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3.99 out of 53.99 out of 53.99 out of 53.99 out of 53.99 out of 5 3.99 (109 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivan Turgenev Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781452670737
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When Arkady Petrovich comes home from college, his father finds his eager, naïve son changed almost beyond recognition, for the impressionable Arkady has fallen under the powerful influence of the friend he has brought with him. A self-proclaimed nihilist, the ardent young Bazarov shocks Arkady’s father by criticizing the landowning way of life and by his outspoken determination to sweep away traditional values of contemporary Russian society.

Turgenev’s depiction of the conflict between generations and their ideals stunned readers when Fathers and Sons was first published in 1862. But many could also sympathize with Arkady’s fascination with its nihilist hero, whose story vividly captures the hopes and regrets of a changing Russia. Fathers and Sons is a brilliant work that captures the tension that existed among generations and class in the prerevolutionary era in Russia. This version of Fathers and Sons is the translation by Constance Garnett.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 2/20/2014

    " I read this for my very first literature class in College. I was 19, so it is quite a few years since I have picked up this book. So what do I remember. Not much. It is essentially another Russia in transition novel that touches on the decline of the aristocracy, its dependency on serfdom and the rise of the bourgiosie. Tolstoy's Anna Karennina & War and Peace do the same thing with more complexity; Jane Austen's Emma and Persuasion do the same thing with English culture, which kind of indicates that Marx's base/superstructure thesis about literature is probably a good evaluation at least for the rise of industrial capitalism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 2/17/2014

    " An exploration of generational angst. Surprise! It existed in the nineteenth century too, in Russia. I like reading Turgenev, like how he takes you to previous times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vasha7 | 2/16/2014

    " A fascinating novel, not only for its portrayal of the ideas of the time, but especially for its vivid characters: the protagonist, but also others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blaire | 2/15/2014

    " I read a lot of Russian literature in college, but not since then. Consequently, this book initially awakened a sense of nostalgia. I found the strength of the novel to be in its depiction of the people, landscape, and way of life in the Russian countryside in the mid-nineteenth century. The descriptions are specific and vivid and quintessentially Russian. I found the characters to be types rather than complex individuals, and I thought the story was adequate, but trivial. The central character, Bazarov, was the most strongly developed. I know he is considered to be a masterpiece, but I found him to be something of a caricature and eminently unlikable. This particular translation uses some contemporary slang that I found jarring. It's an old-fashioned novel and I thought the dialog should have fit the period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandi | 2/13/2014

    " A very good book...and it just goes to show that the youthful truly are full of s%@t. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jono Balliett | 2/13/2014

    " How things change. an examination of pre-revolution and relationships between friends and fathers and sons. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 2/10/2014

    " what pleases me about turgenev is that like dostoevsky and tolstoy, he makes an entertaining parody of the elite in those days yet the characters aren't vehicles for their passions. they're normal people who make fools of themselves and then die of tuberculosis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie Schoffman | 2/7/2014

    " Great writer. Not as moving as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, but worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Careuhhline | 2/6/2014

    " this book did a good job at making me suddenly hate romanticism. i don't know why there was so much commentary included in this edition. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julia | 2/6/2014

    " I can't remember this well, but I think I mostly found it too dry. Some touching details perhaps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 2/6/2014

    " pretty good book about some dude that is a nihilist and a total dick. much like dostoevsky's demons, its interesting and useful to note that nihilists still act this way. especially when they are german. has a token russian ending "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C | 2/4/2014

    " I liked it, although not nearly as much as my dd who recommended it. Thought it was plodding some of the time and not as dramatic as she said it'd be "once I got into it", which I suppose I never did. The love stories are given short shrift, not too surprisingly given the title, and the relationships between the fathers and sons are displayed but not explained. Worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron Callaghan | 2/1/2014

    " Russian novels carry their own postcode of emotions. This is not as heavy as some. Well told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hanne | 1/29/2014

