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The Brothers Karamazov Hardcover – Jan 23 1996

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CDN$ 16.93 CDN$ 20.79 First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (Jan. 23 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679601813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679601814
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 4.2 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“[Dostoevsky is] at once the most literary and compulsively readable of novelists we continue to regard as great . . . The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of his art–his last, longest, richest, and most capacious book. [This] scrupulous rendition can only be welcomed. It returns us to a work we thought we knew, subtly altered and so made new again.” –Washington Post Book World

“A miracle . . . Every page of the new Karamazov is a permanent standard, and an inspiration.” –The Times (London)

“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review

“Absolutely faithful . . . Fulfills in remarkable measure most of the criteria for an ideal translation . . . The stylistic accuracy and versatility of registers used . . . bring out the richness and depth of the original in a way similar to a faithful and sensitive restoration of a painting.” –The Independent

“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now–and through the medium of [this] new translation–beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” –New York Review of Books

“Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as it is possible.” –Joseph Frank, Princeton University

With an Introduction by Malcolm V. Jones

From the Back Cover

The Modern Library of the World's
Best Books

"I am called a psychologist; it's not true. I am only a realist in the highest sense--I depict all the depths of the human soul."

--Fyodor Dostoevsky

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, which happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sergey Vasilev on Dec 28 2006
Format: Paperback
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, which is one of Dostoyevsky's all time best, perhaps the best, adds to make him perhaps the best writer of all times. The author came up with so many great ideas and characters that are so real to life even in their complex emotions and rationales that we relate to the characters as if we are in their heads. In the end, not only do we have a great story, we are also left with a beautifully written work of political, psychological, sociological, ethical and psychological thought that is very true not only to Russia, but to other lands and peoples as well.

The greatest soul writer of all times and great contributor to human psychology successfully created a beautiful and amazing dynamism between the Karamazov brothers that has been the core of many stories after involving siblings. There is the unreliable father, the old Fyodor Karamazov whose life dominates his sons and whose death casts a huge shadow on their future.

Sensual Alyosha who is the youngest of the Karamazov brothers is the main character of the story, and he is noted for his strong faith in god and humanity, deep kindness and sense of sacrifice.

Ivan the atheist has a sharp mind and is the critical analyzer who seeks for meaning in everything. He is skeptical and dwells more on rationale in his dealing with people and issues. In the end, his intellectual mind misleads him and opens the doors to the nightmares in his life.

Dmitry is the sensitive brother who has a strong consideration for anything living, Smerdyakov their half-brother, is the cunning illegitimate son of old Fyodor Karamazov and works as Fyodor's servant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "inspectorhoorah" on Nov. 4 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brothers Karamazov is very complex, in relation to the characters and their interactions. To me the characters were not described very well and the dialogue seemed forced, at times incoherent(why is everyone having convulsions?)It seems Dostoyevsky did not have any strength left to make the dialogue interesting. People would lapse into fits for no reason and hallucinate constantly, it made you just want to get to the more philosophical sections. The personal interactions were mainly confusing and frustrating, many times I wanted to throw the book in the garbage. 75% of this book consisted of the characters going back and forth to each others houses talking about god knows what(you lose interest and lose track of who's who eventually and they all sound the same). This book was a definite chore-read, I did not suspect this having read "crime and punishment" beforehand, a book I was very impressed with. The only part I did enjoy were Dostoyevsky's questions about morality, which are always satisfying and informative. It is possible that Dostoyevsky's illness in later life reflects the poor effort of this book. I think that because it was his last, people assume that it was his greatest. I wouldnt waste your time, maybe read the cliff's notes. (...)
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Format: Hardcover
The Brothers Karamazov is a magnificent piece of literature. Anyone the least bit familiar with Fyodor Dostoevsky will easily spot his hand at work here, which means some familiar ground for readers of other works by the author. This is not at all negative, however; this volume overflows with illuminating, thought-provoking Dostoevsky ideas.
The Constance Garnett translation is somewhat awkward; I find Garnett overly monotonous and convoluted. Though Dostoevsky is no quick nor casual read, his text was certainly confused in some of Garnett's meandering passages. I feel other translators do a more concise and entertaining job, while keeping the same ideas intact, though I've only briefly read other translations.
To give evidence to my critique, the notes on translation in the back of my text indicate some issues, including the title itself! Instead of "The Brothers Karamazov," the book should probably be "The Karamazov Brothers." As editor Ralph E. Matlaw states, "we do not refer to 'the brothers Kennedy'," and I'll mention "the sisters Hilton." On the bright side, I feel the strange title makes the book feel more "foreign" and exotic.
Matlaw also states Garnett doesn't just confuse the reader with some language, but actually simplifies and cleans up other language, turning at least one character into a more polished version than Doestoevsky probably intended. Thankfully, Garnett's peculiarities become familiar and comfortable. Overall, this book is sufficiently readable.
Of note to first-time Dostoevsky readers is the extreme number of characters quickly introduced near the beginning of the book, with the traditional cavalcade of Russian names, surnames, and nicknames.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This recent Russian novel has lately been getting a lot of attention in America following the release of The Brothers McMullen, an American movie based upon the book. With all of the hype surrounding the film, this new English translation should propel Dostoevky's work to the bestseller list and may even become one of Oprah's new favorites!
The story focuses on three Gen X brothers, Dmitry, Alexi and Ivan, coming to terms with relationships and careers in the ironic and apathetic late-90s. Dmitry is the party kid, recklessly drinking and gambling and picking up loose women. His character is clearly inspired by the anti-heroes of Jay McInernery and Bret Easton Ellis. Then there's the thoughtful college student Ivan. He is wracked with indecision as he finds that his philosophy courses have only prepared him for jobs at the local Safeway. The youngest, Alexi, is the good kid - a former altar boy with a big heart and an eye for good deeds. He becomes increasingly frustrated when he finds that girls don't always go for nice boys.
The three brother's lives are all impacted by their troubled relationship with their foolhardy and negligent father. Having lost two wives, his role as a single parent is compromised by excessive drinking and disorderliness. Their troubled household is clearly inspired by some of the seminal writings of S. E. Hinton.
When the father unexpectedly dies, the plot takes a 180 degree turn and we suddenly find ourselves in an intense Law & Order style courtroom drama. Look out O.J.! Solving this crazy whodunit becomes a real brain twister. Lovers of teen drama and mystery novels alike will have to exercise considerable restraint to avoid sneaking a peek at the surprise ending!
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