Ivan Turgenev

Ivan Turgenev was a 19th-century Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, and playwright, best known for his novel 'Fathers and Sons'. His work is recognized for its portrayal of Russian society and its insightful characterizations. Turgenev was a major figure in Russian Realism, and his writings reflect his liberal political views and his concerns about the serfdom system in Russia. His literary legacy includes a profound influence on Russian and world literature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Fathers and Sons

    This classic novel explores the generational divide and ideological clash in 19th century Russia. The story focuses on the relationship between a liberal father and his nihilistic son, who challenges the traditional values and beliefs of his elders. As they navigate their personal differences, the novel delves into broader themes of progress, love, and societal change, offering a poignant commentary on the tension between old and new ideas in a rapidly changing world.

    The 132nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. First Love

    This classic Russian novel explores the intense and passionate first love of a 16-year-old boy named Vladimir. While staying at his family's country estate, he becomes infatuated with a 21-year-old princess named Zinaida. Despite her engagement to another man, Vladimir's youthful ardor and naivety lead him to believe he can win her love. The story is a poignant examination of unrequited love, youthful idealism, and the painful transition into adulthood.

    The 1542nd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. A Sportsman's Notebook

    "A Sportsman's Notebook" is a collection of vignettes and short stories that offer a rich portrayal of 19th-century Russian rural life and landscapes, as observed by a nobleman with a passion for hunting. Through his excursions into the countryside, the narrator encounters a diverse array of peasants and landowners, revealing the social injustices and feudal systems that define their existence. The work is notable for its detailed natural descriptions, its empathetic character studies, and its subtle critique of the era's social hierarchy, which would eventually contribute to the rise of reformist thought in Russia.

    The 1901st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. King Lear of the Steppes

    "King Lear of the Steppes" is a tragic novella about a wealthy landowner who, in his old age, decides to divide his property among his two daughters. The daughters, once kind and loving, turn on their father once they gain control of his estate, leaving him destitute and alone. In his despair, the landowner becomes a vagabond, wandering the very lands he once owned. The story explores themes of family, betrayal, and the tragic consequences of greed.

    The 2443rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Torrents of Spring

    "Torrents of Spring" is a poignant narrative that follows the life of a young Russian nobleman who, after falling in love with a beautiful but unattainable princess, marries a peasant girl. However, he soon falls out of love with his wife and becomes infatuated with a sophisticated married woman. The story explores themes of unrequited love, societal norms, and the complexities of human relationships, providing a deep reflection on the nature of love and the impact of societal expectations.

    The 2443rd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. A Nobleman's Nest

    The novel revolves around the life of a Russian nobleman who returns to his family estate after an extended absence. He finds himself entangled in the complex web of rural society, struggling with his own existential discontent and the changing social landscape of mid-19th century Russia. As he develops a tumultuous relationship with a captivating neighbor, the protagonist is forced to confront his own ideals, desires, and the harsh realities of serfdom that surround him. The narrative delves into themes of love, class, and the search for meaning, set against the backdrop of the Russian countryside with its rich descriptions and social critique.

    The 3764th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Virgin Soil

    This novel explores the life and aspirations of a young man who, inspired by the radical movements of his time, leaves his urban life to engage in the populist cause of the 1860s in Russia. Through his journey, the narrative delves into the complexities of the Russian social structure, the serfdom system, and the fervent, albeit often naive, idealism of the youth seeking to reform their society. The protagonist's encounters with peasants, intellectuals, and fellow revolutionaries, alongside his personal struggles and disillusionments, paint a vivid picture of the era's tumultuous social and political landscape, reflecting the broader ideological conflicts between the old and the emerging new Russia.

    The 6745th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. A Reckless Character and Other Stories

    "A Reckless Character and Other Stories" is a collection of narratives that delve into the lives, struggles, and experiences of Russian society during the 19th century. The stories, rich in detail and imbued with a deep understanding of human nature, portray a range of characters, from peasants to nobility, and their interactions, conflicts, and relationships. The title story involves a young woman who defies societal norms and expectations in her quest for freedom and individuality, highlighting the author's talent for character development and social commentary.

    The 6745th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. A Month In The Country

    "A Month in the Country" by Ivan Turgenev is a classic Russian play that explores themes of unrequited love, the complexities of the human heart, and the social dynamics of 19th-century Russian country life. The story revolves around Natalya Petrovna, a married woman who falls in love with Aleksei Belyaev, a young tutor hired to educate her son. This illicit affection stirs a tumult of emotions and rivalries within her household, as her ward, Vera, also becomes infatuated with Aleksei, and Natalya's longtime friend, Rakitin, struggles with his unspoken love for her. The play delicately unveils the characters' internal conflicts and desires, culminating in a poignant commentary on the nature of love and the inevitability of change.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. On The Eve

    The novel is a poignant exploration of the lives and loves of a group of young Russian intellectuals on the brink of societal change. Set in the 1850s, it centers around Elena, a passionate and idealistic young woman, and her relationships with the men who vie for her affection, including a nihilistic revolutionary and a traditional sculptor. As the characters navigate personal desires and political ideals, the story delves into themes of love, disillusionment, and the search for identity against the backdrop of a Russia teetering on the edge of modernization and reform. The narrative captures the spirit of an era filled with hope and uncertainty, reflecting the broader tensions of a country facing the dawn of a new age.

    The 7168th Greatest Book of All Time