Fathers and Sons

Narrated by: David Horovitch
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (221 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

After graduating from the University of Petersburg, Arkady Kirsanov and his friend and fellow graduate, Bazarov, travel to Kirsanov's family home, eager to embark on their next adventure. Delighted at the prospect of seeing his son, Arkady's father welcomes them both to the Marino estate. Encouraging dramatic conflict between the opposing generations, Ivan Turgenev wreaks havoc in Marino, ensuring Bazarov's nihilistic and progressive political views clash spectacularly with that of the traditional Russian patriarch's.

Set in a time of conflict and social uprising, the people fought for the abolishment of serfdom and despaired at the daily inequality faced by the lower classes. Turgenev offered astute psychological insight into the conflicting parties, from the portrayal of his two young protagonists to that of their older parents and the various women that they try to court.

Ivan Turgenev lived in imperial Russia. Abroad, he was a highly respected and sought-after author and Fathers and Sons was released to great success around Europe. Whilst it undoubtedly ruffled some feathers back home, the public found Ivan's novel to be a fascinating take on the socio-political change that had started to sweep across Russia. Turgenev died in 1883 so he didn't live to see the revolution come to fruition. Regardless, his text would go on to be read by millions, outliving the Tsars themselves.

Narrator Biography

Having studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, David Horovitch has had a television career spanning over 40 years. One of his most notable roles was in 1984 as Detective Inspector Slack in the first BBC Miss Marple adaptation of The Body in the Library. Due to the success of his character, he returned for four Christmas specials.

He has had roles in other shows such as Just William (1994), Foyle's War (2002) and Wire in the Blood (2005) as well as film appearances in The Young Victoria (2009), 102 Dalmatians (2000), The Infiltrator (2016) and Mike Leigh's Mr Turner (2014).

A longtime star of the stage, in 2015 he played the role of George Frideric Handel in All the Angels by Nick Drake at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. As well as narrating numerous audiobooks, David Horovitch also appeared in Audible's multicast drama, The Oedipus Plays.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Romantic Russian Novel

The perfect realistic Russian 19th century novel with all the loose ends tied at the end. Love conquers all. Has a wry good humored understanding of human nature and makes gentle fun of mens foibles.

7 people found this helpful

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A pleasure to listen to

When I ordered this book I didn't imagine that I would have liked it so much. I had always meant to read it and never done it before. I was a bit intimidated, to be honest I thought it might be slow and not easy to digest, but this was not the case, on the contrary I went through "Father's and sons" very quickly listening avidly and being very involved in the plot and enjoying the vivid descriptions of people and places which I could almost see.

2 people found this helpful

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The greatest novel I'll ever read

Any additional comments?

I'm not even going to attempt to write a review, it would be impossible for me to put into any words how personal this book is for me, how much it means to me, how stunningly beautiful, sad, insightful, and perfect this novel is.

I'm not sure I ever need to read another novel again.

Fathers and Sons is perfect. I'm in love with it.

17 people found this helpful

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I enjoyed this more than I thought I would

Everybody sleeping on my man Turgenev. This novel to me is right up there with the other 19th century Russian classics, I'm talking Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol all that. I might even say it's more readable than some of the other ones, though that could be because I listened to it rather than read it.

But yeah, I would say this is one of them old school jump offs that still goes in to this day. I mean, I don't know about everybody else but to me, I think it's still worth reading. Matter fact I read this while reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower at the same time and I actually enjoyed this one more, which surprised even me, cuz that book came highly recommended. But I would recommend anyone give Turgenev a shot. Especially if you like them classic novels. I know I'll definitely be reading more of his books.

9 people found this helpful

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Closing the Circle

Oddly, I despised the character Bazarov for much of the book. He grew on me, though as his character matures throughout the book. As time went by my opinion changed to pity, respect, and ultimately admiration. It wasn't until the end that I even realized he is the main character. I mistook Arkady as the mc, originally. But, in the end the whole story fleshes out very well and is an admirable literary treasure.

An amazing work, full of the many facets of family; Ivan Turgenev 's classic stitches together the lives of parents and children. I've read almost every major work of Feodor Dostoyevsky's, and a few of Leo Tolstoy's works, but now with this first foray into Ivan Turgenev's novels, it feels like closing the circle. 

Dostoyevsky is my favorite of the three, by far, but I'd think Turgenev is a bit simpler. It would possibly be an easier introduction into the work of all three... or at least Fathers and Sons would be. It really is a relief to have found new territory here to fill my reading list, since I've all but exhausted Dostoyevsky's work. 

Though the title refers to Parents and their children, the book goes much further into the meaning of love, and the enduring relationships between husbands and wives, and brothers. 

1 person found this helpful

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classic tale of love, family, and nihilism

loved it, not bogged down by too many characters, and full of good quotes and insights. it really makes you wonder why in society we bother with so many formalities and put so many useless things on a pedestal

1 person found this helpful

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A timeless story

The struggles between generations is a constant of the human experience. Turgenev’s story is as relevant today as it was 150 years ago.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed and was touched by this story

This title was off the beaten track for me, but my father recommended and I am glad that he did. Laugh out loud funny in places, and very nicely written and performed.

The narration was perfect for me.

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Nauseatingly simplistic

Don’t read Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, or Chekhov if you plan to read this book. You will never be able to finish it. I finished it, and believe it is written for mentally retarded teenaged girls. Sorry.

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grrrreat!!!

extreme narrative ...engaged story...great outstanding grasp I felt of the story that I consider to be a real decent talent naration.

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  • gearoid amazon
  • 05-19-20

leabhar síoraí

Bhí sé go hiontach agus bhí aoibhinn liom gach duine sa scéal.

béidh mé ar ais nuair táim níos sine

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  • Sparkly Sal
  • 04-12-20

Beautiful narration

David Horovitch reads and enacts the story beautifully, although why there is no-one on the production team to correct his pronunciation of Russian proper names is a puzzle.

I can imagine that the political views expressed in this novel were quite sensational at the time of writing but over a century later the political arguments were, for me, the least interesting part of the story. However, the book provides a clear perspective into the lives of the various strata of Russian society in the late 19th century.

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  • Annie
  • 08-11-16

Old Men & Young Men!

The book was written in & set in Russia. Written in 1862, Ivan Turgenev wrote in a way that enables us to taste 19 Century Russia, all of the way through it.

Arkady returns home from his college, together with his friend, a self-proclaimed nihilist. His father believes that he has lost his child. Indeed, Arkady has changed & returning to his landowning home, is at odds with his father.

'Fathers & Sons translates literally to Fathers and Children.' (Wikipedia)

This would have been a better English title for the book, though the present title would have suited our tastes better at the time of translation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hareth
  • 01-21-17

A good book, ending not as good as the rest

good book, great narration and good plot, I personally would have preferred a different ending

1 person found this helpful