First Love

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.5 stars; 86 reviews)

The title of the novella is almost an adequate summary in itself. The "boy-meets-girl-then-loses-her" story is universal but not, I think, banal - despite a surprise ending which notoriously turns out to be very little of a surprise. First Love is given its originality and poignancy by Turgenev's mastery of the piercing turning-point (akin to Joyce's "epiphanies") that transforms the character's whole being, making a tragic outcome inevitable. Even the nature symbolism is rescued from triteness by lovely poetic similes - e.g. "but at that point my attention was arrested by the appearance of a speckled woodpecker who busily climbed up the slender stem of a birch-tree and peeped out uneasily from behind it, first to the right, then to the left, like a musician behind the bass-viol." (Summary by Martin Geeson) (3 hr 3 min)


1 - Introductory and Chapters I - V 38:11 Read by Martin Geeson
2 - Chapters VI - IX 44:43 Read by Martin Geeson
3 - Chapters X - XIV 29:48 Read by Martin Geeson
4 - Chapters XV - XVII 33:35 Read by Martin Geeson
5 - Chapters XVIII - XXII 37:03 Read by Martin Geeson



(4 stars)

This story was really very different. It left me feeling rather sad and empty at the end. The narrator is absolutely fantastic. I cannot say that I liked or disliked the story but it was worth a listen. High recommend this narrator

An exceptional recording

(5 stars)

Love can be surprising. Love can be heartbreaking. Love can be an art. But love is the singular emotion that all humans rely on most and crave endlessly, no matter what the cost. United by this theme of love, the nine titles in the Penguin Great Loves collection include tales of blissful and all-encompassing, doomed and tragic, erotic and absurd, seductive and adulterous, innocent and murderous love. A thunderous applause to Martin Geeson for this fantastic recording! It's really breathtaking, and this no exaggeration. Listen for yourself.


(3.5 stars)

I hate stories that make me cry :'( that was heartbreaking


(4 stars)

Honestly, I didn't like the book very much, it was slow and not very memorable but the Narrator is smashing, so the stars are for him! I could listen to this man talk all day. No, but really, his voice and reading skills are pretty fantastic.


(5 stars)

Enjoyable read. The reader is pleasant and does not annoyingly throw his voice. The story captures the youth in love spirit perfectly. A true classic from a fabulous author.

Well interesting

(5 stars)

I went to Russia in 1990, and saw the general consensus of loss. The reading reminds me of that in the way that there was still love.

(5 stars)

Although, amongst Russian novelists Turgenev is not my favorite, anything read by the narrator Martin Geeson is very much worth listening to!

First Love

(4 stars)

A charming tale of love in the Russian Romantic Style ~ enjoyable but predictable.