Synopses & Reviews
A brilliant new translation of a perennial favorite of Russian Literature
The first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled upon publication. Its dissipated hero, twenty-five-year-old Pechorin, is a beautiful and magnetic but nihilistic young army officer, bored by life and indifferent to his many sexual conquests. Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov in Lermontov's own century, and finds its modern-day counterparts in Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, the novels of Chuck Palahniuk, and the films and plays of Neil LaBute.
"Natasha Randall's English, in her new translation, has exactly the right degree of loose velocity. . . . (Nabokov's version, the best-known older translation, is a bit more demure than Randall's, less savage.)"
-James Wood, London Review of Books
"[A] smart, spirited new translation."
-The Boston Globe
"One of the most vivid and persuasive portraits of the male ego ever put down on paper."
-Neil LaBute, from the Foreword
A Hero Of Our Time (1839) is the only novel written by one of Russia's greatest Romantic poets, Mikhail Lermontov -- considered by many to be the Russian counterpart of Lord Byron -- who died in a duel at the age of 26, leaving behind an unforgettable literary legacy.
This beloved classic has everything for the modern reader -- dangerous liaisons, elegant psychological complexity, dark passion, emotional tension, romantic duels and deception, fiery action in the Caucasus, beautiful and exotic women with flair . . .
And the sexiest Byronic anti-hero in all of Russian literature.
The first example of the psychological novel in Russia, A Hero of Our Time influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov, and other great nineteenth-century masters that followed. Its hero, Pechorin, is Byronic in his wasted gifts, his cynicism, and his desire for any kind of action-good or ill-that will stave off boredom. Outraging many critics when it was first published in 1840, A Hero of Our Time follows Pechorin as he embarks on an exciting adventure involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers.
This edition includes a new introduction, chronology, suggestions for further reading, maps, and full explanatory notes.
About the Author
(1814-1841) is renowned as Russia's one true Romantic poet. He was killed in a duel, one of a number he fought in during his lifetime.
Neil Labute is a filmmaker and playwright whose work includes In the Company of Men and The Shape of Things.
Natasha Randall has published translations of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (shortlisted for the 2008 Oxford- Weidenfeld Translation Prize) and Osip Mandelstam's poetry. She is a frequent contributor to theLos Angeles Times.