Monday 11 March 2013

Dostoevsky, Fyodor "Crime and Punishment"

Dostoevsky, Fyodor "Crime and Punishment" (Russian: Преступление и наказание = Prestupleniye i nakazaniye) - 1866

I can't mention it often enough. I love classic novels and I love Russian authors. The way they describe every situation, every little detail, it's priceless and unique.

In "Crime and Punishment", Dostoevsky manages to bring in so many different topics, It is a classic crime novel but it is also a historical novel, and it is also a psychological and philosophical work. No wonder he needs around 800 pages to describe a crime and its redemption.

You always feel like you are the protagonist or any of the other characters in the novel, you can think the way they think. The author is just that great. This story brings up a lot of questions about the meaning of life, about society and how we all relate to each other. There have been many answers over the centuries, I am sure, but everyone needs to find their own solutions, their own answers.

From the back cover:

"Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest and most readable novels ever written. From the beginning we are locked into the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who, against his better instincts, is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder.

From that moment on, we share his conflicting feelings of self-loathing and pride, of contempt for and need of others, and of terrible despair and hope of redemption: and, in a remarkable transformation of the detective novel, we follow his agonised efforts to probe and confront both his own motives for, and the consequences of, his crime.

The result is a tragic novel built out of a series of supremely dramatic scenes that illuminate the eternal conflicts at the heart of human existence: most especially our desire for self-expression and self-fulfilment, as against the constraints of morality and human laws; and our agonised awareness of the world's harsh injustices and of our own mortality, as against the mysteries of divine justice and immortality.

I also read "The Adolescent" and “The Gambler” and will certainly read more in the future.


  1. Marianne, I read this one when I was a girl but don't think I'll be re-reading it! Hope you are well.

    PS re the word cloud - I usually use Wordle if I am creating my own but I think I borrowed that one off Google Images

  2. Thank you, Carole. I don't know whether I'll ever re-read it, though I might but there are so many books I haven't read, yet.

    Thanks for the word cloud information. Somehow Wordle doesn't like me, I created one cloud but had to download something, the next time I wanted to enter again, they asked me to download the same stuff again ... Will have to see whether I can find an expert to help me with it.

    Anyway, always nice talking to you. I almost put this as my book of the month but I think most readers love the other one better.