Five words from the blurb: funny, thoughtful, Russian, writers, travels
I love the idea of Russian literature, but I have to admit that it scares me and so I have yet to try any (apart from The Master And Margarita, which scared me even more!) This book appealed to me because it allows the reader to glimpse into the world of Russian literature in an entertaining and less imposing way.
The Possessed is part memoir, part travelogue and follows Batuman through her Russian studies at Stanford University, to her adventures travelling through California, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Hungary and Russia. The book is littered with interesting little snippets of information about Russian authors and their texts.
But unfortunately I was less keen on the travelogue aspects of the book and frequently found my mind drifting from the page. There were too many unnecessary details and I felt that these detracted from the more insightful sections about Russian literature.
I’m pleased that I read The Possessed because it has inspired me to pick up some of the Russian classics, but I wish that the book had concentrated on the books rather than the travelling.