4.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Dark
This is a Dark novel. I love Fyodor Dostoevsky and this book as well, I found it to be a bit dark but good
Published 27 days ago by Maple
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychology of a Killer
Someone told me once that if you love Tolstoy, you'll hate Dostoevsky and vice versa. I don't know if that statement is universally true, but it held for me.
"Crime and Punishment" uncovers the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov, a man who kills a pair of innocents under the guise of needing their money. This ends up not to be true; he doesn't use the money at all, and...
Published on Aug. 4 2002 by Tracy H. Slagter
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Dark,
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This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)This is a Dark novel. I love Fyodor Dostoevsky and this book as well, I found it to be a bit dark but good
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful new translation,
I first encountered Crime and Punishment in the classic translation by Constance Garnett and loved it for Dostoyevsky's careful balance of character and philosophy. Dostoyevsky's genius lies in his ability to create simultaneously a psychological novel and a novel of ideas. Though each character represents a certain philosophy of life, they never become lifeless or stereotyped. Instead, each is a memorably developed and psychologically deep person, who could easily carry a story in their own right. Dostoyevsky's genius is in the perfect counterpoint between conflict of personality and conflict of philosophy between each of these fascinating people. Dostoyevsky also specializes in garnering the reader's interest and sympathy for the most unlikely characters. This is a novel, after all, with an ax murderer as the protagonist.
However, until I read this new translation of Dostoyevsky, I never realized that besides psychologist and philosopher, Dostoyevsky was also a masterful stylist. Pevear and Volokhonsky succeed in faithfully translating the literal meaning of the original Russian, while still capturing the vivid liveliness of Dostoyevsky's prose. The heat of a St. Petersburg summer night fairly radiates off the page in the first part, while his descriptions of Raskolnikov's cramped bedroom gave me claustrophobia.
Admittedly, this is no beach-read thriller. The Russian names can be confusing, and Dostoyevsky's manages to be both dense and long-winded. Nontheless, this is one of the greatest works of fiction ever written that should be read both as a "classic book" and as a gripping psychological exploration of crime.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the verdict---amazing,
But now, after fully analyzing this novel over a period of several months, I have come to realize that this book is one of the landmarks in world literature. Not only did it change my life and expand my thinking, but it also gave me insight on the historical perspective of 19th Century Russia. This particular translation (Richard Pevear) was absolutely FANTASTIC, and compares to no other. It is definitely my top recommendation for translations.
This is truly a novel of epic proportions--not exactly bedside table reading. I would say to read at your own risk, but if you do, be sure to relish it as best you can, for once you finish, you will realize that you have read something truly great.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perils of moral relativism,
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)First be aware that this is not a philosophy book. As every great literary achievement is, it's a book that's hard to classify. Raskolnikov is a young, intelligent, but emotionally unstable young man who has had to quit school for lack of money and a depressive crisis. He seems to be mad at the world for the injustice which prevails in it. During this difficult and sad time, a very dangerous idea starts moving around his mind. There is this old lady pawnbroker, a bad woman who cheats on the desperate people who approach her. She has money she doesn't use for the benefit of his fellow humans. On the other hand, Raskolnikov is sure that he could be a great man and achieve things that would benefit the humankind... if only he had the means to jumpstart his career to glory and fame. From these two thoughts, Raskolnikov begins a road towards rationalizing his potential crime. He poses good questions (how come people who kill a lot of persons are called heroes and achieve fame and governments erect statues to honor them, but poor bastards who kill someone for money to eat are put in prison?) and finds bad answers: some extraordinary people are above the common laws and moral rules that guide the rest of humans. These extraordinary characters can not be subject to those vulgar rules, lest they could not achieve the great things destiny has them in store. So, we get to the crime: Raskolnikov deserves that money to reach greatness, and anyway the woman he will kill is harmful to society. So he goes and kill not only the pawnbroker, but also her good, half-witted sister.
What follows is the truly fascinating story of the aftermath of the crime, with a very clever, wise and interesting police detective playing cat and mouse with Raskolnikov, at the same time his life is crumbling down in guilt, paranoia, and inoportune events happening around him, to his family and friends. The story ends and begins within only a few days. Raskolnikov's mother and sister arrive in Saint Petersburg looking for him. His sister is about to marry an older, egotistic man whom Raskolnikov reads from day one as a future bad husband for his sensible, wise and beautiful sister. Meanwhile, Raskolnikov gets involved in the tragic end of the Marmeladov family. Marmeladov is a drunkard whom Raskolnikov befriends ina low-budget bar, where they have a conversation on morals that will be central to the philosophical background of the story. He dies and leaves her family broke. His wife is very near death from tuberculosis, and the eldest girl has been forced to become a prostitute, in spite of being an angelical and saintly girl.
So events unfold and the logical end arrives. The plot is great and it moves faster and faster, with tension reaching exasperating heights. The book is filled with unforgettable characters: the dark, troubled but in the end good Raskolnikov, a good guy with bad ideas; his mother and sister; the sinister Petrovich, who wants to be adored by the sister; the police detective, a great guy; Sonia, the saintly prostitute; and Svidrigailov, former boss and harasser of Raskolnikov's sister, a man so degenerate, perverse and evil.