    " Ongeveer 150 jaar geleden verschenen en dat is niet te geloven. Toergenjev heeft nooit een telefoon van dichtbij gezien, of een auto of een communist en dat zou je haast vergeten bij het lezen van dit boek. Vaders en zonen is een boek over twee jonge kerels, over een vader en een oom, een vader en een moeder en twee zussen en de generatiekloof die door hun levens loopt. Tijdlozer dan dit worden boeken niet gemaakt. Mijn favoriete Rus tot nu toe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/29/2014

    " This was an interesting novel about the clash of generations in the mid 1800's Russia - liberalism vs. nihilism, art vs. science, etc. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Siobhan O'Laoghaire-Sannes | 1/25/2014

    " It used to be that when I had a long stretch of time to myself and people asked me "What are you going to do with your vacation?", I would joke back, "I think I am going to read 'War and Peace'". Then one summer came along and I decided that I really would read the Tolstoy classic and from then on I have been in love with classic Russian writing. So, this one came as a surprise when I couldn't finish it because I thought it was boring. I made it 50 pages in and gave up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 1/24/2014

    " The rise of Communism as told through the lives of a farm owner and his son, a university student. Predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassie | 1/20/2014

    " It's been a long time since I read this book, but out of all the books I read in my Russian Lit. class, it was one of my top two. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fay | 1/20/2014

    " All I remember about this book is that in an attempt to make the Chinese-aimed mockery in our high school production of "Anything Goes" less offensive to the largely-Chinese population of San Marino, we used a bunch of Russian names instead, like "Odintsova," all taken from this book. Self-awareness, lacking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabriela | 1/17/2014

    " O carte minunata despre moravurile Rusiei secolului XIX, despre conflictul intre generatii in cu totul alt context decat cel al zilelor noastre. Acest conflict este in esenta mereu acelasi, iar stilul de expunere al lui Turgheniev il face si mai moralizator. Personajele au fiecare un rol bine definit, predomina conflictele valorilor. Mi-a placut foarte mult cartea, ce-i drept imi era dor de un clasic. O recomand tuturor! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rupertt Wind | 1/16/2014

    " An exemplified tale of fathers and their sons set among the Russian outlands. It candidly unveils the many scandals and affairs of the Russian aristocratic society though the journeys of two young nihilists and their change of hearts in the presence of love. The many flavors and frevours of love have been touched upon by Ivan Turgenev with his master class. A must read and a classic in all its entirety. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 N. | 1/14/2014

    " Really well-written. Not as complex or dark as my Russian faves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jacob | 1/12/2014

    " good construction. i didn't read this translation, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/12/2014

    " A great example of Russian literature at its finest. The only great writers coming out of this country weren't only Tolstoy and Doesevski. After reading this novel for a history class, I downloaded a bunch more of his work to my Kindle, for later reading. Enjoy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leora Bersohn | 1/12/2014

    " Ouch, ouch, ouch. But it's true, so what can you do? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kricket | 1/11/2014

    " I loved this book, the character of Madame Odintsova in particular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 1/10/2014

    " I can't believe I haven't read this until now. Turgenev is so sentimental, so clever and so melancholy. This was so bittersweet, that I was on the verge of tears near the end. This was really a wonderful novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/8/2014

    " This book is like a tasty morsel you enjoy unwrapping and nibbling from on the subway to and fro . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 1/8/2014

    " Just a great piece of Russian literature. It stood out in a great survey course of 19th Century Russian authors I took in college. I need to go back and re-read it, since it's been a long while. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caro | 1/7/2014

    " I love the humanity of 19th-century novels. Turgenev's fathers and sons fuss and misunderstand each other, philosophies are exchanged, and we end with two weddings and a tragic death. Great introduction by Alain de Botton in the OUP edition I read. Could have wished for a better translation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 1/1/2014

    " Everything that makes the great Russian novel without the 1,500 page commitment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayne | 12/26/2013

    " Very modern for a book written in the 19th century--or was it the translation that made it seem so? Glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Callister | 12/26/2013

    " It's Russian, its sad, and it makes being simpleton look good by comparison. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey Combe | 12/22/2013

