Hip hip hurray for Ivan!
Turgenev presents a multitude of various philosophies deployed through his very human characters. His philosophies are very relevant to today. The novel is set in 19th century Russia. Turgenev takes us on a journey into the Slavic provinces, among the gentry and peasants where we are introduced two our two main characters, Bazarov and Arcady, two graduate students with new ideas from their universities. The story gets interesting when the boys return home to their fathers, where old-fashioned traditions are present. One of the many themes presented in the book is the interaction between the two generations, and the way in which they clash.
The book's most famous character, Barzarov, is the beatnik hippie, punk of his day, who takes a "nihilistic" stance, convinced that nothing matters. Although at times he sounds completely ridiculous, Turgenev allows Bazarov to occupy this stance, and ultimately allows him to be a sympathetic character who offers some interesting thoughts for readers. I hated him and loved him at the same time.
What i loved most about this book was Turgenev was his handle on the romances in the novel, as they are handled beautifully and full of irony. I was really surprised with how captivating his characters were. His characters are magnetic which makes up for slow-pacedness of the novel.
I'm looking forward to more Turgenev!