Category: Russian Classics

Is Fiction Marketed to Latter-day Saints “Christian Fiction”?

To answer that question, it’s important to understand what Christian fiction is. Depending on who you ask, you may get one of these answers:

  • Fiction with a lot of talk about God
  • Fiction with very little, if any, sexual content, graphic violence, and foul language
  • Fiction that promotes traditional values and practices such as chastity, integrity, and repentance
  • Fiction written by practicing Christians for practicing Christians about practicing Christians
  • Fiction that explores religious themes in a way that testifies of Jesus Christ and glorifies Him
  • Fiction that preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Stories that would fall apart if the religious element were removed
  • Fiction that contains universal Christian themes and content that will appeal to Christians from a wide variety of denominations
  • A broad genre that contains works from all Christian denominations
  • A narrow genre that only contains books published by specific companies and imprints marketing to a conservative Protestant audience or by independent authors that meet the standards of these companies and imprints

Every single one of these descriptions is accurate. Not every work of Christian fiction, however, can be defined by every single description on this list.

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LibriVox App

Like many readers these days, I sometimes listen to audiobooks while doing other tasks.  A good source for free audiobooks in the public domain is LibriVox. You can download or stream audiobooks from the web site, or you can install an app on your phone or tablet to do the same thing.  Here is the basic description of LibriVox from its web site: Continue reading

Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons, trans. by C. Garnett

Fathers and Sons, trans. by C. Garnett

Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev (Russian classic)

“At the novel’s center stands Evgeny Bazarov, medical student, doctor’s son, and self-proclaimed nihilist. Bazarov rejects all authority, all so-called truths that are based on faith rather than science and experience. His ideas bring him into conflict with his best friend, recent graduate Arkady Kirsanov, with Arkady’s family, with his own parents, and eventually with his emotions, when he falls helplessly in love with the beautiful Madame Odintsova.”


In Fathers and Sons, Turgenev writes about a society undergoing profound changes, one much like ours. For that reason, the novel feels very modern and pertinent to me. Like nineteenth-century Russia, we too have members of the older generation declaring that their ways are correct, and we have members of the younger generation trying to destroy the old institutions, and we have those of both generations working to reform the old institutions, and we have members of both generations who, in accepting or rejecting particular ideals, invite the scorn of others. In all of this conflict, much—if not most—of what is published is meant to support one point of view and undermine all others. Continue reading

The Idiot and Daystar

The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russian classic)

“. . . a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power and sexual conquest than with the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections.”

Daystar, by Kathy Tyers (Christian fiction, Evangelical)

After fleeing to their sanctuary world for safety with other telepathic Sentinels, members of the Caldwell family must decide whether to accept or reject the claim of a previously unknown family member that he is Boh-Dabar, the prophesied Messiah.


Okay, I know what you’re thinking—that only a person with a very strange brain would talk about a Russian classic and a Christian science fiction novel in the same breath. Despite the obvious differences between these two books, they are based on the same premise: What would happen if Jesus Christ came to live among a particular group of people? How would He act? How would people react to Him? What would He require of those people individually and as a community? Continue reading

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