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4.5 out of 5 stars
Crime and Punishment
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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(2 star)show all reviews
on December 29, 1999
I expected a lot more from this book than I got out of it. I liked Brothers Karamazov very much but I found Crime and Punishment to be pretty annoying, without any payoff. We have to follow the convoluted mind of a moron. The police detective just assumes that he will confess sooner or later because he's a gentleman, not a poverty-stricken crook. What's that about? Why the hell would you assume that a murderer would confess? Must we suspend our disbelief and our common sense before opening the book? Raskolnikov is an annoying person to read about, and I don't find him terribly realistic either. If he is such an idealist, why doesn't he regret, most of all, killing the shy lady? Why does he forget her as soon as he dispatches her? And that ending - I'm not going to spoil it for you but I'll just say I don't believe it. After reading this thoroughly mediocre book I was really amazed at how good Brothers Karamazov is.
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on October 11, 1999
I expected this book to be an incredible read, a mind-altering study of guilt and conscience and other philosophical issues. Boy was I wrong. This book was just plain boring. At no point was it gripping, at no point did it force me to think, at no point did it introduce any ideas that contained even a hint of originality. The content was no more intelligent and thought-provoking than an episode of "Friends." And the actual structure of the writing read like a second-grader's short story for English class. Maybe it was just the translation, but it was horrible. How many times did I see the combination of letters: "Aach"? That's not a word in English. Nor is it even a common expression. Nor is it the phoenetical spelling of a noise that I've ever heard. Couldn't the translator have come up with a better translation? A very disappointing book...
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on February 9, 2000
This is a mal-shaped book structurally. Raskolnikov suggests to the lawman about mid-way through this long book that he is the killer...and then the book still has hundreds of pages to go! The second half seemed to me a lot of filler. I think THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV a masterpiece, and it is also about a murder. But CRIME AND PUNISHMENT doesn't deserved its classic status. And Nabokov detested Dostoevsky, because he didn't like the idea of characters coming to spiritual awakening through horrendous acts. And, while I think Dostoevsky was a better writer than Nabokov thought he was, that's one of the problems I had with this book: In the end you're supposed to feel uplifted by Raskolnikov's "awakening," but all I could think was, "But the guy murdered two women! He should be drowned in the river he is standing near!"
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on October 29, 2002
I found the first part of the book, in which the pre-murder and murder phases are described, to be excellent, but the last 250 pages to be utterly boring, except for the scenes between the police and the protagonist. THese last 250 pages are filled with tangential matters regarding Roskolnikov's family, and relationships between R. and a prostitute, and between R's friend and R"s sister. My feeling about all this was: who cares? With the murder being such an overwhelming central theme, these other stories just seem a waste of time, and are very tedious to wade through, waiting for something interesting to resume again. The Brothers Karamazov is so far superior that it is not correct to assume that this is at the same level.
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Dostoyevsky is highly over-rated. This book often falls into pits of pointlessness. There's an old in a bar, speaking to our "hero," and the old man goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, about nothing. That's bad writing. It seems this book was written by an insane person. Thoughts and ideas are all over the narrative, without any cohesion. It must have been written on various cocktail napkins, and newspapers, and sent to the publisher a week later, dragged in the mud by a horse.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 1, 2013
I suppose a novel has stood the test of time to be considered a classic, but I found this novel so utterly depressing that I struggled through it. I'm wondering if there is a classic Russian tale that is ever anything but morose. If the protagonist was even slightly empathy-arousing I could understand the psychological aspect better, but he wasn't. Everything about this story was dirty, poverty stricken, and depressing. Most of the characters seemed unbelievably coarse to modern and western eyes.I forced myself to get through this so I could say I've read it, but it wasn't enjoyable, uplifting or even deliciously sad...
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on April 16, 2001
Having read the Constance Garnet translation three times, I looked forward to a new version. The experience has been disappointing. The translation is awkward at best, without style, and jarring in spots. After spending a month on 125 pages, I gave up and went back to Constance, with relief. I can stand the "whilst's" if the writing flows.
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on October 15, 1998
The unsettling story of a sultry young man with unbridled passion fell into his own state of deprivation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2014
This book. Wow. It's a monster. It's a behemoth. It's a trip into darkness, boredom, excitement, frustration. I can't say that I loved it and I don't think I can even say that I liked it, there were definitely many times where I hated it. There were just a few moments throughout this book where I really enjoyed what I was reading, the rest to me was what I considered to be just shy of rubbish. Blabbering. Pointless literature.

I admit that this was my first foray into Russian literature. I am not however averse or unfamiliar with challenging writing. For example I have read various 19th century literature, I've read Dickens too, not to mention some Honoré de Balzac. I think I had a bit of a hard time dealing with the pressure that classics can impose on a reader. What I mean by that is if you were to take epics like War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo or even Crime and Punishment, there seems to be a consensus out there that these books are "must reads". You simply might look like an ignoramus or something if you dislike or even avoid reading classics such as those, at least that's what I had in mind before delving into this book.

If there is one thing I've taken away from this book, one thing I've truly learned, it's that I will never wonder or feel guilty about putting a book down halfway through ever again. I will never feel like I am missing out if I refuse to read a 1000 page "classic".

I had to force myself to finish Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. I don't regret doing it because I have this blog post and this personal lesson as a result.

**Copied from my original blog post at http://thehermitrant.blogspot.ca
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3 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2006
I was so pleased with myself for reading this book, but like holding your breath until you die, this was something that I just could not finish! What did 19th century people do for entertainment? Surely they could not have read books like this! The names are impossible (I had to keep checking them at the front - who the hell was that one again?) The plot moves like a Methodist at a GoGo club!! I am prepared to accept that this book is a "great novel", just like cod liver oil was once a great cure for whatever ailed children in the 1950's. (Did I read somewhere that Mussolini's thugs used to pour cod liver oil down the throats of his enemies?) Who knows, some day I may pick it up again, afterall suffering is said to be good for the soul. But, in the meantime, or at least until the world runs out of books, I will have to put this punishment away. What next? Nicholas Nickelby?
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