Friday, March 15, 2013

Bad book reviews - Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons was an exceptionally quick read for me. And this was quite a beautiful book. Perhaps it was a little short for my liking, even, as I got to know the characters, and see them develop, but it all felt quite rushed. If I had to give one sentence on the message, it would be that people are complicated.

Russia of the 19th century is probably my favorite period for literature, what with the debates over freeing of the serfs, nihilism, liberalism, Slavophilia, etc. This book is a bit about intergenerational clash, old ideas against new ideas. It is also very much about love, and how love can make or break people. Pavel Petrovich, I felt a deep sympathy for him, a man running from himself.

Turgenev got serious grief from both the Right and the Left when he published it. That's always a promising sign, in my book, that the author has something good to say. I think Mark Shea has a similar problem sometimes.


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