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Title: Fathers and Sons
Author: Ivan Turgenev
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
We follow 2 young men, Bazarov and Arkady, as they relate to each other, their fathers and their romantic interests.
I was not expecting to like this so much. This book is a snapshot of the changing of a generation and how it can clash with those before. In Russia.
[if you’ve ever watched Yugioh the Abridged series, you’ll know that comes from Bandit Keith and his “In America!” schtick]
Honestly, this was melancholy, romance, young silliness, arrogance and then maturity all rolled into one.
Bazarov is our main antagonist and he does a good job of being an ass for the whole book. He is a nihilist and simply wants to destroy anything and everything, period. He is well enough off that he doesn’t have to work and so has lots of time to think and like many introspective young men,his thoughts are centered on himself. That never turns out well and in the end Bazarov gets what is coming to him.
As for protagonists, there didn’t seem to be just one and in fact it could be argued that Bazarov is the protagonist as well. Arkady is a young man under Bazarov’s philosophical sway until he comes under the sway of Katya, a reserved young lady who is strong as steel but covers it with a modest and demure exterior. The Fathers, of Bazarov and Arkady, don’t seem to be strong enough to count as the protagonists as they are afflicted with trying to be their sons best friend instead of their fathers. They typified everything that I associate with Russian men: emotional, philosophical and very melancholic.
I really liked the progression of seeing Arkady and Bazarov mature. Arkady takes on responsibility and finds his place and begins to shoulder the burden that his station in life places upon him. Bazarov lives true to his destructive principles and I was glad to see him die.
To end, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this book and am now going to have to search out a hardcover copy in a used book store. On amazon, “good” hard cover copies start at $35. That is to rich for me.