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Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) was a Russian writer of realist fiction and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

 

Dostoyevsky's literary works explored human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society.

I think he is the best russian writer. Especially I would like to highlight "The Brothers Karamazov".

Have you read any book by Dostoevsky? What is your opinion?

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I read Crime and Punishment last year and thought it was excellent. I found it surprisingly easy to read and very good. However, it wasn't quite as expected and I thought the themes wandered around a bit, nonetheless it was still a very enjoyable and a great novel.

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I've just read 'Crime and Punishment' too and read 'Notes from Underground' last year and love his writing. I think he probably is my favourite Russian writer although I can't claim to have read many of them yet. I have heard bits of a radio drama of 'The Brothers Karamazov' but I didn't hear all of it and as such didn't get the full story, I definitely want to read it in the future though and 'The Idiot' too.

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How did "Notes from Underground" compare to "Crime and Punishment"? I've thought about reading it but haven't quite bought it yet.

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I personally highly recommend all to read "The Brothers Karamazov". This book encourages reader to think about many things, at least about the sense of life.

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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) was a Russian writer of realist fiction and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

 

Dostoyevsky's literary works explored human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society.

I think he is the best russian writer. Especially I would like to highlight "The Brothers Karamazov".

Have you read any book by Dostoevsky? What is your opinion?

 

I am currently reading the brothers karamzov, which is my third reading, I have read most of books written by Dostoyevsky. I find most the books stimulating.

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I listened to Crime and Punishment on audio cd earlier this year and loved it. I am interested to read The Brothers Karamzov but the length puts me off.

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How did "Notes from Underground" compare to "Crime and Punishment"? I've thought about reading it but haven't quite bought it yet.

Well it doesn't really, 'Crime and Punishment' is just epic and 'Notes from Underground' is quite slight, without much plot to speak of, all the same I enjoyed it though. You can read my review here (apologies that you'll have to scroll down past my other witterings before you get to it.)

 

It seems like 'The Brothers Karamazov' is a must read :)

 

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Notes from Underground is more of a political and philosophical treatise, not a novel. I've been trying to re-read Crime and Punishment, since I read it last in high school and can't remember much. But now I'm thinking that I should give up and move on to The Brothers Karamazov, since so many people here seemed to like it!

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We had Crime and Punishment in our school program. I didn't like it at all, but I am going to read Idiot and the Brothers Karamazov. These are a lot better then his "classic" one. I didn't see anything epic in Crime and Punishment.

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...I didn't see anything epic in Crime and Punishment.

 

Yes, while I found it an excellent read, I thought its reputation spoilt it a bit as I too was expecting something more epic than it actually turned out to be.

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If you like Porfiry Petrovich's character, you may like to know that there are a series of books by R N Morris that features him:

 

A Gentle Axe

A Vengeful Longing

A Razor Wrapped in Silk

 

very good mysteries that take place in St Petersburg.

 

Btw: Did you know that Colombo was based on Petrovich?

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Yes, while I found it an excellent read, I thought its reputation spoilt it a bit as I too was expecting something more epic than it actually turned out to be.

Exactly! Some of his less popular books are way more interesting to read.

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I downloaded Crime and Punishment onto my Kindle this week for the princely sum of ..... 86p. Bargain! I shall begin it very shortly. I read it some 20 + years ago but feel it needs a re-read now.

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That horse part in "Crime and Punishment" was a good description of how low human beings can go.

That part was also a real thing that happened in the author's youth.

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I've not read Crime & Punishment --- yet at least. But I was in a class where a teacher & student discussed the novel. Apparently, "crime" in russian is "walk over". So to commit a crime is to walk over (cross a line?), which is why passing over a bridge is symbolic in the novel.

The name Raskolnikov means "divided", which symbolizes that the character is divided in his person.

The surname Ivanovna refers to Ivan the Terrible. (Child of Ivan the Terrible.)

The name Marmeladov refers to marmelade. Very sugary and can be seen as both good and bad, depending on how much marmelade you eat. 

The name Razumichin means intelligence, to understand.

The name Lebeziatnikov means to suck up. 

 

The novel is probably easier to read for Russians who can understand all symbols, as it seems to be filled with them.

Edited by emelee

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I haven't read all his books, but he certainly writes about thought provoking topics. I mostly remember the impact his books 'Crime and Punishment' and 'The Idiot' had on me. I find that most of his characters are difficult to define, they have many aspects, sometimes contradictory, as people often are in real life too. 

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I absolutely love Dostoevskij!
I've read Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, The Gambler, and some other novels which english title I don't know.

 

He's not an author for everyone, as he may be a little difficult to read, and may be boring to those who don't like really, really long passages dedicated to pshicology and philosophy.

So far, my favourite novel is Crime and Punishment, which I've read just two months ago.

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I am very late to this topic, having only joined the forum today, but I too loved Crime and Punishment. It is up there with one of my all time favourites.

 

I think what really impressed me was that the book begins with a truly horrible murder. By the end of the book I really, really wanted this murderer to survive.

 

I concluded that any author that could make me do that was fantastically skilled!

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I think what really impressed me was that the book begins with a truly horrible murder. By the end of the book I really, really wanted this murderer to survive. I concluded that any author that could make me do that was fantastically skilled!

 

I agree, while reading the book my empathy towards Raskolnikov grew. However, I kind of liked him from the start, and with time we learn the horrible circumstances he went through and how he took their impact.

 

 

Adding to that, he became too entangled in his own thoughts and was given enough praise for his radical ideas of superior and inferior men to the point of having his articles on the subject published by a newspaper. I thought that, if he had a bit more comfort or wasn't given the proper attention for his ideas, they wouldn't grow strong in the first place.

 

Edited by woolf woolf

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I've read two of Dosteovskys novels now - Crime and Punishment & The Brothers Karamazov.

 

I have to go against general opinion and say that I found it difficult to enjoy these novels. The writing was nothing out of the ordinary, and I felt like I didn't get much out of the stories. I feel like I'm really missing something, given the reputation of all of these works - perhaps these are novels I need to come back to when I have had a bit more 'life experience.'

 

Notes from Underground is more of a political and philosophical treatise, not a novel.

I feel like this describes his books best - they feel more like essays about philosophy and psychology than they do a story. And of course I love novels to have these types of nuggets stored inside them - but I'd rather have to go digging for them inside a well-written and in-depth story arc.

 

I'd love to hear more peoples views on his work, as I feel quite bad having a negative view of such a prolific writer.

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I agree with you about the writing, plenty of people online have the same idea. About the prevalence of philosophy/psychology, in the book I read (Crime and Punishment) they're an important characteristic of at least Raskolnikov and the police detective. I don't think the narrative would develop the same way if the former weren't so introspective. Perhaps this is just a matter of taste, everyone has their own and shouldn't feel bad about it.

Edited by woolf woolf

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