A Hero of Our Time

A Hero of Our Time

Foreword by:
Introduction by: Natasha Randall
Translator: Natasha Randall
Notes by: Natasha Randall

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143105633
  • 208 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


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. Mikhail Lermontov (1814-41) was a Russian Romantic writer and poet. As a young man Lermontov was an officer in the guards, and was sent to fight in the Caucasus after insulting the Tsar. His dramatic life ended after being shot down in a duel. Ifyou enjoyed A Hero of Our Time, you might like Andrei Bely’s Petersburg, also available in Penguin Clasics. ‘One of the most vivid and persuasive portraits of the male ego ever put down on paper’ Neil LaBute, from the Foreword


“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
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