A Hero of Our Time

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Jun 28, 2001 - Fiction - 168 pages
245 Reviews
Proud, wilful and intensely charismatic, Pechorin is bored by the stifling world that envelopes him. With a predatory energy for any activity that will relieve his ennui, he embarks on a series of adventures, encountering smugglers, brigands, soldiers, lovers and rivals - and leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him. With its cynical, immoral hero, Lermontov's novel outraged many critics when it was published in 1840. Yet it was also a literary landmark: an acutely observed psychological novel, narrated from a number of different perspectives, through which the true and complex nature of Pechorin slowly emerges.

Paul Foote's fine translation, recently, updated, is accompanied by an introduction discussing the figure of Pechorin within the literary tradition of 'superfluous men', and the novel's influence on Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov. The edition also includes a chronology, explanatory notes and a historical note on the Caucasus.

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Wonderful storytelling, draws you in immediately. - Goodreads
It wasn't easy to read, - Goodreads
I liked this book, even though there's no clear plot. - Goodreads
Best characterization per page of any book I have read. - Goodreads
Great writing, sarcastic and witty. - Goodreads
Interesting characterization of the hero, Pechorin. - Goodreads

Review: A Hero of Our Time

User Review  - Claire - Goodreads

Now that I've reread my page-by-page notes, I remember that this book really was fun to read in both English and Russian. Everyone struggles with confidence a little. It's just scarier in languages ... Read full review

Review: A Hero of Our Time

User Review  - Fiona - Goodreads

What a remarkable book! The protagonist(?) is morally repulsive beyond belief, though somehow never straying from a certain nihilistic nobility. Pechorin is twenty-five. I am also twenty-five. However ... Read full review

All 56 reviews »

About the author (2001)

Mikhail Lermontov was born in 1814 and made several journies to the Caucasus before entering St Petersburg Guards' school where he began writing poetry and autobiographical dramas in prose. He died in a duel in 1841. Influenced by Byron, he is renowned as Russia's one true Romantic poet. Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a University Lecturer in Russian and Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. He has translated works by Tolstoy and Saltykov-Shchedrin.

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