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Oblomov

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  13,155 ratings  ·  351 reviews
The novel evolved and expanded from an 1849 short story or sketch entitled "Oblomov's Dream. The novel focuses on the midlife crisis of the main character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, an upper middle class son of a member of Russia's nineteenth century landed gentry. Oblomov's distinguishing characteristic is his slothful attitude towards life. While a common negative characteris ...more
Paperback, 567 pages
Published October 12th 2006 by Bunim & Bannigan Ltd (first published 1859)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
20th out of 383 books — 1,424 voters
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Greatest Russian Novels of All Time
14th out of 92 books — 266 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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knig
Nov 24, 2012 knig rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to knig by: howl of minerva
Shelves: 2012, favourites, classics
I know I’m not going to do Oblomov justice: this is what happens when I’m in awe. I’m much better really at slagging books off. Masterpieces leave me ‘I’m not worthy’ tongue-tied.

Oblomov is so big he’s become a word in Russian: ‘oblomovschina’. As in, the Russian dictionary. To mean ‘Godot-ism’ or an existential couch-potato. The man is wedded to his couch: life bubbles all around him at super sonic speed, but Oblomov: well, he....reclines. He lays about 24/7, and then he dies. The end.

But. And
...more
Riku Sayuj
A slow, sad poem weaving through to an end that is left revealed to the reader from the beginning. To read this book is like watching the waves on a lonely beach, you know what will happen next, but it is beautiful to just sit and watch...

But, maybe it is best to let the book describe its own message? -

Yes; such is the payment exacted for the Promethean fire. You must not only endure, you must even love and respect, the sorrow and the doubts and the self-questionings of which you have spoken: f
...more
Jan-Maat
The novel Oblomov was written between Russia's defeat in the Crimean War and the Emancipation of Serfs. Between two profound shocks to a society which had been drifting along inertly, yet with profound self confidence, in the rut dug out by Peter the Great ((view spoiler)).

Oblomov is the eponymous central character of the novel (hero in this case would be an entirely inappropriate choi
...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I think this isn't for everyone, but if you have liked other Russian literature, you might want to give this one a chance. At the beginning I was laughing out loud over some very humorous language about corrupt civil servants, and by the end my eyes were tearfully hot with sadness.

From this book, a word has been coined: oblomovism. It is defined as indolent apathy. To me, this misses the point. Oblomov is a dreamer. He has dozens of plans for his life, he simply doesn't get around to them. But p
...more
Kay
This is the story of a man who does nothing... or almost nothing. Literally. It takes him over a hundred pages to get out of bed.

Sound dreadful? Well, here's a surprise - it isn't. Oblomov is one of the great creations of Russian literature, a man who prefers idleness and daydreaming to action, and reminiscing about the past to forging ahead in the future. Oblomov is not merely indolent, however; he is also something of an endearing innocent.

When Oblomov is coaxed out into the world by a frien
...more
Noce
Finish Powerball brilla meno di Goncarov

Ho sprecato almeno dieci minuti della mezz'ora che ho a disposizione all'internet-caffè, a inventarmi un titolo accattivante per questa recensione. All'inizio avevo pensato a Oblomoviglioso, poi ho alzato lo sguardo e i miei occhi si sono posati sui bicchieri fumanti che la banconiera toglieva dalla lavastoviglie con mani in apparenza ignifughe. E TA-DAAA... il plagio dello spot pubblicitario si era ormai compiuto.

Adesso viene la parte difficile: tener des
...more
MJ Nicholls
I adore classic Russian literature, more so than classic English or American. It was always a regret of mine that I never got to study any Russians, having opted to do an English/Scottish university degree in 2004. Still: regrets, regrets.

