27
Apr
16

Book Review: A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

A Hero of Our TimeA Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
(translated by Marian Schwartz)

Short and wild, a romp through the Caucasus with a Russian noble who doesn’t really give a shit about anyone but himself and even only casually at that. Pechorin doesn’t treat women very respectably, but then again he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t like his friends very much either; I suspect he’d be the kind of guy who wears a trilby in 2016.

Still, it’s an entertaining and short romp and I banged this one out in a couple of days. Perhaps it’s the translation (by Marian Schwartz, for the Modern Library), but Lermontov’s prose is almost cinematic: the landscapes are picturesque, with pivotal scenes happening on mountainsides, moonlit beaches or society-packed ballrooms. The whole time, I kept finding myself wondering if this has been made into a movie and who should play Pechorin (I finally decided it should be a Coen brothers flick, starring Paul Rudd: an ironic comedy).

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