Having read (twice) and loved "Eugene Onegin" I decided to see what else Pushkin had to offer, so I purchased this 950 page collection.

The works of Pushkin, at least the ones reflected in this book, can be roughly divided to 3 categories: short poems (less than a page, or so), long poems - stories in verse, really (like "Onegin") and non-verse stories (prose).

I came to a conclusion that his short poems are nice, but I get bored quickly reading them one after another. Perhaps it's fun to pick the favorites, read them a few times, learn them by heart, etc, but reading them in succession is not very entertaning.

The long poems - stories in verse, is what I liked the most. Apart from Eugene Onegin, which is included in this book and which I read (of course) the 3rd time, there are "The fountain of Bahchisaray", "The captive of Caucas", and others - most of them very good. It takes extraordinary skill to write a long story all in verse, and Pushkin just has this gift...

I didn't really like his prose. The writing is light, flowing and occasionally funny, but it's just not "it". He also writes about the lives of the Russian elite during the 17-19th centuries, but Tolstoy writes prose much better, IMHO. Besides, here comes the issue of reading many similar stories in succession. Most deal with pretty much the same things.

All in all, I'm glad I got this book. First of all I have my own copy of Onegin now. Second, there are a few other works I really liked and I'm glad to have. Pushkin is an excellent writer, especially of verse. I've got to sniff around and ask people what other great works of him I can put my hands on.


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