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Spring Torrents

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,818 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Returning to Russia from a tour in Italy, twenty-three-year-old Dimitry Sanin breaks his journey in Frankfurt, where he encounters the beautiful Gemma Roselli, who works in her parents' patisserie, and falls deeply and deliriously in love for the first time. Convinced that nothing can come in the way of everlasting happiness with his fiancee, Dimitry impetuously decides to ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 31st 1980 by Penguin Classics (first published 1872)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  3,818 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Вешние воды = Spring Torrents = Torrents of Spring, Ivan Turgenev
Torrents of Spring, also known as Spring Torrents (Russian: Вешние воды), is a novel written by Ivan Turgenev during 1870 and 1871 when he was in his fifties. The story centers around a young Russian landowner named Dimitry Sanin who falls deliriously in love for the first time while visiting the German city of Frankfurt. It is widely held as one Turgenev's greatest novels as well as being highly autobiographical in nature.
Mark André
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian-lit, novels-v
Another entertaining book by Mr Turgenev.
The author seems more optimistic than his peers:
even though in Torrents: love and betrayal compete
disastrously, he still manages at the end to resolve
his hero and his heroine with some happiness.
An artful story teller. Very recommendable.
This book was surprisingly good! I must thank my Goodreads friend Kelly for finding this author! I will definitely be reading more by him! 😊
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I understood well, Turgenev planned for Spring Torrents to be a short story, but at some point he changed his mind and turned it into a novel. I can't complain, because I think this books makes for a fine novel, even if a bit unorthodox one. One could argue that it is unbalanced. One could even make good points for it. The arrival of femme fatale on the scene feels a bit too sudden ' deux in machina', especially since it happens so late in story and there is no preparation for it.

But what a
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: russian-novels
3.5 stars
It’s a while since I read any Turgenev and this is regarded as one of Turgenev’s better novels, if not his best known. Like Proust’s madeleine, here a garnet cross triggers recollection in Sanin. Sanin is 52 and the cross takes him back thirty years, to his youth and first love.
Sanin was travelling and visited Frankfurt; passing a shop he is called in to assist a boy in distress. He successfully provides aid and is very taken with the boy’s elder sister Gemma. The family take him out a
I enjoyed this for its character portrayal much more than for the plot line. In the second half of the story, there is a piquant twist that does add some intrigue. The characters are amusing and the swipes at different cultural tendencies are fun.

The main character is telling the story. He is Russian, fifty-two years old and looking back thirty years when he had fallen in love with an Italian woman in Frankfurt. The year was 1840. Except, he then became head-over-heels infatuated with a Russian
The Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turganev was written in 1870 but thought to be a highly autobiographical rendition of events that occurred in his life in 1840. it is considered to be one of his greatest novels. It is the first for me.

The hero of this book is named Dmitri Savin. On a trip to Frankfurt Germany, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful young lady, Gemma. He proposes and when questioned by her mother about finances, promises to sell his estate in Petersburg to raise the proper fu
Melanie Bow
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-2013
I have never read a book so swiftly and with such interest. I could almost laugh at how true this story felt to me; there could not be characters any more real or suited to my taste if I had written a novel myself. The plot is engaging and moves at a rapid pace, there is never a dull moment. The prose is simple and astoundingly authentic, but there is also a great deal of romanticism, which makes for a seamless combination. This is by far my favorite piece of writing and it is a true masterpiece ...more
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia, 19th-century
That's it, Turgenev is officially my favourite Russian! And this novelette was written to remind us how love can drive us astray, shift our personality and completely alter our life course (be it for better or for worse). Powerful prose and colourful images of the romantic era, also a female character (Maria) that you will love to hate. I couldn't help but notice some subtle elements of class collision (the love between the young Russian aristocrat and the beautiful but poor Italian girl) and th ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
After reading this wonderful piece of classic work, I came up with two wishes. First, I wished I could read the book in its original language. Second, I wish I had read Turgenev’s works before. The first one would only remain that – a wish. The English translation of the eBook I read is wonderful, but I after reading it and pondering the ending I wondered how it must all be in Russian. The narrative flows so simply and yet so intimately of its protagonist, Sanin, that I craved for what could hav ...more
Carol Apple
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In honor of the season I have read a book I have heard much of over the years, one I have wanted to read for a long time: Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turgenev, published in 1872 when Turgenev was 53 or 54. His age is important because this novelette is largely autobiographical and the hero, when we first meet him, is 52. Although the subject is first love, this is an especially rewarding book for those who are middle-aged, especially those living with regrets and perhaps feeling discouraged and b ...more
Mar 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is not going to be much of a review. I enjoyed the novella, but I didn't love it.

