A thrilling study of guilt and power, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is translated with an introduction and notes by David McDuff. Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines ...
A thrilling study of guilt and power, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is translated with an introduction and notes by David McDuff. Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, a suspicious detective, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky's dark masterpiece evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur and everyone's faith in humanity is tested. This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky's great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also contains a new chronology of Dostoyevsky's life and work. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in "Penguin Classics" include "The Brothers Karamazov", "The Idiot" and "Demons". If you enjoyed "Crime and Punishment", you might like Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", also available in "Penguin Classics". "McDuff's language is rich and alive". ("The New York Times Book Review").
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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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