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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  3,072 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Autorul bestsellerului internațional Laur, Evgheni Vodolazkin, revine cu o poveste copleșitoare despre memorie și vină, despre o iubire atât de puternică, încât învinge haosul și chiar moartea. Aviatorul a fost finalist la principalele premii literare din Rusia și a câștigat, în 2016, Bolșaia Kniga — Premiul al doilea.

Innokenti Platonov, protagonistul romanului, fără a fi
Paperback, Colectie: Raftul Denisei, 368 pages
Published May 2017 by Humanitas Fiction (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,072 ratings  ·  330 reviews

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Vit Babenco
I see The Aviator as a pompous and inapt version of Flowers for Algernon
It is like a solipsistic paroxysm – the world described in the novel did never exist and doesn’t exist anywhere except in the head of a poor author…
Those sleeping peacefully in the house will die. Without knowing what a terrifying precipice our happiness hangs over. They will wake up, live out the events destined for them, and then the end will come. It is obvious, after all, where the course lies. It awaits me, too. But mo
lark benobi

ok, several hours later, I'll try now.

As with Vodolazkin's last glorious novel Laurus, The Aviator has at its beating-heart center the story of an ordinary man who is (chosen to) (forced to) lead an extraordinary life. Although God is vividly present in Laurus, and nearly absent in The Aviator, both novels are deeply concerned with right and wrong; with sin and forgiveness. These novels are fictional inquiries into how a person is to live, and how a person is to make moral choices, in
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin.

I just finished reading the book and is in the rush to write its review while my impressions are still fresh: it is this kind of book. In any way a guy woke up in a hospital. He lost his memory, has no clue about his name, previous life, occupation, family, relatives, anything whatsoever. His doctor told him to write down everything he could recall hoping it would help regain memory faster. Thus for the most parts the book consists of disjoint memories, impressi
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vodolazkin's previous novel Laurus was very enjoyable and original, so I was very keen to read this one.

This book is very different, and is set in the recent past around the time of the millenium. The first half of the book is the diary of Innokenty Platonov, who wakes up in hospital and gradually recovers his memory. His memories are of the early twentieth century, and the early days of the revolution are recalled in vivid detail, as are the events which led him to be sent to a gulag. (view spo
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Why is it you keep writing?’
‘I’m describing things, sensations. People. I write every day now, hoping to save them from oblivion.’
‘God’s world is too great to count on success with that.’
‘You know, if each person were to describe his own sliver of that world, even if it’s small . . . Although why, really, is it small? You can always find someone whose field of view is broad enough.’
‘Such as?’
‘Such as an aviator’

The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin, translated from the Russian by Lisa C. Hayden,
Victor Sonkin
Unfortunately, this is a typical Russian novel of these days: wistful staring into the past, a number of separate disjointed narratives, virtually no plot to speak of, no character that looks remotely like a human being, mysterious Russian soul. At least it is written in good style (mostly, when the author does not attempt to mimic the style of a 19-year-old girl born in 1980). Laurus was also kind of boring and long-winded, but it had the benefit of being much closer, it seems, to the author’s ...more
Having just read Laurus by the same author and having enjoyed it, I was thrilled to read this one. The writer shows us 20th century Russia through the eyes of a man, Innokenty Platonov, who has lived through it. We see his childhood with two outstanding events giving us two recurring metaphors--an aviator, which appears first as Innokenty and his cousin play at aviators and the novel Robinson Crusoe, which his grandmother first reads to him as a child. They appear throughout the story, with shad ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-russian, books2016
Something that amazes me about Vodolazkin is how he can build incredibly full, expansive worlds in the space delineated by a few characters and a tiny geographical area.

Most of The Aviator takes place inside an apartment in Petersburg; other settings are barely sketched out. The cast of three is explored in depth, but even a fourth character who turns out to be pivotal is hardly characterized at all -- maybe two to three pages of characterization in the entire novel. And yet Vodolazkin weaves a
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bewildered man wakes up in the hospital and has no memory of past events or even his name. His doctor tells him his name is Innokenty Petrovich Platonov. The doctor urges Innokenty to write down all of his thoughts and feelings. Those writings release a story of a young boy living in Russia in the early 1900’s, traveling through the Russian Revolution. Some of these memories are blurry and he wonders if they’re real, especially since he starts to see signs of now being in 1999.

The above is a
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-lit
I loved Vodolzakin's Laurus so much that I read this book without first reading any reviews, or any info beyond the first paragraph of the publisher's blurb. Not typical for me, but I'm so glad I did - it let me experience all of Innokenty's discoveries along with him, in 'real time'. Although time is not a simple concept in this novel, and neither is memory, history, justice, and just generally how to live. Which makes this sound like a novel of ideas, which it is, but it also has strong plot a ...more
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If the soul is eternal, then I think everything connected with it will also be preserved: actions, events, and sensations. Perhaps in some other, withdrawn, form or maybe in a different sequence, but it will be preserved because I remember ..."

In other words, enjoy the ride...

Nicholas Kotar
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you could write a book that would answer Prince Myshkin's insane assertion that beauty would save the world... wait, Vodolazkin just did it.

This is one of the best novels of the 21st century. Period.

Insanely profound and multi-layered, filled with nostalgia and gorgeous writing and challenging ideas and characters.