    " My favourite Russian novel of all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Romero | 12/17/2013

    " Turgenev seems to have a way with words (although it's hard to tell since it's translated from Russian). Lots of descriptions of Russian landscapes and Romantic characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/14/2013

    " I chose this book for my book club a few years ago because of the great differences the father and son have. I like Russian literature and this is a classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gavin Dobson | 12/11/2013

    " Another of those Russian books that, if read before the age of 19, will stay with you all your life.An impossibly beautiful woman, unrequited love, early death, philosophical ramblings that at the time must have seemed avant garde. Among the very best C19th Russian novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Autumn | 12/9/2013

    " this book is one of my favorites. i don't really know why because it's also pretty reactionary and kind of knocks the precursor to my political beliefs ('nihilism'), (my beliefs being something which i would describe as the 'lazy-woman's anarchism'.) it's a good book, i haven't read it in awhile, so maybe if i read it today i'd feel differently about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belle | 12/5/2013

    " bavarov was a well-rounded character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gavin | 12/2/2013

    " Nihilism. Emancipation of the Serfs. Russian Pastoral. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 11/23/2013

    " Read for Classic Book Club. Easier than most Russian novels. Interesting description of time/place/customs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Black | 11/4/2013

    " Kind of sterile for an angry Russian! Supposedly the High Book of Russian nihilism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Max | 10/21/2013

    " delightfully terrible translation in my version "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 9/29/2013

    " This book turned my on to Russian literature, and it remains one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alnoory. | 9/10/2013

    " I found the first half very dull and unmoving. Thankfully, the second half made up for it with an exciting new format and strong story. The novel is surprisingly beautiful, charming and intense. And I just loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eduardo | 9/10/2013

    " My first crack at Turgenev and I was not disappointed, quite compelling in its attempt to compare the differences at that time( Saint Petersburg, Russia in the 1860s) between the younger and older generations of radical/liberal men & women. But on another note it was very enjoyable to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 8/28/2013

    " Read for Classic Book Club. Easier than most Russian novels. Interesting description of time/place/customs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 8/21/2013

    " The first Russian novel I ever read. It got me hooked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 8/16/2013

    " My new favorite novel. Pavel Petrovich is a darling, and I am delighted to find female characters who are ambiguous and complicated. I am so profoundly uninterested in Bazarov it probably approaches embarrassing, but I can't help it: he bores me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 6/27/2013

    " It goes without saying I will give five stars to all russian lit. But now without good reason. This book did a lot for me. It really displays the relationship of family lovelingly and honestly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Skrbina21 | 6/21/2013

    " surprisingly interesting...I have to throw in a classic every now and again..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Callister | 5/8/2013

    " It's Russian, its sad, and it makes being simpleton look good by comparison. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Coker | 4/16/2013

    " Terrific read. I think what I love most about this novel along with Tolstoy and Doestyesky (spelling is wrong, I know) is the characters inability to be sure of anything in life, of constant change. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie Schoffman | 4/13/2013

    " Great writer. Not as moving as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, but worth a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Henry | 3/18/2013

    " Great writing. The best. Really "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter Simpson | 3/7/2013

    " Fantastic book. Easily the best 19th century work of literature that I have read. It's about an intense conflict of ideas...the older generation's traditionalist/aristocratic/bourgeois tendencies against the younger generation's nihilist/liberalist yearnings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Levi Douglass | 12/31/2012

    " Bazarov is one of the more memorable characters I've read. Nihilists, man. If you'd like to read a Russian novel but don't want to devote several months to it, I highly recommend this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 11/22/2012

    " An amazing book, showing a great comparison and character studying of the two main characters, and even the minor ones. It was a book that definitely made me think. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott | 10/6/2012

    " This was supposedly a very controversial book in it's day, or so I was lead to believe. I have no idea why. I found it to be rather innocuous, myself. Not terrible, just somewhat bland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 9/23/2012

    " As we all know, time sometimes flies like a bird, and sometimes crawls like a worm, but people may be unusually happy when they do not even notice whether time has passed quickly or slowly.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul Kopper | 9/6/2012

