Is Lermontov's "A Hero of Our Time" the greatest Russian novel?
More focused than Dostoyevskii, funnier than Tolstoy, cleverer than anything Pushkin wrote. A masterpiece that so many readers "familiar" with Russian lit have no idea about.
It's like Great Gatsby. Meritable, filled with prose gems, a good novel regardless of whether you have found its acclaim overbearing, a fine novel, but not great, not especially sophisticated.
Probably my least favourite of all of the Russian novels I've read. I had to force myself to finish it, and one year later I can only remember the most basic details about the novel.
What makes it such a masterpiece in your view?
His footnotes are hilarious. The translation is fine.
To OP: i dont think it's the greatest Russian novel. The great gatsby comparison another anon made feels apt to me, because like the great gatsby, it feels too tied to tissue time period and is too narrow in outlook. Yes you can derive universal things from the book as you can with gatsby but I feel like it's just lacking as a definitive masterpiece. It's not about sophistication per se but I think there could be more. Keep in mind that it's lermontovs only novel and he was obviously not completely at ease with the form. The book.is uneven.