This is how a novel should be written.
Ana-Maria Petre
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As in Laurus, here too, Vodolazkin sets upon distorting time and space while sitting absolutely still (the sitting still part is only here, in Laurus it's continuous motion that distorts the space and time). Only words. Time and space are, after all, inside our heads first. Starting from absolute zero, a person with amnesia lying in a hospital bed and given paper and pencil to write and help him remember. (writing and memory, another big theme of the book). Creative use of the diary novel. Expre ...more
Alison Hardtmann
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
A man lies in a hospital bed. He's being cared for by a doctor and nurse, who have asked him to write down his memories as he regains them. Slowly, his life returns to him, but how is it that his memories are of events a century ago?

The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin tells the story of Innokenty Platonov, who spent his childhood in a comfortable Petersburg apartment and a summer dacha, until the Revolution took the life of his father and moved him, along with his mother, from their home into a roo
Liina Bachmann
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Part one was fantastic (not going into details of the story itself as there is plenty of that information available in other reviews). Good prose, interesting story and beautiful melancholy tone. However, the book really lost steam in the second part. It switched to alternating POW's and was fragmented and not really going anywhere. I understand that it was supposed to be a meditation of sorts about punishment and justice and redemption but it didn't work, at least it didn't engage me. 150 pages ...more
Teresa Hildebrandt
I don’t write book summaries in my reviews as I feel I’m just a fellow traveler along this journey. So what I do is leave a personal note about a book that I just read that really moved me or sadly in some cases was a slog to get thru.
The Aviator (translated from the Russian) was incredible!!!
What a discovery this wonderful book was!! Every character lived vividly in my mind’s eye and in some cases as in the great love of the aviator, the image brought tears to my eyes, how very human...many o
Ана Петровска
Vodolazkin's style of writing is just ... not for me. I can't explain how much this book bored me. I feel like he tried touching certain subjects that have are already been done better by other authors. Or if they haven't been, I'd rather have them explored by anyone else. SO GLAD I'm done with this!! ...more
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t even begin to tell you why you should read this book! It is profound. The Russian ethos of a man from St Petersburg, who endured the Bolshevik revolution, and in a sci-fi way, transports to the 20th century. It is a reflective, poetic story, told from 3 perspectives. Just read it!!! If you love a story that makes you reflect and think about life, this is your book!
Simona GB
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am one of those persons who say "they don't make books these days as they used to". Well, this one proved me wrong. And not because it is written from the perspective of someone born in 1900 or because it mimes a classical style, but because it is so universal in its message, dissolving time, abolishing cultural differences and reminding us what it truly means to simply be human.

I wouldn't know where to start and where to end with naming all the things I love about this book, so I'll randomly
Marcus Hobson
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I normally have no problem writing a review without spoilers, talking in general terms about the action or the characters, but in this case I have so many things to say about this book, and in particular the ending, that I’m going to have to slap a spoiler alert on this review.

(view spoiler)
A fitting, modern companion to Laurus; Vodolazkin continues to enchant with his humane strangeness as he considers time, eternity, history, and the soul.

It feels a smaller work than Laurus, but perhaps even more personally truthful.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part 1 was terrific. The narrator wakes up after being unconscious and doesn't remember what has happened. He writes as pieces of memory come back to him, and these memories are beautifully written - tender, timeless, heart-wrenching memories from the Stalinist era. These memories made me appreciate in a new way the horrific history that the Russians have endured.

But then, part 2 happened. I kept waiting for the "catch," but there wasn't any. In the first part, the narrator, Innokenty, seems ve
Christian A Moulton
I didn't know if he could write a book better than Laurus, but The Aviator is profound, charming and astounding all at once. Possibly the best book I've ever read. ...more
I enjoyed the author's previous book, Laurus, very much, and saw some reference to this as his new book that was set in the 20th century and got it from the public library. It would be easy to give away the story in a review here, so I will just discuss my reaction, which was less favorable than for his earlier book.

The book has two parts - in the first half, the narrative comes from the diary of the main character. The second half adds extracts from the diary of two other main characters. Beca
Jelena R
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tried very hard not to compare this book with the brilliant "Laurus" by the same author. Wasn't easy, I failed. After the masterwork, "The Aviator" seems like a great idea that got shrunk in the dryer, a strange mashup of "Flowers for Algernon" and "A Gentleman in Moscow". It draws you in, tickles your curiosity, then stretches out a leg for you to fall over and hit your nose. Towards the end, the plot tries to go at least three separate ways at the same time, but gets tangled like fine sock y ...more
I loved the writing. I loved the premise. I loved how this book gave me an even deeper look into 20th century Russia. I loved the characters and was hoping for their best outcomes. I became less and less enamored as the story became more and more disjointed in the second half of the telling. This is the third book of this short year that I've read which has been set in Russia. All three have been a great education and journey and I am eager now for a bright and happy story…it probably will need ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was told that this book was a science fiction (which I don’t particularly like), but it could also be categorized under historical fiction. Like many Russian classics, it is long and detail oriented. In the frame of a beautifully written love story, many thought-provoking philosophical and spiritual issues are addressed. I particularly liked references to the topic of memory and remembrance.
Graeme Pitman
Great premise. Great writing.

I really wanted to like this one more than I did. The literary devices bothered me, as did the shift in voices half-way through.

I’m willing to be persuaded, but I left disappointed.
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Alternate spellings: Evgenij Vodolazkin, Evgheni Vodolazkin, Jevgenij Vodolazkin

Eugene Vodolazkin is a Russian scholar and author. He has worked at Russian Academy of Sciences and been awarded fellowships from the Toepfer Foundation and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has written for First Things. He lives with his family in St. Petersburg.

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