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Mumu (Audio Book Edition) Audio CD – Audiobook, 15 Jun 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 74 pages
  • Publisher: Sovereign (15 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English, Russian
  • ISBN-10: 0956116566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956116567
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,206,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An absolute classic, Mumu gives a wonderfully vivid picture of life for the poor in Russia, can't be faulted. It is great to have an audio book version, which really brought the story to life. I really enjoyed listening to this, but the real star is Turgenev's writing.

Nikki Pierce (UK)

Mumu by Ivan Tergenev is a brilliant story superbly narrated by Max Bollinger. By turns tragic and comic the story concerns a deaf mute serf whose love for a laundress is unrequited and who instead befriends a dog, the Mumu of the title.

Alan Moreton (UK)

It is a poignant story which brought me close to tears. But it made me think as well. The narrator has done a very good job with his choice of translation and his slight accent adds to the story. Not having read the original story I cannot comment on his adaptation, but this edition has whet my appetite for Turgenev on the page.

Joseph Belliveau (Canada) --interactive.eu.com

Gerasim is a deaf mute servant in the household of a cantankerous old widow outside Moscow. He finds comfort in his isolated life of arduous work in his beloved dog, Mimi, but the widow orders the animal s destruction. A harrowing short story published in 1854, its vivid portrayal of callous cruelty towards serfs is believed to have influenced opinion in favour of the abolition of serfdom seven years later. The narration is Russian accented English communicates all of Turgenev's favour. --Rachel Redford, The Observer, The Guardian (UK)

An absolute classic, Mumu gives a wonderfully vivid picture of life for the poor in Russia, can't be faulted. It is great to have an audio book version, which really brought the story to life. I really enjoyed listening to this, but the real star is Turgenev's writing. --Nikki Pierce (UK) interactive.eu.com

About the Author

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev 1818-1883, a Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His short story collection entitled A Huntsman's Sketches, is a milestone of Russian Realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction. Turgenev studied literature, philosophy and philology at the Universities of Moscow, St Petersburg and Berlin and in 1879 received honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford. Turgenev's artistic purity made him a favourite of like-minded novelists of the next generation, such as Henry James and Joseph Conrad.

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Format: Audio CD
Max Bollinger continues to bring to our attention works of Russian literature (Bollinger was born in Russia but now lives and works in England). His previous audio books of stories by Chekhov has a growing listening public, so much of the flavor of the works as read by Bollinger is essentially Russian, that together with Bollinger's training in acting makes him the perfect narrator. Now here is a new release of the story Mumu by Ivan Turgenev, a story not many of us may know, but in this reading Bollinger makes it come alive. The first section sets the mood of the story reading a fine translation by Constance Garnett, describing the owner of an aging mansion and her porter Gerasim.

The story has been described as follows: 'A terrible story that, better than any manifesto, indicted the absolute tyrannical cruelty of pre-revolutionary landowners in Russia. Gerasim is a deaf and dumb peasant, brought from the country to serve his mistress (modeled on Turgenev's monstrous mother) as caretaker of her city property on the outskirts of Moscow. He doesn't like his new life, but gets used to it, especially after he rescues a little puppy with black and white spots from the riverbank. Having this dog, Mumu, he finally has love in his bitter and otherwise loveless life, and the dog worships him. But one day the mistress calls for Mumu to be brought into her presence; when it was shy of her and bared its teeth at her approach, the mistress was stung to a fury, implacably ordering, "see that she isn't here today--do you hear?" Her butler Gavrilo tries to sell Mumu, but she finds her way back. Gerasim hides the dog, but the mistress gets wise when Mumu's guard dog instincts make her bark at an intruder. This time the writing is on the wall: Gerasim is ordered to hand Mumu over--to be destroyed.
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Format: Audio CD
Ivan Turgenev (1818 - 1883) wrote Mumu in 1854. He is a major 19th century Russian write who was broadly contemporary with Dostoevsky. The story was translated English by Constance Garnett. Max Bollinger remarks that there were only a few minor changes that needed to be made to her translation. He says that `the elegance, wit and idiomatic composition of Garnett's work is of the highest calibre.'
The story is focused on the exercise of power by the female owner of an estate (the Mistress) run by serfs who she owned. Gerasim, a tall, deaf and dumb peasant has been brought to her town house to work as the porter. He falls in love with Tatyana, a pretty wardrobe maid. The mistress decides that Tatyana ought to marry Kapiton, a drunken shoemaker on her estate. Gerasim is persuaded by the steward to take the situation quietly. After Kapiton and Tatyana have been married for a while, Kapiton becomes a hopeless drunk. The couple are therefore sent to live and work on a distant farm.
One day Gerasim rescued a puppy that was drowning in the river. He took it home, cared for her and called her Mumu. By the time the dog was 8 months old it was a handsome Spaniel. It went everywhere with Gerasim. She only barked with good reason and never went into the Mistress's house.
One day the Mistress sees the dog in the garden in front of the house and orders it brought in. But, once in the house, Mumu won't come near her. In fact, she growls at the Mistress. At this, the Mistress is very upset and orders the dog taken out. That night she sleeps poorly and complains that she was kept awake by dogs barking. She says the only dog on the premises should be the proper watchdog. All others must go.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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