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Fathers and Children (Hardcover)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  71,910 ratings  ·  2,476 reviews
Arguably the finest novel by Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Children tells a compelling story of generational conflict. Published in the 1860s, this novel alludes to the changing social climate of 19th century Russia - old-style liberals, widely represented in the elder generation would clash with the bold nihilists, many of whom were young. Characters from the former group ar ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published August 27th 2018 by (first published 1862)
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Rita Pabat Turgenev's drama is not so far on the age as Dostoyevsky's stuff (nobody's actually is so far :) It's more like the casual drama of everyday life. So …moreTurgenev's drama is not so far on the age as Dostoyevsky's stuff (nobody's actually is so far :) It's more like the casual drama of everyday life. So if you are looking for intensity I would recommend "A Hero of Our Time" by Lermontov (heartbreaking, there are no words to describe my impressions, must-read), "Seven Who Were Hanged" by Leonid Andreyev (I've cried on a bus in public while reading), "The White Guard" by Mikhail Bulgakov (soulful Bulgakov at his best) and "The Duel" by Aleksandr Kuprin (nothing but Russian soul, hard to describe, the only way is to experience). (less)
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Catherine No, he recovered from the dueling scratch, which makes him faint. Then he decides to go abroad after Fenitchka gets married to Kirsinov.
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Ahmad Sharabiani
(874 From 1001 Books) - Отцы и дѣти = Fathers and Sons = Fathers and Children, Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, and ties with A Nest of Gentlefolk for the repute of being his best novel.

Arkady Kirsanov has just graduated from the University of Petersburg and returns with a friend, Bazarov, to his father's modest estate in an outlying province of Russia.

His father, Nikolay, gladly receives the two young men at his estate, called Marino, but Nikolay's brother, Pave
Jim Fonseca
A ‘classic’ classic. Written in 1862, Wikipedia suggest this can be considered the “first modern Russian novel.” The plot revolves around two sons and two fathers who are meant to show political change in Russia reflecting generational differences. We are told in the introduction that the author deliberately set the time frame of the novel in 1859, shortly before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861.


The fathers of course are old school, traditional Slavophiles, even though they have both recen
Henry Avila
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the quiet, sleepy, out of the way areas of rural Russia under the autocratic Czars, during the mid nineteenth century, nothing happens, still reality will show its unpleasant dark aspects as other things appear, the catalyst , two university educated arrogant young men return home, they believe that their flame of light will transform the nation for the better . However the students still have a great deal to learn about the ancient land. Arkady Kirsanov under the influence of the bright Evge ...more
Steven Godin
I had some doubts upon reading Turgenev for the first time, could he really stand up with the likes of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky?, simple answer, yes. Fathers and Sons, although not on an epic level in terms of length, does an authentic and realistic job of presenting an account of upper class 19th century Russian provincial life, and indeed it doesn't surprise me he gained greater respect in some parts in regards to the two other Russian greats. Turgenev arguably had better popularity due to his ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fathers and Sons (FS) apparently pleased no one on in Russia on publication, and if not precisely ‘shocked’ the muchadumbre, then surely ruffled feathers and rubbed salt in fresh wounds: that, in any event, is the general promise in the blurb on the back cover of the book. Goody. I like a scandal better than the next person, for sure. So I tore into it with gusto.

Alas, though. There is no scandal to be had here. I mean, not even remotely: not even a whiff of it. The big brouhaha seems to evolve
This book is a real classic of russian literature.The language is understandable and psychological depth. The main character Basarov is the first nihilist of world literature, and rejects all conventional moral concepts. Even in love, he sees nothing but the helplessness of lonely people and distances himself from her. When he finally falls in love, his worldview collapses. Also next to the main character you will meet interesting characters and it's just fun to read this book. Fathers and Sons" ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fathers feel that they now belong to bygone times and sons feel that they have learned enough to indoctrinate new scientific theories and philosophies to the fathers. This happens today and this happened in this realistic classical work, based on the Russian society of the mid 19th century.

