"Will I really - I mean, really - actually take an axe, start bashing her on the head, smash her skull to pieces?...Will I really slip in sticky, warm blood, force the lock, steal, tremble, hide, all soaked in blood...axe in hand?...Lord, will I really?" (Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year 2014). This new translation of Dostoevsky's ...
"Will I really - I mean, really - actually take an axe, start bashing her on the head, smash her skull to pieces?...Will I really slip in sticky, warm blood, force the lock, steal, tremble, hide, all soaked in blood...axe in hand?...Lord, will I really?" (Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year 2014). This new translation of Dostoevsky's 'psychological record of a crime' gives his dark masterpiece of murder and pursuit a renewed vitality, expressing its jagged, staccato urgency and fevered atmosphere as never before. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk (1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, he fell in love with one of his contributors, Appollinaria Suslova, eighteen years his junior, and developed a ruinous passion for roulette. After the death of his first wife, Maria, in 1864, Dostoyevsky completed Notes from Underground and began work towards Crime and Punishment (1866). The major novels of his late period are The Idiot (1868), Demons (1871-2) and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80). He died in 1881. Oliver Ready is Research Fellow in Russian Society and Culture at St Antony's College, Oxford. He is general editor of the anthology, The Ties of Blood: Russian Literature from the 21st Century (2008), and Consultant Editor for Russia, Central and Eastern Europe at the Times Literary Supplement. As Director of the Russkiy Mir Programme at St Antony's, he runs events and conferences devoted to Russian culture.
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This novel is at once honest and complex, disenchanting and sympathetic! It carries you away to Russia, St. Petersburg to meet a defunct college student who struggles with the thin line between natural morality and that imposed on human-kind through religion and society. The streets and man made structures of st. Petersburg are used to reflect the decisions and ideas put forth in the novel and by the charicture Raskolnikov. Excellent reading!
Feb 21, 2009
I, too, read this novel for my high school English class. While I did not enjoy it as much as some of my peers, it is definitely a book that I am glad to have read. Dostoevsky manages not only to delve into the mind of a criminal, he also provides an intriguing social commentary. I would not suggest this novel unless you are truly committed to reading it.
May 22, 2007
I admit I only read this book because it was assigned to us in my high school English class. I was instantly put off by the length and language of the book. Slowly though, as I pushed on through this psychologically prodding book, I began to understand Dostoevsky's views on the human mind. I really can't say much that the book review hasn't already said without giving away the entire plot of the book, but if you are willing to swim through long narratives and complicated descriptions, you will find that this book has wonderful pictures of how the mind reacts to stress and exactly what the consequences of actions are.
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