A Hero of Our Time

By Mikhail Lermontov

Published by Penguin Classics (2009)

A masterpiece of Russian prose, Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time is translated with an introduction and notes by Natasha Randall, and a foreword by Neil LaBute, author of reasons to be pretty, in Penguin Modern Classics.

The first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled on publication. Its Byronic 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. In five linked episodes, Lermontov builds up a portrait of a man caught in and expressing the sickness of his times. Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov, holding up a mirror not only to Lermontov's time but also to our own.

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