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Smoke Paperback – Apr 19 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Point Pr; New edition edition (April 19 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188598300X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885983008
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,752,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

John Reed was the kind of man who, one instant, might touch you to your very core -- send a symphony into the marrow of your bones. But he was also the type who, the next instant, might prove exasperatingly shallow. Such was his sad contradiction. There he'd be reciting something truly something -- but reciting it at the exclusive room of the trendiest possible of-the-second club to an audience of those beautiful and ambitious New Yorkers who, though not always successful at it, were the most "willing, " in the name of glory, to lead lives unexamined and vapid.
His tragic and untimely demise unfolded at a juncture when I was most disgusted with him -- for not a month earlier, his reprehensible behavior had ended our relationship. One that had seemed riddled...well, with potential.
He could be a boy sometimes, standing as he would have in 1977, a child of the Manhattan wasteland -- a body filthy and lean, and trying to discover for itself honor in the void. This aspect of his work had been of interest to me. And since, during the course of our romance, we discussed our writing with each other, I became quite familiar with his proposal for "Duh Whole" -- the tale of a girl gone awry, and a great big hole. Hence, it was not unexpectedly (the prospect of finishing the unfinished works of expired authors ever-tempting) that I was approached the very minute John first coughed (with luck, it'd be a foreshadowing of consumption and doom). His outline proved surprisingly complete, and having no book deal of my own, I was soon secured in the effort -- and with John's institutionalization and rapid decline, I was given the green light. If you like my work, you might look for other novels ostensibly by Reed, such as "Snowball's Chance" and "A Still Small Voice, " which, incidentally, I also wrote. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
an interesting novel of the exilic community in Russia as how it existed in Germany. WE have the story here of Litvinov a Russian patriot who falls in love with the beautiful Irina but whose love is thwarted and she disappears only to resurface in baden Germany 10 years later and Litvinov is still in love with her but she is married to a general and he is betrothed to the beautiful Tanya who is coming to meet him to marry him. Eventually his old love proves to strong and he gives up on Tanya to follow Irina back to petersberg and develop a career there so as to be close to his love.

The story is a good story of the leading circles of Russia at the time both the military elite and what was happening to the serfs and the love triangles which surrounded many of the leading generals at the time and it shows the meeting places of Russians as they met outside Russia and their passions and loves. Irina doesn't come across as that genuine a character where as she wants to keep her husband and yet wants to keep her lover and breaks up his marriage to Tanya who comes across as a used figure by Litvinov who deserves better than what she got. Interesting novel gives us much information on the lives of Russians in mid 19th century Russia and of the military elite and their spouses and friends and behaviors. I enjoyed the novel a good read for those interested in 19th century fiction or Russian literature as there are few russian to equal Turgenev.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9fcba03c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fccd330) out of 5 stars Very readable, youthful Turgenev romantic/political novel April 26 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
A very readable translation, although more can be gained with an elementary level of French to catch some of the untranslated idiomatic phrases of the faux aristocracy. This short novel is not as sentimental or melancholy as "Spring Torrents" or "First Love," and perhaps lacks the polish of his best-known work "Fathers and Sons," but the mixture of the setting (Baden Baden, Germany)with the characters from not only Russia, but also France, Germany et al., with a familiar plot device (love triangle) makes for not only an interesting love story but also an intriguing glance at the political history of Russia and western Europe. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a more complete understanding of Turgenev's works,the Russian novel in general, and the late 19th Century European literature. Personally, I have enjoyed all of Turgenev's novels and would recommend any of them. If you are new to Turgenev, however, I would definitely recommend starting with "Fathers and Sons." All of Turgenev's novels combined make for less reading than say Tolstoy's "War and Peace" or Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment." Sample some Turgenev!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fccda14) out of 5 stars Russians in Baden-Baden Aug. 2 2005
By A reader - Published on
"Smoke," a novel mainly set among wealthy Russians travelling abroad, is not without its problems. The story takes a while to get under way, and Turgenev's effort to fit the plot developments into the broader issue of Westernization in Russia at times places a strain on the narrative.

However, a scene in chapter 26 (which gives the book its name) features one of the loveliest passages I have yet encountered in literature. It is a brief passage in which Litvinov, the main character, returning to Russia with his spirit crushed by the circumstances of his ill-fated trip to Baden-Baden, has a reverie prompted by the sight of the smoke he sees outside the train window. As is often the case with Turgenev's writing, it is a simple scene but one laden with humanity and warmth.

(BTW: It is also worthwhile to examine this book in connection with Leonid Tsypkin's "Summer in Baden-Baden" which discusses the meeting there between Turgenev and Dostoevsky.)
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fccd9fc) out of 5 stars Where's the Fire? Aug. 20 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Turgenev devotees will be pleased to find a copy of this most seldom reissued and perhaps least known of his novels. Its tidy paperback sheath, studded with sepia snapshots from the historical time it depicts, makes a fine outer garment for the spare and slender frame of a tale we find within. For, at first glance, "Smoke" will not appear to have many of the winning features which normally draw readers into Turgenev's fictional realms and keep them there, so happily immured: absent are the legendary lyrical descriptions of the Russian countryside and its owners to be found in such novels as "Rudin" and "Home of the Gentry," and missing are the complex character development and more involved political reflections which are hallmarks of the somewhat lesser yet still impressive "On the Eve." And the discoverer of "Smoke" will be sorely disappointed should she or he hope to find in this work something to satisfy the voracious literary appetite engendered by the sumptuous meal which "Fathers and Children" invariably is. "Smoke," like "Virgin Soil" which immediately followed it, has no dearth of defects. Its plot moves too swiftly, for example, giving no time for characters to change and events to move in credible ways. Its tone is often mean-spirited and sour. Practically no one likeable, aside, perhaps, from the unhappy Tatyana, appears in its pages. Its plot and even dialogue are too often puzzlingly predictable. Yet, for all its lacks, "Smoke" does accomplish the astonishing novelistic miracle, achieved by so few: the creation of two characters, in Irina Ratmirov and Grigory Litvinov, who are utterly unforgettable. Unsavory from first bite to final slurp, an encounter with them will leave the reader longing for some equally ferocious flavor as purgative to the palate. No small feat! Though to a 21st century American ear, this translation will sound quaintly Victorian (Constance Garnett, whose translating career death has not hurt one little bit) and cozily English (check out curiosities like "phiz" and "fly"), it is well-worth not only buying but reading. What better way, really, to point out the always-to-be-remembered truth that even immortals like the divine Turgenev were not continually engaged in the manufacture of masterpieces.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fccd960) out of 5 stars More a treatise than a novel June 5 2011
By P. Troutman - Published on
Format: Paperback
This novel is really only of interest to those with a strong, if not professional, interest in Russian literature. There is an intriguing story here, a love triangle in which not is all what it seems. But in its actual length, it's really only a novelette. The rest of the book is contemporary political commentary that is neither self-explanatory nor coached in universal terms that might make it of interest to people not personally invested in those debates (as opposed to Tolstoy's disgressions on peasant life in Anna Karenina, which deal with basic and inescapable questions of inequality amongst people). And the people personally invested in these political debates -- they've been dead for a hundred years. So this novel is mainly a historical footnote, known for ticking off Dostoevsky. It's a pity too, as the love triangle was getting engrossing when it abruptly was over.

It also bothers me that the publisher that reprinted, with more typos than you'd expect, a Garnett translation beyond copyright protection instead of hiring someone to do a more credible job. (I don't know how good of a translation this is, but Garnett's reputation is not one of fidelity.)