Other reviewers are right that Raskolnikov's philosophy is a twisted and evil one, but some go so far as to say that this philosophy is espoused by Dostoevsky himself. I am convinced this is not the case. The novel clearly shows that moral relativism can only conduce to crime, tragedy, death, guilt and... punishment. In the best case, after the crime is committed, there is the hope of redemption through repent and love, as well as by the Christian values and faith. I think there is no doubt that, by every possible standard, this is one of the best pieces of literature ever penned. It has everything a masterpiece must have: a plot that hooks you up right from the start, deep, well-rounded characters. a dark moral and everything tightly knitted together by a master of the craft. Come stay a few days in this hotttest of summers in Petersburg.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, sensational book of still-controversial theme,
theme. I thought I was also suffering from Raskolnikov's
chaotic, gloomy state of mind. But the theme, 'a sin for a good will',
is still very much controversial. Thought it turned out that Raskolnikov had some error in his theory, we can't help imaginining what if he succeeded committing the perfect crime and really did lots of good deeds in his future life. Though many people think it is still bad to commit a sin, despite its good will, but what about those who don't have much of a choice like Raskonikov?
Also, I liked Sonia's boundless love for Raskolnikov. Lots of suffering is depicted in this book yet it describes how beautiful and magnificent it could be.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Morality Play,
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all who are really interested in a masterpiece,
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)Hundred and even kilometers of ink have been spread around articles, conferences and deep essays around the world about that monumental work.
However, there's an aspect that I'd rather to remark. It's well known the deep impact that the russian literature of the XIX century shocked all the world. The presence of Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoi and this giant Fedor Dostoievsvki signed and even made grow up the russian character to a peak that literally surpased all the expectatives.
In my opinion, Crime and Punishment establishes one of the starting point of the existencialist movement years after. Let's consider, by example that Albert Camus' brilliant work named "The happy death" , and clearly you'll feel in the ten first pages the presence of the fate struggling all the performers. Mersault is in fact a far descendent of the mean character in Crime.
A ruman writer (Virgil Gheorghiou) told once in one of his works that amazing thought:"The sin hurts much more in the memory than in the flesh" .
And this is the clue to understand the sense of loss, the feeling of desperation, the loneliness in all its crude nakedness, the shame weights much more in his mind that in the rules that his crime implies. In the case of Mersault in Camus'work, the victim follows what you might consider like a suggested homicide . In other words the fear to commit suicide seems to permeate the atmosphere in all the work.
Dostoievski makes us drowning with all these characters in an ocean of deep implications, there's no doubt in the punishement; but Dostoievski makes a moral crossroad and carries by the dark shadows of this hell so particularly russian. Consider , by example the paintings of Blockin, the sense of horror in the most remarkable symphonies of Shostakovich, the sinister phantoms of Rachmaninov in his Symphonic dances. The religion, the fact you can't ignore . all the political opression all along so many centuries, have created a human being very special in the western tradition. And all these sociological aspects that depicts a soul , the sense of nosthalgia that so well defined oncethe celebrated filmaker Andrei Tarkovski (1932-1986), when he was forced to leave URSS in 1979 whe he showed his work Stalker. Remeber that his following issue was titled Nosthalghia ( and this is not a mere casuality).
When you read this book, consider you are reading more than book, you are getting close to the soul and the fears of the russian people. May be you (like me) are able to understand deeper than any essay the essential facets of this nation, his glory and his disgraces.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing work of literature!,
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)Dostoyevsky's protagonist is brooding Raskolnikov torn apart by a murder he commited...a truly harrowing read, penetrates the mind of a killer, who truly believes he was permitted to commit the crime, and how his crime slowly tears him up inside, morphing into his punishment...
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the plunge,
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)One doesn't read "Crime and Punishment", one festers in the brain of Raskolnikov. One feels his disgust when someone enters the room and interrupts his sleep or his thinking, feels the thrill and the disorientation as he commits the murder, feels his fear when he ponders clues left behind, feels his heart race when he's brilliantly interrogated by the detective Porfiry. Most of all one joins in his inner turmoil as he tries work through this new moral code that will back up his crime. His mind is constantly racing in a million different directions, and the effect for the reader is very dizzying. It is really one of the more visceral novels. Go for the Pevear/Volokhonsky translations--they're much smoother to read, and have completely replaced the Garnett translations as the industry standard for Dostoevsky and other Russian books.
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best novels written,
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Hardcover)How presumptuous it is of me to think I can add anything else of value to this already lengthy list of reviews. What can I tell you that you have not already read and reread about this book. You probably know the outline well enough by now, and no doubt know how Raskolnikov; a deluded young intellectual, is the 'hero' in our story. You probably read in the previous reviews about how skillfully Dostoevsky weaves together the different narratives into a single story... about how it is a psychological thriller, and about the themes of redemption, love and faith that run through the book.
So what can I add that is unique? I find that when I read reviews I can identify with certain reviewers because of their experience or their reasons for reading. If like me, you have a desire to change the world (or your corner of it) for good, are dissatisfied with the status quo and want radical change, maybe this book is for you. Raskolnikov is like every young person that wants to be different, that wants to do something that hasn't been done before. Someone not content with being mediocre, being like the other 'idiots' that inhabit the world, someone who feels he has a need to prove himself to the world. It is especially to these people that the books speaks as a warning not to forsake one's humanity for an idea.
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Hardcover - May 25 1993)
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