While reading The Torrents of Spring, I kept comparing Turgenev's Sanin to Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov. I'm not sure if it's because I haven't read much Russian literature, so what I do read, I compare to the few other Russian novels I've read. It could also be because Turgenev referenced Dostoevsky in his letters to Flaubert, so I may have had him on the brain. I'm sure that didn't have anything to do with my lac
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a tightly plotted novel that moves faster than the earlier Turgenev novel I read, Fathers and Sons. Love and Lust are pitted against each other with disastrous consequences for those who make the wrong choice.

The older Sanin is reflecting on his life from thirty years ago, when in 1840, as a 22 year old, he arrived in Frankfurt on his way home to Russia after completing his studies. The younger Sanin visits the confectionary shop of an Italian émigré family, the Rosellis, and his life im
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1001-books
My first Turgenev and unfortunately it wasn't a good one. It had nearly a full hand of 'things I don't like but which seem very common in Russian Literature'. Namely:

* Unpleasant and unsympathetic characters
* Passionate and stupid men
* Charming women who aren't
* Unrealistic situations
* Over the Top emotions which I don't believe in

It did however skip the nearly obligatory exposition on philosophy/social theory/economics. Points for that anyway.

For the rest it was, as the 1001 book blurb points
Monty Milne
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was intoxicated by this moving work. It's also the one Turgenev I've read which I'm glad I didn't come to earlier in my life: the narrator is in his early fifties, as I am now, and the story is one of looking back from that perspective on the beauties and follies of youth, and dealing with the sense of loss and regret that lives on. The writing, of course, is dazzling: the description of the riding expedition with the beautiful and sinister Russian temptress is a masterpiece - I found myself s ...more
Jun 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
For me, this book has the best description of life, its trials and tribulations, I have ever read:

"He did not picture life´s ocean, as do the poet´s, all astir with stormy waves. No he saw it in his mind´s eye as smooth, without a ripple, motionless and translucent right down to the dark sea bed. He saw himself sitting in a small unsteady boat, staring at the dark silt of the sea bottom, where he could just discern shapeless monsters, like enormous fish. These were life´s hazards - the illnesses
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Med Redha
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
. . . At two o’clock in the night he had gone back to his study. He had dismissed the servant after the candles were lighted, and throwing himself into a low chair by the hearth, he hid his face in both hands.

Never had he felt such weariness of body and of spirit. He had passed the whole evening in the company of charming ladies and cultivated men; some of the ladies were beautiful, almost all the men were distinguished by intellect or talent; he himself had talked with great success, even with
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2004-read
So .. . . this book wasn't exactly what I expected. Actually, it wasn't anything like I expected! For some reason, in my head I was expecting some Camus, I think. Perhaps Dostoevsky. Now I'm not sure :)

But the majority of it was nothing like the depress-fests I've read by those two! Anyway, here are my thoughts on this book, in no particular order. . .

