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A Hero of Our Time

By: Mikhail Lermontov
Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
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Summary

Grigori Aleksandrovich Pechorin is an enigma: arrogant, cocky, melancholic, brave, cynic, romantic, loner, socialite, soldier, free soul, and yet, victim of the world, he eludes definition and remains a mystery to those who know him. Just who is he? And what does he hope to achieve?

Evolving from first person to third person, and then into a diary, A Hero of Our Time takes on a variety of forms to interrogate Pechorin's cryptic character and his unusual philosophy, providing breathtaking descriptions of the Caucasus along the way.

The novel has been hailed as an influence on such writers as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, and is a striking take on Lord Byron's "superfluous man"; it harks back to the teaching of Machiavelli, while anticipating the future work of Nietzsche.

Hailed by Vladimir Nabokov as one of the greatest Russian novels, the book has been referenced in novels by Albert Camus and Ian Fleming, and films by Ingmar Bergman.

Translators: J. H. Wisdom and Marr Murray

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about A Hero of Our Time

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Quiet Gem of a Novel!

This novel was one of my set texts for my first-year university reading for Russian literature in translation and I can safely say, I did not expect such a beautiful reading of it. Everything, from Lermontov's seamless transition between describing the Caucasus landscape, to the multi-narration of the Byronic hero, Pechorin is utterly stunning. Nicholas Boulton really brings Lermontov's intended ironies to life too! This is a short, and compelling read which really is unexpected. I really recommend it to anyone who wants a bildungsroman/anti-romance book and wants to be challenged by a realistic representation of human nature at its best and most flawed.

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  • l
  • 04-01-22

Regretted learning about this unlikeable character

Sometimes a book can be about one or more unlikeable characters but still be worth reading for its story, language, philosophy and even characters. But I found learning about the annoying and selfish main character of this book completely pointless. I didn’t find there to be any valuable meaning in this book.

I’ve been reading a lot of Russian literature lately and enjoying it, which is what led me to read this book.

I don't plan on reading Lermontov again.

The narration performance itself could not be faulted, which is why I gave that 5 stars even if I regretted giving any time to the book. I gave the book itself two stars instead of one as the writing style was very clear, and so the book was very good at building a picture of what was going on, even if I didn't like what was going on. Also I tend to reserve awarding 1 stars for books that are agonisingly irritating and/or dumb and this wasn't that bad, it just seemed empty to me, in that I found neither joy nor meaning from reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthony W.
  • 28-09-22

Loved it!

I really loved this book. The picturesque setting of Georgia, the Romantic symbols, and the forces at work behind the story all were moving. I would recommend it to anyone interested in literature, Romanticism, and Russian culture.

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  • Laura G. Marcantoni
  • 10-12-19

Avoid story comes to an abrupt end

It is a pleasant book, the protagonist is a tad tiresome but the story has a good rhythm and, if it is not a page turner, it is far from being boring, still on the whole it is somehow disjointed and ends abruptly as if the author run out of paper.

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  • Aida B
  • 15-09-19

Eloquent performance of a masterpiece

I wish this was a longer work. What a breathtaking story, with vivid imagery, strong characters, and descriptions of lives that struggled to find meaning.