I felt a little jolt last week when I read this tweet from The New
York Times Book Review:
George Saunders, author of “Lincoln in the Bardo,” reveals the darkest novel he's ever read https://t.co/OwwMNzl8zd pic.twitter.com/d7sNRk3mHX— New York Times Books (@nytimesbooks) February 16, 2017
Ouch! This is the ultimate book about dysfunctional families. I have to admit that I found it difficult to read at times, both because of obsolete language and the absolute horridness of the characters. But I’m glad that I stuck with this book that Dmitrii Mirskii, an historian of Russian literature, called “the gloomiest in all Russian literature,” particularly because S-Shch has such a knack for showing the way things really were. The rottenness of the gentry is stunning, and I found the ending almost unbearably depressing. Still, I recommend it.