Heather's Reviews > Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
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's review
Feb 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, novels, russia, classics

Some of the philosophical discussion in this book was over my head, especially as related to Russian history. In the beginning, the main impression I had was that Bazarov's nihilism was idiotic and that I didn't like him at all--he came off as an arrogant, self-righteous jerk. The first third to half of the book was tedious as Bazarov and Arkady talked endlessly, although it was almost worth it just for the wonderful narration by Roger Melin in this public domain Librivox recording.

As the story unfolded, I grew to feel sorry for Bazarov and even love him as a character when his world view began to prove insufficient to satisfy him. In a way, there was something noble in his struggle not to be overly "emotional," which he saw as meaningless. His self-control and civil behavior toward Arkady's uncle was admirable, but there is a difference between self-control and not valuing emotions at all. I was sad in my uncertainty whether Bazarov ever fully realized the value of love, even though the author plainly expressed that the true meaning of our lives is in our relationships with others.

Bazarov and Anna behaved stupidly, although true to their characters--and I say that with affection for them, as parts of me could empathize with each.

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