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.