The story begins with two brothers. First one, Nikolai Petrovitch, who had lost his wife, but there remained a sense of well-spent life, as his son was growing up under his eyes and, second Pavel Petrovitch,

Lately I seem to be reading second reads. This is one of them and I am very glad I visited Turgenev’s most famous novel again. Rereading is like visiting how one’s mind changes. (view spoiler).I have read it now in an electronic format, but I remembered that my first time I used a cheap paperback with small print, but which came with a brilliant introduction by Isaiah Berli
MJ Nicholls
Tremendous. Forget the patchy, barely coherent A Hero of Our Time. This is your pre-Tolstoy, pre-Dostoevsky (almost—excusing a decade or two) Russian masterpiece. Do you want to be a nihilist with a casual interest in botany and medicine? Do you sneer at aristocratic values but have the hots for a milf with a vassal-soaked estate? Do you treat your father’s house like a hotel, and only pay fleeting three-year visits, during which you torment your poor mother and her servants? Do you want to snog ...more
Tim Wagner
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thegreats
If you want to read a great Russian novel, but your wrists are to weak for Karenina or Brothers K, this is your jam. It's almost allegorical in its deployment of the characters' various philosophies, but they're so human it's like watching Chekhov play across the page. For a book written in the mid-late 19th century, it's amazingly relevant: a pithy study of conservativism, liberalism, radicalism, quietism, and filial love and rebellion. The bad-tempered anarchist, Bazarov, is a character for th ...more
Mark André
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-iii
A delightful and charming, warm and friendly, life-affirming novel. The perfect summer vacation book for anyone who likes to read.
Roy Lotz
He has no faith in princeeples, only in frogs.

Turgenev has a reputation of being a novelists’ novelist—admired by such fastidious readers as Gustave Flaubert, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad—and now I can see why. Though quite different in temperament, he reminds me of Jane Austen or E.M. Forster in his seamless mastery of technique and his delicate touch. Apart from the epilogue (a 19th century staple), this novel makes do with very little of the cranking plot mechanics used by so many Victorian
Ivan Turgenev's 1862 novel Fathers & Children is a striking political story of intra-generational conflict and resolution set in provincial Russia during the late spring and early summer of 1859 (ie shortly before the emancipation of the serfs). Arkady Kirsanov returns to his father's estate with his friend and idol Bazarov (and so a father figure in several ways), the two idle about there and in a couple of other places before the novel ends extremely peacefully (view spoiler) ...more
My main issue with this book: too short. An odd thing to think of when the too short object in question is a Russian novel concerning cultural upheaval and aristocracy and all sorts of young ones running around screeching newfangled ideas at the top of their lungs, but 'tis true.

A while back, someone somewhere on Goodreads coined the term 'soap opera with brains', a literature type that hasn't popped up in my reading since The Age of Reason but can be (much more enjoyably, I dare say) applied h
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This is a novel that should probably be read by everybody (fathers, sons, mothers, daughters) at 18 years and again at 50 years. I'm somewhere in between, but it still enchanted me. 'Fathers and Sons' themes are universal, but also very relevant to Russia in the 1860s (post Emancipation Reform of 1861).

IT is about the struggles between generations. It is is a novel about beauty, love, relationships, power, social etiquitte, etc. The duality of the generations in 'Fathers and Sons' allowed Turge
Ivana Books Are Magic
This novel opens up with one son returning to his father. The son in question is newly graduate Arkady Kirsanov, who returns home accompanied by his nihilist friend Bazarov. Arkady’s father Nikolai welcomes his son and his friend Bazarov with open arms. Nikolai is naturally happy to have his son back, doing his best to make these young men feel welcome. However, the new philosophical system these young man advocate causes Nikolai to feel uneasy. What kind of philosophical system is it? Well, tha ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fathers and Sons is Turgenev's version of the age-old tale of the battle between older and young generation. Set in 19th century Russia, the novel brings out the schism between the liberal-minded older generation, who preferred western-based social changes in Russia, and the younger generation of nihilists, who defied the old order and authority.

This is my first Turgenev novel and was very much surprised by the modernity of it. The use of the language and the easy and light writing style was
Paul Bryant
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This book is all about visiting your parents during uni summer holiday.

These two students are all like nah we don’t believe in all this old guff, yeah, we are like all nihilist yeah right look it up old man and they both have nihilist t shirts so they go see one of them’s daddy who is all oh I don’t understand this terrible younger generation, they talk so fast and they like all that hip hop music, but this daddy, we got to say he’s kind of cool because hey, he only got himself a little 18 year
Maru Kun
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew becoming a parent would be a lot of work but I wasn’t prepared for the pile of worry that came with it, nor for how quickly that pile would grow into a mountain.

