By Alexander Pushkin
What a great novel! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As Pushkin was a poet there is slightness of touch throughout and events are hinted at and themes almost coaxed out. You can see this particularly in the short story Egyptian Nights which is almost worth buying the volume for on its own. It’s a pity that Pushkin died so young in a duel, as there would have been many many more amazing stories, novels and poetry. This was written fifty years before Tolstoy’s major works yet it’s Tolstoy that seems stilted and dated. Pushkin doesn’t dabble in certainties, his characters have humanity and ambiguity. Genius.