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A Hero Of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

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Admittedly, I often skip reading book introductions, however, this one intrigued me since it focused on the fact that Lermontov is not at all well known outside of Russia. What a shame that is as I came to understand after traveling the Caucasus right beside Mikhail.

Reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales’ mastery at story telling, A Hero of Our Time manages to weave five distinct yet correlated stories into 160 captivating pages.

A nameless soldier traveling through the Caucasus Mountains in the early 1800’s picks up a discarded diary and reveals the adventures of Grigory Alexandrovich Pechorin.

Pechorin, ironically the book’s namesake, is actually an immoral and self-absorbed man. His approach to all situations is always for his benefit alone and he seems to lack empathy for others, even those he claims to care for.

Kidnapped by Pechorin, Bela, a Tatar, at first resists his affections but ultimately falls in love with him. Her initial instincts were spot on since Pechorin tires of her and she falls victim to another man who had hoped to first win her heart.

An old acquaintance of Pechorin, Grushnitsky is a pretentious and somewhat simple man. He unfortunately falls prey to Pechorin’s manipulations and finds himself in a duel he cannot win.


You see, there are, truly, people the likes of whom are fated to have all kinds of unusual things happen to them.

about his eyes I must say a few more words. First of all, they did not laugh when he did! Have you ever happened to notice this oddity in certain people? It is a sign of either evil ways or a profound and permanent misery.

He speaks rapidly and pretentiously; he’s one of those men who have elegant phrases at the ready for life’s every occasion, phrases that have nothig to do with anything beautiful and that are pompously draped in rare emotions, exalted passions, and exceptional sufferings. Producing an effect is their pleasure; romantic provincial ladies are mad about them. As they age, these men become either peaceful landowners or drunkards–sometimes both.

Where to meet such a fine writer as Mr. Lermontov would require serious thought. An outdoor meeting would seem most appropriate and I would need to contain my adoration in order to make the most of such an engagement.

My rating for A Hero of Our Time  is a 10 out of 10.

Please share your own reviews or comments by using the Leave A Comment link below.

Next up…Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance


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