By Alexander Pushkin
This novel is even better than Dubrovsky – possibly because it was finished and also Pushkin had done a lot of research into the areas the novel covers. Prior to The Captains’s Daughter Pushkin had written a history of Pugachev – the rebel leader who takes a central role in the novel. The writing is confident and clear and Pushkin is completely at home in the world he has created. The hero Grinyov has a similar social status to Pushkin (if we are to judge by the number of serfs each have) and both struggle with social events and politics that surround them. Because of this there is an assurance here, which, combined with the subtleties and clarity of Pushkin’s art makes for a fantastic novel. Pushkin seemed to be talented in so many areas, poetry, theatre, history and novel writing. Sadly you feel that he was only just starting to get going when his life was cut short. This novel is not dated at all, highly enjoyable and an excellent entry into Russian literature. All the characters are so interesting and have so many shades – at no time do they become caricatures. Read Pushkin – Nevermind the Tolstoy.