and posting all of my previous book reviews so that they are listed on my site in chronological order. The reviews are dated for the time when I read the book, hence the reason many of them will be listed for times before this website existed. 

The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is Fathers and Sons (AKA Fathers and Children) by Ivan Turgenev. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

I have a tendency to like Russian literature a lot because, so far they have been all very easy to understand and read. This book was no exception, although it was a bit odd at times. The story is very well written and the language used is immaculate, however the plot seems to have lost meaning for me, especially around the end. It is about the interactions between a pair of friends, their families, and society as a whole. The older friend, Bazarov, is a nihilist (meaning he believes in nothing), and the younger is Arkady, his pupil. The plot evolves around how Arkady deals with his mentor's views and how his mentor comes to see those views over time himself. Meanwhile, all of this takes place during the time when the serfs were freed, causing conflicts that the main characters have to work around in order to maintain their principles. At the end of the story Arkady's plot ends where I felt it was going, but with Bazarov, I feel the author didn't know what to do with him so he just left him "high and dry". Overall, a good book, but not a "100 Greatest book of all time" book.