Oblomov is a sentimental satire, poking fun at the indolence of the landed gentry and the indecision of the ruling class leading to ruin and shame. The hero is a dreamer who struggles to get out of bed until one day he meets Olga, who he woos and courts and the
...more
Julia
I think this might be my favorite novel, at least think this might be the most perfect novel I have ever read. Yet, I am not surprised that this novel is not as popular as other Russian classics. Its merit and preciousness lie in its subtleties. This book has no sudden outbursts of emotion, no unbelievable plot twists, and that is precisely why it is so brilliant. The emotional and intellectual depth of this novel is something that one seldom encounters, but one is able to see that only when one ...more
David Lentz
If life, as Balzac asserts, is a human comedy, then Oblomov has a memorable role in it. His existential question is not whether to be or not to be, as Hamlet advises, but rather to act or not to act: "to stay or move on." Oblomov is a quietist: that is, he finds action, if not impossible, then ultimately futile. This question is asked again in Waiting for Godot when the two main players determine to go and remain frozen in their places as the curtain falls on the tragi-comedy. Goncharov's work a ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A yahoo search led me to the information about a book published by an unknown author in 1919 in Manila entitled Buhay na Pinagdaanan ni Juan Tamad na Anac ni Fabio at ni Sofia sa Caharian nang Portugal (Tagalog for "The Life lived by Juan Tamad, son of Fabio and Sofia, in the Kingdom of Portugal") which contains a poem consisting of 78 pages of four-line stanzas at seven stanzas per page. It tells of how Juan Tamad was born to a couple named Fabio and Sofia, and his adventures in Portugal.
In 195
...more
Issicratea
This book is a complete delight. Comic and profound is a tricky combination to pull off, but Oblomov has it to perfection. Oblomov himself is a magnificent comic character, at the same time sympathetic and ridiculous, hyperbolic and quite realistic. He defines an archetype in the same way as Don Quijote does (I was reminded quite a bit of Cervantes reading this novel).

Oblomov is physically the antithesis of Quijote: he’s a monstrous slob, who spends the first—hilarious—hundred pages of the book
...more
Charbel
Oblomov is cursed with a mixture of apathy, lethargy, and depression- something that can only be described as the disease of Oblomovka. His condition manifests itself in comical but gradually serious scenarios.

The plot of the book might seem uneventful whilst reading, but once you reach the last page and contemplate what you have just read, you realize that the moral behind the story weighs plenty in terms of significance.

Goncharov has a firm understanding of the impact of childhood in an adult
...more
Vladimir
i'm glad many people here liked the book, which is one of my most favorite among Russian literature. I'm even more glad since very few Russian people seem to like it or it's main hero.

I would like to offer you my point of view on Oblomov. To me, it's difficult to talk about his "salvation", for he's nothing to be saved from. Neither he nor the author (who himself bore strong resemblance to his protagonist) believe he needs to be saved. He lives the life of a "poet and philosopher", as we hear in
...more
Terence
Sep 06, 2010 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All and sundry, especially Russ. Lit fans
Recommended to Terence by: NYRB review
I’m going to have to review Oblomov on two levels. First on its merits as a novel; and then as a book that worked on me on an especially personal level.

In the first instance, as a novel, Oblomov is a success. Solely on its merits, I would give it three stars without compunction and recommend it to all my GoodReads friends. Ivan Goncharov divides his somnolent epic into four parts. Part I, in which our hero, Ilya Ilich, barely manages to get out of bed, is the most consciously humorous and satiri
...more
Maryam Shahriari
خيلي كتاب باحالي بود!

وقتي مي‌خوندمش كاملاً تحت تاثير ابلوموف قرار گرفته بودم و مثل اون تنبل شده بودم! تا مي‌شستم به خوندنش خوابم مي‌گرفت!
يه شب كه فردا صبحش بايد زود بيدار مي‌شدم ولي خوابم نمي‌برد، شروع كردم به خوندنش تا بخوابم. ولي از شانس من رسيده بود به اونجا كه ابلوموف عاشق شده بود و از اون تنبلي در اومده بود! مگه خوابم برد ديگه!!!

:)
Neale
In my opinion, the greatest of all Russian novels. Enough with your Tolstoys and your Dostoevskys – Goncharov’s sleepy procrastinator is the true pinnacle of the nineteenth century Russian miracle.