    " Definitely easier prose than Dostoevsky but couldn't relate to any of the characters. This could be the end of reading classic Russian lit for me "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 8/27/2012

    " Read for Classic Book Club. Easier than most Russian novels. Interesting description of time/place/customs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebekah | 8/17/2012

    " Cute but unmemorable. I love this site, that I can say things like that about people like Turgenev! Hah! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ms Piot | 7/13/2012

    " Not so much amazing, more like I fell in love! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Reeser | 5/17/2012

    " One of the best Russian novels I've ever read, and that says a great deal. Also one of the shorter ones, read very quickly. Full of fascinating conversations. It is on my read-again list, for sure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 5/15/2012

    " I've been interested in Russian novels lately. This one was okay, nothing special. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 2/11/2012

    " My favorite book, which I like to read once a year. The characters seem so real and timeless. After reading it multiple times, I've never decided if I love or hate Bazarov, yet I keep thinking that I am growing more and more like him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krit | 2/5/2012

    " Loved it. Very touching love of parents to children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daryl | 1/6/2012

    " Not being a fan of the overly-long Russian novel, I found Turgenev to be approachable and thoroughly enjoyable. You should read it just to add to your literary depth--unless, of course, you have have alrealy read Tolstoy or Chekov. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fran | 12/3/2011

    " I was surprised to find I enjoyed this book-- I did not expect to do so, though I cannot fully explain why! this is a fascinating snapshot of Russian life in the early 19th century, with serfdom soon coming to an end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Bird | 12/2/2011

    " I remember this as a fine novel, and a good choice for discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 11/20/2011

    " Turgenev was never a revolutionary or a great writer. Sort of a limosine liberal of 19th century Russia. But this book is a nice entree into the ideas of the 1860s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Demetri | 11/14/2011

    " he's no tolstoy or dostoevsky (who said you could only like one of them anyway?), but it is easy to see why he sold better. i like the turgenev character in demons (the possessed). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andre | 11/5/2011

    " felt superfluous next to other Russian classics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krit | 8/13/2011

    " Loved it. Very touching love of parents to children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janna | 7/21/2011

    " I reread this book once in several years. Now I am reading it again. As I grow I understand the writer more and more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leora Bersohn | 7/13/2011

    " Ouch, ouch, ouch. But it's true, so what can you do? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/24/2011

    " Yes it is a Russian novel. Yes, it reads exactly like a Russian novel. That is what makes it so good. It's poignant even in today's world. Thankfully this one is only 200 pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanyatomkins | 6/6/2011

    " Highly recommend if you haven't read it already. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bookamante | 5/19/2011

    " This is a book about the ideals of youths set against those of their parents. And it is about so much more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 5/18/2011

    " what pleases me about turgenev is that like dostoevsky and tolstoy, he makes an entertaining parody of the elite in those days yet the characters aren't vehicles for their passions. they're normal people who make fools of themselves and then die of tuberculosis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rissi | 5/11/2011

    " Read this in high school and liked it. My first taste of nihilism and it fascinated me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mircea | 4/15/2011

    " Russians knew their way around writing. And seing the opposition between the traditional views on life of the old generation and the subversive new views of the new generation it's always stimulating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Korneel | 4/10/2011

    " Brilliant book. Typical Russian literature setting, but far more readable than say Dostojevski. Great Story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 4/10/2011

    " The clash between generations, as told through the lens of Russian Nihilism during the 19th century. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 4/6/2011

    " I've been interested in Russian novels lately. This one was okay, nothing special. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 2/27/2011

    " This is a great, short and accessible Russian masterpiece. Easy to read and a marvelous look at society there in the 1860's; politics, manners, family relationships. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 2/20/2011

    " Excellent book, now one of my favourites. "

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About the Author
Author Ivan Turgenev

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818–1883) was the first Russian writer to gain a wide reputation in Europe. His connections with reform groups in Russia led to his arrest and one-month imprisonment in St. Petersburg. In 1879 the honorary degree of doctor of civil law was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.