Deeply intense story by pdsa []
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by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev; Constance Garnett; Max Bollinger

  Audiobook on CD : CD audio : Fiction  |  Unabridged

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Deeply intense story   (2010-09-07)


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by pdsa

Deeply intense story of Mumu, the dog and deaf mute Gerasim, whom one might suppose a serf transplanted from a country estate near Moscow where "he did the work of four men" to duties as courtyard porter of the Moscow's house of a recluse elderly female landowner, whom one might suppose a member of the Aristocracy. All is intimist and social critic tschekovian in tone, never overt. Gerasim is Russia, lost in a city in his peasant blouse among the "German coats" worn by domesticity and visitors to the town house. 

With great empathy for the human condition and his characters, Turgenev depicts a courtyard kept meticulously clean of weeds, dust and drunkards by Gerasim. After loosing a potential wife to a shoemaker through a marriage of convenience arranged by the landowner, Gerasim reports all his affection on his dog Mumu. 

When Mumu rejects the unwanted attention of the insomniac and paranoiac old lady secluded in her second floor apartments, disaster strikes prompting Gerasim's return to his village and the eternal values of mother Russia, its land and its people. This audio book is beautifully presented. The narrator convincing and sincere in conveying the gentleness of Gerasim and yet his inalterable strenghth opposed to the cruelty and stupidity of the other members of the household. A short story but great in emotion and meaning that makes you want to read his other books. What a successful introduction to a great writer.

Philippe Felsenhardt (USA)

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