This is an audio book-on-CD adaptation of Ivan Turgenev's "Mumu," written in 1854. It is read in English, by Max Bollinger. The CD runs for about 1 hour, 11 minutes.
The story begins with a lonely, aging widow who owns a large estate outside of Moscow. The estate is loaded with servants of every kind, for every task. Even a doctor is on staff and living on the estate. Our story revolves mainly around Gerasim, a deaf mute serf (servant), and the widow's need to be satisfied. Through no choice of his own, Gerasim is removed from his life of plowing the fields and is brought to the estate to be a porter, and to primarily tend the courtyard.
Gerasim is a straight and serious fellow, a hard-working, no-nonsense, big, strong man who has little interest in folks around him, except Tatiana, the laundress. Although we see one side of him early on, we see a kind and loving side in his later relationship with puppy "Mumu," the Spaniel who captures Gerasim's heart.
This was a very sad story and one that makes you think about life in servitude, and about the ease with which someone with money can affect the lives of others. By the power of "owning" others, the widow was able to make choices for others that would deeply affect their lives based on the way she felt at the time. At the end of the story, you will notice the profound effects on the lives of 3 characters, but of course, like a ripple in the pond, each life touches many others.
Max Bollinger does an excellent job presenting this story. Russian by birth and living in England provides him with a perfect accent. His reading is also perfectly timed, clear and distinct. I do not believe anyone else could do this better.