2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Poetical and thought provoking,
This review is from: Futility: A Novel On Russian Themes (Paperback)
I'm writing a quick review because no-one else has and I feel, after just finishing the novel, that it deserves a positive comment. The book follows the life of an english man in Russia through the war and revolution. It centers around his relationship with an extended Russian family, all dependant upon the father Nikolai, and his hopes of one day making money from a gold mine he owns. The story revolves around a romance between our narrator and one of the daughters of the family. The backdrop is Russia, both its seasons, landscape and the futility of revolutionary bloodshed.
The book asks, do we live our lives, or do our lives live us? The protagonists of the story are swept along by events of which they have little control, but hoping that things will get better, some time in the future. This happens on the large scale to Russia itself, and on the smaller scale to our hero who cannot quite make the right effort at the right time, and whose hopes pass by.
It has the feel of a Russian novel but also reminded me (a bit)of T S Eliot.
It asks many existential questions without being dry or intellectual. It is well written and easy to approach. Most of all, though being set in an historical setting and being semi-autobiographical, the themes of the book are just as relevant now.