Tuesday 19 February 2019

Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Brothers Karamazov"

Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Brothers Karamazov" (Russian: Братья Карамазовы/Brat'ya Karamazovy) - 1879-80

I have always loved reading Russian authors. Dostoevsky is no exception. And this novel had more than 1,200 pages, so the right book for me.

This is not the first book I read from this author and he has not disappointed me so far. Brilliant writing, the setting is always exceptional, the way the story unfolds, the many different characters he describes in detail. Everything is so well done. You get caught from page one until you are finished. What a book!

And the book is packed full with philosophical and religious questions, questions about human existence. The three brothers Karamazov all represent a different side, all have different answers. Dmitri or Mitya is most like the farther Fyodor, He is a soldier and leads an unrestrained life. Ivan has visited the university and is more an enlightened, mind-oriented, atheist intellectual. Alexei or Alyosha, the protagonist, is a religious man, he is a novice in a monastery.

Then there is a fourth, illegitimate brother who is a servant in the father's house.

We discover the Russian society through these different men and their miseries. The story is spellbinding, not the easiest of reads but certainly one of the most deserving. It is a philosophical as well as a spiritual drama, an account of a country that is about to change into modern times and what that does to its inhabitants. A story that stays with us for a long long time.

After "Crime and Punishment", "The Gambler" and "The Adolescent", this is my fourth novel by this fantastic author. I am sure it won't be the last.

From the back cover:

"In 1880 Dostoevsky completed The Brothers Karamazov, the literary effort for which he had been preparing all his life. Compelling, profound, complex, it is the story of a patricide and of the four sons who each had a motive for murder: Dmitry, the sensualist, Ivan, the intellectual; Alyosha, the mystic; and twisted, cunning Smerdyakov, the bastard child. Frequently lurid, nightmarish, always brilliant, the novel plunges the reader into a sordid love triangle, a pathological obsession, and a gripping courtroom drama. But throughout the whole, Dostoevsky searches for the truth - about man, about life, about the existence of God. A terrifying answer to man's eternal questions, this monumental work remains the crowning achievement of perhaps the finest novelist of all time."


  1. Wow! You did it. Read the Brothers K. Well done. I have read Crime and Punishment and was surprised how gripping it was, not hard to read. I must get to this one someday.

  2. I did prefer "Crime and Punishment" but this was just as great a read. Once you have read one Russian author and enjoyed it, the next ones will not be as hard since you are used to their way of naming people. I find that's where most people resign.