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Translation has the merit of being literal, all others I have seen are paraphrases. Pushkin's poetry, of which this work is a part, cannot be translated into English retaining the rhymes and meter of the original. Any attempt to do so is really a composition of a different work, using Pushkin's work as a starting point. Anyone who does not understand this does not understand the nature of languages and their differences. Nabokov's work at least gives an idea of what the literal meaning of Evgeny Onegin, insofar as that can be translated. It is the next best thing to reading the original in Russian.
This book is the ideal companion to any translation of Onegin. Nabokov is at his best with his great narrations and digressions. Ideal for lovers of Russian literature often considered untranslatable. Necessary to the better comprehension of Pushkin masterpiece. .Just refuse to be turned off by the size (over 1000 pages) and brick weight of this important book.
Even though I had read Eugene Onegin several times it had always been by the proverbial seat of my pants. But when my reading group decided to delve into this classic I decided it was a good time to get some more info and background on it. McNab did not disappoint. He filled in a number of holes that would have been difficult for us to have figured out. I certainly didn't read all of it but I dug in whenever I (or we) had a question. It was pretty helpful and, as expected, interesting.