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James

Syracuse, NY, USA | Member Since 2005

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 1 ratings
  • 162 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Smoke

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Ivan Turgenev
    • Narrated By Stuart Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Set in Baden-Baden, Smoke is Ivan Turgenev's most cosmopolitan novel. First published in 1867, it is an exquisite study of politics and society and an enduringly poignant love story. Smoke, with its European setting, barbed wit, and visionary call for Russia to look west, became the center of a famous philosophical breach between Turgenev and Dostoevsky.

    James says: "Smoke will satisfy"
    "Smoke will satisfy"
    Overall

    What started out as a cure for insomnia and an attempt to make up for my misspent youth has turned into a love affair with 19th century Russian novels. Doestoevsky and Tolstoy portray the brooding passion of the people, the dangers of journeying across borders and classes, the barren backdrop and gilded palaces, but Turgenev is the master of the depiction of the good an evil in every man and woman. His characters' falling in and out of love and back again are told with a loving intracacy that reminds me of Jane Austen, with the added measure of guilt that only a man could deliver. The tragic turns of the lovers' conversations are gripping. The picture of the smoke rising into the distance in one of the final chapters was truly delicious. The flitting back and forth from Russian to French finally helped me understand the role of French culture in this period. The reading by Stuart Langton is inspired. If you are interested in pre-revolutionary Russian culture, love reading about relationships, love Trollope and trains, you will love this book.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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