The book is really three novels in one, a kind of triptych, a compendium of Russian literary genres: the first section (Book One) is a Gogolian comedy of manners, wrapped around a glorious nostalgic dream sequence; the second section (Books Two & Three) is a Turgenevian love story, full of hope an
...more
Nick Wellings

Yup, I got spoilers.

Like a lot of good stories, Oblomov is a fairy story, in the true to the roots-of-its-hair sense: there’s action, admonition and then deserts (comeuppance): During the whole thing, Oblomov’s personal wheel of fortune barely completes a few desultory resolutions before his fate's sealed (ultimate tragico-ironic condensation of life: the last glimpse of him we see if actually of the urn containing his ashes, the dead and useless precipitate of a dead and wasted life). Before we
...more
Joel
Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russe, commissioned Russian composer Anatol Liadov to compose the music for a new ballet called "The Firebird." As the date for rehearsals was fast approaching, Diaghilev contacted Liadov to inquire as to the status of the work. Liadov, a notoriously lazy guy, cheerfully responded that he had just purchased some beautiful score paper. Enraged and panicky about the short time left, Diaghilev asked Rimsky Korsakov if he would perhaps recommend one of his more ...more
Amir
شروع استخون‌دار آبلوموف ایوان گنجاروف، به نیمه‌ نرسیده از نفس می‌افته و «روایت ملال»، خودش ملال‌انگیز میشه. اون‌قدر که بی‌هیچ عذاب وجدانی، می‌تونی صفحه به صفحه رد کنی و جاهایی رو بخونی که خودت دوست داری. اما همین نصف اولین رمان، اون‌قدر کشش داره که بخوای بخونیش؛ روابط و مناسبات آبلوموف با نوکرِ خونه‌زادش، زاخار، اون‌قدر خوب پرداخت شده که حتی شاید بشه اون بخش از رمان رو به شکل یه داستان کوتاه، مجزا از رمان، خوند و لذت برد. اما این وسط، یکی دو صفحه‌ی معرکه از رمان بدجور درگیر می‌کنه آدم رو.

این‌که
...more
Alun Williams
My mother frequently used to accuse me of being "like Oblomov" when I was a teenager, and probably later on as well, so when I came across Oblomov in my father's attic this year, I thought I should read the book at last.

It is the only book I can recall reading where the main character is still in bed 40 pages in, and still not washed and dressed when he falls asleep again at about page 100 (despite the scoldings from his faithful but truculent man-servant Zakhar who is perhaps the most entertain
...more
Susan
Ilya Ilich Oblomov is a nobleman with worries, when we first meet him. Firstly, he is being asked to move apartment - when he can scarcely be bothered to leave his couch. Secondly, his baliff has written, asking him to return to the countryside and deal with problems on his family estate. For Oblomov, despite his inertia, is the owner of 350 souls - a landowner and a member of the nobility. However, he has gone from a spoilt and lazy child to a man is simply unable to rouse himself to deal with ...more
TarasProkopyuk
Великолепный роман Ивана Гончарова об столь широком явлении в жизни людей как личностном застое, апатии и медленном угасании человека.

И ещё очень много важных тем автор рассматривает на страницах своей книги. Это и высокая нравственность героев, уважительные отношения, прекрасные истории любви, показываются примеры "потерянных жизней" людей, присутствует и коварные люди, которые подобно волкам паразитируют и питаются за счёт изъянов не стойких личностей.

Самое прекрасное в романе это то как Иван
...more
Andrew
Jun 23, 2011 Andrew added it
Shelves: russian-fiction
If Oblomov was alive today, he would be ripping a bong while he's in bed. He might represent the decadence of 19th Century Russia, but he just reminded me of every mid-20s slacker I know in Seattle.

Imaginary IM conversation between me and 21st Century Oblomov:

Andrew: what are you up to today?
Oblomov: not much, hanging out, smoking some grass.
Andrew: word.
Oblomov: check out this video yo
it's mr bucket
remember mr bucket?

