This is a very good book. Ms. Duvernet did a great deal of research for this book, and it shows in the character development and scene setting. This is a biography about Alexander Pushkin, one of Russia's most esteemed poets and authors. He had a strong yearning for freedom, not only for himself but for all of Russia. His writings and his public comments put him at odds with the Tsar, and he spent his life dealing with the consequences. He was an incredible character. His charm, intellect, and irreverence made him a hero of the Russian people. The early 1800's saw America and France experiencing their post-revolutionary freedoms and there was hope for oppressed people everywhere that freedom could come to them too. This book provides the historical context for what life was like in Russia during this time, how the Tsars oppressed the masses, and what was being done to change it. There are many facets to this book. There is the Russian history, a glimpse into Russian aristocracy and the lifestyle of the privileged and well-connected, the secret societies that tried to organize to free Russia from oppression, and how things like honor and dignity compelled men to act. There is a great deal of character development and back story which allows Ms. Duvernet to detail not only what happened, but why. The book is a little long, but it didn't feel that way when reading it. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. It is a novel, but it is based on fact. There are events and conversations in the book that are created by the author to build the story and to move the narrative along, but these creations are built on educated guesses based on the extensive research that Ms. Duvernet conducted. Her knowledge of the subject and her passion for the story are what make this a book worth reading.
What a delightful read!!. I found the book to be entertaining as well as educational. I could easily picture the scenes in my head and could see this story translate nicely to the stage.
This book is informative and the writing is personal. Descriptions are written so well that you can visualize the country side, the ball dresses, the faces of the people, I highly recommend it. Pushkin's Ode to Liberty is long, but worth the read.
Excellent book! Being born and raised in Russia, Pushkin has been my favorite author and I've studied many books about his life. I was truly amazed when I was reading Mindy Duvernet's story - what a great way to introduce English-speaking world to Pushkin, his life and work, Russian history and culture.
Before reading this book, I did not know hardly anything about Pushkin's life and legacy. However, by the time I finished the book, I felt as though I had gained an intimate knowledge about his passions and poetry. One thing that I especially loved about the book was the imaginative dialogue and descriptions with respect to Pushkin's life experiences. I felt as if I were back in that period, watching it all unfold. Ms. Duvernet is a master of storytelling!
It is a fabulous book about Alexander Pushkin written by an American writer with love and respect for the greatest Russian poet who is not so widely known outside of the Russian-speaking world. Ms. DuVernet's novel tells us a captivating story about the poet and his time, providing the reader with deep insights into Pushkin's biography, showing the events and people who influenced this genius of Russian poetry. I also loved that the author included Pushkin's drawings and fragments of his poetry into her novel. In this way we can visualize all the main characters in the way that Pushkin himself saw them and feel the music of his poetry. This novel is very engaging, intellectually and emotionally stimulating. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is fond of Russian literature and history, as well as to those who love reading about great people who contributed to human civilization.
A compelling look at Alexander Pushkin and the characters who surrounded him. Author M. A. DuVernet digs deep into the life and death of this colorful (and often troubled) writer. It gives me a new respect for all the influences that drove his creative mind. I think of my father, who recently passed, and his love for Russian literature. He would also have loved this book.