It starts with the childhood illnesses: a thirty-nine degree fever? It must be meningitis. Then the real worries come, beginning with education. My nine year old has a B+ in drama and C in math. It’s all over: a life spent waiting tables before the big break which never comes. Don’t worry, we’ll be there for you son. In the teenag
Dave Schaafsma
I re-read Fathers and Sons for a couple reasons; 1) I have been on a small Rereading Great Russian Novel kick the last couple years and 2) I was interested in what the book might have to say about the relationships between fathers and sons. As to #1, this novel was the first Great Russian Novel to achieve international fame, paving the way for--in my estimation—greater works from Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, but it’s also pretty legitimately great in its own right. As to #2, I think it’s less actuall ...more
Alice Poon
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
As far as classic Russian literature is concerned, I’ve so far read Tolstoy (War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and The Kreutzer Sonata), Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment) and Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago). I liked Tolstoy and Pasternak a lot but was not a big fan of Dostoyevsky’s (but might still read more of his works). Now I can add Turgenev to the “likes” list.

The story is set in 1860s Russia and weaves together the friendship between two young graduates Bazarov and Arkady,
Lit Bug
I suspect ‘Fathers and Sons’ is too deeply a product of its particular time and place to be enjoyable now without a sense of the Russian history that has molded this novel into what it is. I began without a background, and though it was agreeable all the way through, I really didn’t find it gripping enough – surely it was an evergreen conflict, even if not on every count? The struggle between the titular Fathers and Sons is an eternal one, and I was surprised at my reluctance to engage with the ...more
I started reading this book because I was looking for clues to help me decipher William Trevor’s Reading Turgenev but I didn’t really find many - I’ve since realised that Trevor was mostly referring to a different Turgenev novel, On the Eve. In fact Fathers and Sons has more in common with another book I read recently, Belinda McKeon’s Solace. Both novels are concerned with the gaps in comprehension between people of different generations, in particular between fathers and sons and the tensions ...more
Zachary F.
"Every single man hangs by a thread, a bottomless pit can open beneath him any minute, and yet he still goes on thinking up unpleasantness for himself and making a mess of his life."

I don't know why these old Russian novels are such catnip for me. It's always the same dreary stuff, a bunch of landed aristocrats with ten names apiece discussing European intellectual trends and the nature of the soul while the serfs break their backs in the fields. Everyone's shabby and penniless and having af
E. G.
Further Reading
Translator's Note

--Fathers and Sons

Lee Klein
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A proto-punk and a proto-metrosexual demand satisfaction from one another because the first macked on the latter's bro's baby mama. The gentry can't really rage against the machine, they're jackdaws, domesticated dogs. Guys in their early twenties have apparently always sort of sucked, albeit in an intellectually sexy way as long as they don't lack confidence. Repudiate, repudiate, repudiate, champion only what's useful, no authority other than oneself. Blame testosterone plus higher education? ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
You might not know about this but ol' Turgenev was sortof a big deal back in the day. This book here in particular paved the way for some of those guys you mighta heard more about - fellas named Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. I don't know why I've started talking like an old-timey prospector. This was a landmark in realism - the big dude before this was Gogol - and also a landmark in not hating serfs (er...Gogol again). Which the thing with serfs is it was like slaves except not stolen from Africa. So. ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
The first time I heard of Turgenev, it was Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky parodied Turgenev in his character 'Karmazinov' in novel 'Demons' for writing 'Fathers and Sons'. Turgenev's novel is based on the nihilist generation and the differences they had with the previous generation - that of socialists. The 'nihilist' son Bazarov in the novel refuse to believe in anything based solely on authority - whether it be established sciences, practices, arts or traditions. The 'fathers' in the book are in too m ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Beautiful Classic. Great story about the different mindset of the "old" vs new generation with the differentiating of ideas. Anyone from any era can compare it to their own growing up to the way their children talk to them about how antique it all is and how the new is the "right" way to do anything. Turgenev has a way with showing his characters and how much sentimentality he puts into their lives. This story had no plot but it showcased his meaning. The translation wasn't very good and I w ...more
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
To begin with, I never intended to read 'Fathers and Sons' by Turgenev in the first place; rather, it was one of the lesser known works of this lesser known Russian master, 'Sketches from a hunter's album' that I sought so eagerly. But after searching for the latter endlessly, my efforts proved futile as I was unable to get my hands on it. Later, I remember stumbling upon an excerpt of 'Fathers and Sons', and it piqued my curiosity. The excerpt was such:

“Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a hays
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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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