Shannon's Reviews > The Czar's Madman

The Czar's Madman by Jaan Kross
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's review
Feb 13, 2012

it was ok
Read in February, 2012

I found this book to be quite interesting and as a north american I found it to have a real European feel to it. It is written as a journal from the point of view of the brother-in-law of a Baron. The Baron is a unique character who has been influenced by French philosophies that don't sit well with the rest of the Russian aristocracy. When the Baron chooses a peasant girl to be his wife and has her educated (and her brother as well to keep her company) many already begin to believe that he is mad.

The concept of "what is madness" is a prevelent theme and questioned and answered from many different viewpoints that I quite enjoyed. Many of the characters were intriguing however the journalist himself I must admit struck me as being quite unlikable.

I am not very familiar with Russian historical fiction or Estonian for that matter and did get wonderful descriptions of post-Napoleanic Russia.

I think with more knowledge of the area and the time period on my part, the book would have been even better.

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