Much like these dudes I know, Oblomov just can't move beyond childhood, and ra
...more
سحر
خطر لو رفتن پایان داستان

این کتاب رو با یه سرخوشی ای شروع کردم به خوندن. راستش اولها کلی هم به زاخار و ایلیا ایلیچ و بقیۀ بر و بچه ها خندیدم. شتولتس که وارد ماجرا شد تازه کتاب راه افتاد و وقتی هم الگا اومد دیگه تقریباً کتاب رو زمین نذاشتم تا فصل آخر... ولی بعد از به هم خوردن رابطۀ آبلوموف و الگا دیگه دلیلی ندیدم کتاب رو ادامه بدم. نه که مشتاق داستانهای عشقی با پایان خوش باشم، ولی یه جور همذات‌پنداری داشتم با آبلوموف و واقعاً وقتی امید رستگاریش از بین رفت هیچ خوشم نیومد. به خصوص که ورق زدم و دیدم
...more
lyell bark
it would take me several thousand pages to even get out of bed, so congrats to oblomov for being the better man than i. + he gets a girlfriend and a wife, which i couldn't do even if i had all the pages in the world to do it.
Lisa
A book about a man who doesn't get out of bed...much. This is a brilliant book, but I can't explain why. Well, first it is funny, then it is sad. I think this is just one you have to read for yourself.
julieta
Creo que amo a Oblómov. O por lo menos lo creo como personaje, creo que es posible que exista una persona como el, y que me puede frustrar tanto como darme ternura. Su actitud es frustrante, sus pocos deseos de vivir son frustrantes, pero no de esa frustración que hace que me den ganas de abandonarlo no, yo quiero hacer como Olga, quiero ayudarlo, quiero sacarlo de su letargo. Quiero ser como Shtolz, que lo salva constantemente de las garras de los demás, y de su propia apatía. Y bueno, como no ...more
Andrew Hague
A beautifully written book that initially seems like an early incarnation of slacker literature but slowly reveals itself to be a novel so doused in hurt that you come away from it emotionally drained. Never before have I read a book that has moved me so near to tears of both laughter and sadness.


Poor old Ilya Ilyich Oblomov. Whatever his faults and absurdities you can not help but care for him. His complete character is revealed slowly as the story progresses and when you close the book for th
...more
Agnese
Pat nezinu kamdēļ tas Oblomovs man ir tik mīļš un sidij tuvs!! Varbūt brīžiem velku paralēles ar sevi? Nezinu gan, bet iespējams.

Oblomovs ir cilvēks, kas salūzt zem spiediena un glābjas, bāžot galvu smiltīs. Oblomovs nevar saņemties. Mīksts cilvēks, bet es viņu vienkārši mīlu.
Arī citi personāži grāmatas lappusēs atdzīvojas. Hroniskais parādnieks, kukuļņēmējs pēc dabas, cilvēks ne šis-ne tas u.c. Un protams Zahars. Ak, šis Zahars!Ak šis vecais noplukušais sētas krancis! Zahars ar savu lojlitāti s
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4:
Gentle, intelligent Oblomov completely fails to deal with life. He lives in a flat in St Petersburg. He is always about to go and sort out his estate but he rarely gets out of bed. Never doing today what he can put off till tomorrow, Oblomov is a tragic-comic hero for a couch potato generation.

Starring Toby Jones as Oblomov, Trevor Peacock as Zahar and Claire Skinner as Olga. Singer: Olivia Robinson and pianist: Helen Crayford.

Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt Director Claire Grove
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Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov (Russian: Иван Александрович Гончаров) was a Russian novelist best known as the author of Oblomov (1859).

Иван Александрович Гончаров русский писатель; член-корреспондент Императорской Академии наук по Разряду Русского языка и словесности (1860).
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“A close, daily intimacy between two people has to be paid for: it requires a great deal of experience of life, logic, and warmth of heart on both sides to enjoy each other’s good qualities without being irritated by each other’s shortcomings and blaming each other for them.” 29 likes
“When you don't know what you're living for, you don't care how you live from one day to the next. You're happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you're going to live for tomorrow.” 24 likes
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