Ichabod is itchy

October 20, 2006

A hero of our time

Filed under: literature — by ichabodisitchy @ 6:04 pm

I recently finished A hero of our time by Mikhail Lermontov. Am still trying to digest it and can’t make up my mind whether I liked it or not (does that seem strange?)

The ‘hero’ of the novel is certainly not a likeable character– jaded, arrogant, rude and generally insensitive to the emotional hurt and anxiety he inflicts on everyone around him.

The book is a collection of four stories, some longer than others, about the hero’s (Pechorin) travels around the Caucasus. The two principal stories are pretty good, even though you’re left with a bad taste in your mouth by the end. The middle story is somewhat superfluous (at least, it didn’t do much for me– I understood the ‘mystery’ almost immediately and was rather disappointed that there was nothing more to it).

Lermontov died very young– in a duel at the age of twenty-six. A shame really as he didn’t leave a big collection of work– a hundred or so lyrics, two narrative poems and A hero of our time. I’d have been interested in seeing what a second or third novel would have looked like.

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