Mikhail Lermontov's "A Hero of Our Time" has long been acknowledged as one of the finest examples of 19th century Russian fiction and i masterpiece of psychological realism. Yet despite this recognition, there is little critical literature on Lermontov in the English language. "A Wicked Irony" is intended to fill this gap providing a detailed examination of the novel and a new interpretative approach. Taking in turn each of these stories in "A Hero of Our Time," the authors analyse the rhetorical strategies devised by the narrators. In so doing, they determine the nature of the irony running through the novel, and how "A Hero of Our Time" is one of the most convincing and compelling portraits of psychotic behaviour in any literature.