Ramona Tudor's Reviews > Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
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Feb 28, 12

Read in February, 2012

This is one of the best books I have read in a while. Turgenev’s style is… beautiful. I think that’s the best word to convey my feelings towards his style and the book in itself. It is beautiful. I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have rated it with only 4 stars from 5 because my system of rating kind of changed lately and I cannot say ‘Oh my God, it is amazing!’ but something like ‘Yes, I love it!’ This sounds a little bit off for everybody else, most probably, but that doesn’t matter in the least.

Howsoever, I was saying that I liked the novel very much. It is beautiful. Turgenev’s style makes one to keep reading the lines he wrote: the story and the characters are very well and beautifully structured. I found Bazarov tremendously interesting and I cannot even find a good reason to explain that fact. He is one of the best characters I’ve been up to until now, I just love him. Turgenev made his way through my heart with his book, but his character Bazarov was surely the one to conquer it. This guy – and we must not forget he is only a… dead character, in the end, seems to be a nihilist. But let’s think about it… in the end, he is just cynic, he believes himself not to believe in anything, but he is just probably a typo for a new generation, I guess. Bazarov has a lot of faults, but I like his… courage, if I can say it so. He is a courageous character, at some point. He doesn’t struggle through life that much, one could say and he is, most probably, frustrated! I don’t think he doesn’t respect anything, I believe he doesn’t want to respect or believe in anything. He just wants to protect himself, at some point and he is jealous of all those who are ‘bigger’ than he is. Oh, I surely believe the fact that he’s jealous, he is tremendously jealous of others, even though he doesn’t seem to express that, I believe he is an egocentric, jealous brat. And I love him.
His character is not beautiful – he is not a nice guy, he is not one of those little characters that smile all the times and are full of warmth and good thoughts – only the contrary. He seems to be crusty all the time. He is a critic and seems to think that nothing’s too good. He does things – he is on his way to become a doctor – without really believing in what he’s doing (he says that himself, but who knows!) We perceive he is just a human being only when he falls in love, in his own weird way and he confesses like a normal, damned man who cannot bear his lonely feelings anymore. I like the fact that, at some point, he looked so vulnerable. We perceive the fact that he’s not an Evil God. He is just a… new-human in comparison with the other characters. To tell the truth, he is just different and that’s why people try to deceive him, or they admire him. He tends to attract people, in a good or a bad way, but he does it. I think I like Bazarov because of his mask of cynicism… but in the end, he is not evil, he is just Himself, the new-man.

I like the other characters as well, but they don’t strike me as Bazarov strikes me, even though Odinţova is a very interesting character… She cannot remain too much in the spot light because of Bazarov, I guess and for me there’s just one gorgeous character in the book, and that’s Bazarov with his ‘heartwhole’ –which is more or less a lie, because Odinţova is probably worse than Bazarov. He loves her, but she is nothing but an egocentric woman, insecure that’s not sure of her feelings and in the end she realizes she doesn’t love him or any other man because she is not bound for love. I like her, in a way or another, but to another point, I despise her as well.

In the end, I can’t say much about the book. I’m still overwhelmed with its content which I found beautiful. What’s so interesting and catchy in Turgenev’s book is the Russian society, the abolition of bondage, the peasants and the Russian specific demeanor, not only the father-and-son relationship, but even what’s beyond of that.
I strongly recommend it.

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Reading Progress

02/27/2012 page 100
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