I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to work their way slowly into Russian Literature. It is a light-hearted story about a school teacher who meets with some difficulties. It is humorous and a relatively easy read. I thoroughly enjoyed Pnin.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a romantic historical novel set during the time of the French Revolution. The hero of the book leads a double life, playing the part of an ignorant English Aristocrat as the perfect cover for his night-life as a rougue who rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine. In the meantime, he falls for a displaced French lady, but must maintain his hidden identity, even from her. One of the most romantic books I have ever read, it has just the right ballance of intrigue, action, suspense and heroism. Loved it.
Not an easy book to read, but well worth while. Describes life in a laber camp in, sometimes graphic, detail. I admit that I will probably not struggle through reading Solzhenitsyn's Gulag, but this (in my mind at least) serves as a more palatable (and shorter) substitute.