This is the first novel by William Gerhardie, first published in 1922, and it was made famous by H. G. Wells, who described it as 'true, devastating - a wonderful book'.
Based on Gerhardie's own experiences as a member of the British Military Mission to Siberia shortly after the October Revolution, Futility paints a picture of contemporary Russian society which deserves comparison with the writing of Chekhov. At the centre of the story is Nicolai Vasilievich, who trails across Russia in the wake of the British Mission in the perpetual and unrealistic hope of seeing his fortunes improve, even though they steadily deteriorate. In counterpoint to Nicolai's comic progression, Gerhardie tells the story of his narrator's hopeless love for Nina, the second of Nicolai's three bewitching adolescent daughters.
'William Gerhardie is one of our immortals. He is our Gogol's Overcoat. We all came out of him.' Olivia Manning
'He is a comic writer of genius ... but his art is profoundly serious.' C. P. Snow
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William Alexander Gerhardie was born in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1895. As a young man he went to London and, when the First World War broke out, joined the army. He was first sent to Russia and later travelled the world before beginning to write. Futility (1922), his first novel, was sponsored by Katherine Mansfield, and other notable works of his include The Polyglots (1925) and Of Mortal Love (1936). Gerhardie's writing was acclaimed as an influence on many of his peers, including Anthony Powell, H. G. Wells, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and Olivia Manning. He died in London in 1977.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/06/1974, 1974. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140003918
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/06/1974, 1974. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140003918
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/06/1974, 1974. Book Condition: Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140003918
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1974. Soft cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. Small inscription on fep otherwise fine. 1st thus. Bookseller Inventory # 001826
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Book Description Penguin, London, 1974. Softcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. softcover, 184 pages, small name on title flyleaf, some internal spotting, otherwise very good. box 13 Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 65279
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1974. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st Thus. vg clean copy. Bookseller Inventory # 015924