Do you think Turgenev knew what a romance novelist he was? I *loved* this description: "Sanin returned to his room, threw himself on the divan wit
Nick Traynor
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, bookclublove
I wasn't immediately captured by this book, but it did seize my interest once it took a dark turn. The simplicity of a basic story of love and betrayal belies the vast psychological archetypes which the novel develops. Sanin's abject humiliation at the hands of Maria Nikolaevna contains a raw brutality that reflects real life. It also reminded me of Lady Chatterley's Lover, and other works of D.H. Lawrence, for its examination of the unconscious motivations and captivations that people experienc ...more
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Opening lines:
. . . At two o’clock in the night he had gone back to his study. He had dismissed the servant after the candles were lighted, and throwing himself into a low chair by the hearth, he hid his face in both hands.

This is the first novella I've read by Ivan Turgenev and I really liked it.

3* Spring Torrents
TR Virgin Soil
TR King Lear of the Steppes
TR Fathers and Sons
TR On the Eve
Jun 19, 2012 added it
Shelves: russian-fiction
A rather charming romantic-era novella. I read and loved Fathers and Sons in college, but this speaks to a much more different sensibility. This Turgenev cares less about the repercussions of modernity, and more about the life and passions of ordinary people. I can't say I was especially moved, but it was rather entertaining in a 19th Century sort of way. For fans of all things soap-operatic, Torrents of Spring will be a hit. ...more
3.5 stars

While I really liked some passages and the inherent poetry of the text, with lovely connections to folk tales in some of the motifs and details, I found the characterization of Gemma a bit stereotypical and flat at times. It doesn't matter though because I was pleasantly entertained by the humour and some elements of the absurd as well. The play upon stereotypes is lovely and for such a short story there's lots to unpack.

I was rather bothered by the quick turn of events - from the meeti
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
I listened to this short novella, and while I found the prose beautiful and lyrical (even in translation) I also felt at times as though I was listening to a lecture in a college classroom. I am not sure if that is due to the writing style or the narration, but I think it is both. So much of this book is told in first person, with the narrator reflecting upon his story. I would have liked more dialogue. I think it may have rooted the story more for me.

Like many Russian books it is set in St. Pet
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

That's what this book is about--those times in a person's life when he stands at a fork in the road. He must choose only one, and that decision changes his life irrevocably. A young Russian nobleman has just arrived in Frankfurt on his way home after a grand tour in Italy. He expects to stay in
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Poetic and lovely, if I thought that the two halves hung together disjointedly. I really liked Turgenev's relatively sparse language compared to the great discursion of contemporaries.

Likewise, the plot somewhat felt unusual in that it was not the usual type of love story where two people meet and end up marrying. Turgenev manages to convey such two different and yet both incomplete and futile love affair experiences that Sanin, the main character, has with the virginal and sweet Gemma and the
Erlet Shaqe
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was 13 or 14 years old, since then I change my mind for Russian romantic literature
. Nice book to be read in the winter near the fire, and time to time to close the book, and drink a glass of rum or wine, and think...and remember, ..and start again reading it till the next early morning, and you are finished as it is a short book.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Spring Torrents' (published in 1872) by Ivan Turgenev describes a fictional love affair of the sort which gives parents screaming fits! The story is autobiographical.

Turgenev (1818-1883), when he was around fifty-four years of age, described himself as a coward because of his real-life romantic entanglements. If this novelette is indeed a disguised non-fiction memoir of an incident in Turgenev's past, a fictionalized memory of the first time he fell in love, I wouldn't call him a coward. He is
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, a new favorite.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read Fathers and Sons years ago by this author, and really liked it. I finally got around to reading another work by him.

Dimitri Sanin from Russia has been abroad in Europe, and is now traveling back to Russia to take up a government job. He has a stopover in Frankfurt, Germany and several hours before his next leg of the trip. He walks along the streets and decides to step into a confectioners shop, when a cry for a doctor and help comes from within. Sanin ends up saving a boy's life and fal
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Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (Cyrillic: Иван Тургенев) was a novelist, poet, and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His major works include the short-story collection A Sportsman’s Sketches (1852) and the novels Rudin (1856), Home of the Gentry (1859), On the Eve (1860), and Fathers and Sons (1862).
These works offer realistic, affectionate portrayals of th

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