As I was reading Pnin today I realized how greatly under read I am in Russian literature. I think the extent of my exposure is this novel, a sci-fi book based in a fantasy world with Russian tendencies (The Winds of Khalakova- which is also worth a read) and the tiny mice in the children's movie Babe who peep "Crime and Punishment teeheeeheee" at the beginning of one of the movie's "chapters".
Does this make me a horrible person? Probably. Or at least a vastly undercultured bibliophile. Oh well. Most of Tolstoy's and Dostoevsky's work is too long for this year.
But Pnin fit the bill. It was a captivating, succinct, endearing and bittersweet. At first glance, I felt a patronizing pity for Pnin, but as I got to know him through the book and watched his character develop I was very endeared to him, and while he had his faults, was a full character, and indeed a worthy protagonist.
So if you have been interested in reading some Russian lit but wake up with night sweats after nightmares about reading the tome of War and Peace, give this a go!