The Same Old Story

By Ivan Goncharov

Translated by Stephen Pearl

ISBN: 9781847495624

384 pages

RRP: £7.19

Filled with dreams of pursuing a career as a poet, the young Alexander Aduev moves from the country to St Petersburg, where he takes up lodgings next to his uncle Pyotr, a shrewd and world-weary businessman. As his ideals are challenged by disappointment in the fields of love, friendship and poetical ambition, Alexander must decide whether to return to the homely values he has left behind or adapt to the ruthless rules and morals of city life.

Told in the author’s trademark humorous style and presented in a sparkling new translation by Stephen Pearl, The Same Old Story – Goncharov’s first novel, preceding his masterpiece Oblomov by twelve years – is a study of lost illusions and rude spiritual awakening in the modern world.

Part of The Ivan Goncharov Collection now at £15


  • This book made Goncharov famous in Russia. And from half a continent and three lifetimes away he can still make new readers laugh and gasp with recognition over timeless human foibles.

    Nicholas Lezard
    The Guardian

  • Reading The Same Old Story conveys the pleasure of an overheard conversation

    A.N. Wilson

  • An entertaining and thought-provoking read.

    Shiny New Books

  • Goncharov is ten heads above me in talent.

    Anton Chekhov

  • That Stephen Pearl has been able to recreate such an authentic representation of the text that … evokes the epoch it was written in its diction and rhythm as well as being extremely ‘readable’ for contemporary readers pronounces this translation to be an admirable accomplishment.

    Bookish Ramblings

Ivan Goncharov

Ivan Goncharov (1812–91) was a Russian official, novelist, critic and travel writer, who is best remembered for his masterpiece Oblomov.