Crime and Punishment

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Dostoevsky was no stranger to adversity and struggle. Born into a family of nine in October 1821, his mother died when he was sixteen, causing the family split up. After Dostoevsky was sent to a military academy with his brother, their army surgeon father was murdered by his own serfs. Even his first wife (whose traits, critics say, manifest themselves in the character of Katerina Ivanvna) died of tuberculosis. Though his ...
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Overview

About the Author

Dostoevsky was no stranger to adversity and struggle. Born into a family of nine in October 1821, his mother died when he was sixteen, causing the family split up. After Dostoevsky was sent to a military academy with his brother, their army surgeon father was murdered by his own serfs. Even his first wife (whose traits, critics say, manifest themselves in the character of Katerina Ivanvna) died of tuberculosis. Though his first book, Poor Folk, earned him an invitation into the Natural School of Russian Literature in the 1840s, he was convicted of subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849 and exiled to Siberia. By the time Crime and Punishment was published in 1866, he had returned from exile and prison, and had developed the bleak outlook that pervades the novel.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dostoyevski's classic novel of murder and guilt, featuring the conflicted killer Raskolnikov and his intellectually nimble antagonist Porfiry Petrovich, is read by the well-regarded Dick Hill. The combination should make for a must-listen audiobook, but the results are disappointingly plodding. Hill overemotes much of Dostoyevski's emotionally charged dialogue, rendering a delicate series of encounters as an array of outbursts and breakdowns. Listeners might find themselves wishing that Hill would restrain himself from the pitfalls of facile emotion in favor of a straight delivery of the inherent drama and descriptive splendor of the novel In a welcome technological twist, however, Tantor includes an e-book with this audiobook (as it does with most of its classic audiobooks), giving readers multiple options for how they might prefer to encounter Dostoyevski. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“The best [translation of Crime and Punishment] currently available…An especially faithful re-creation…with a coiled-spring kinetic energy…Don’t miss it.” –Washington Post Book World

“This fresh, new translation…provides a more exact, idiomatic, and contemporary rendition of the novel that brings Fyodor Dostoevsky’s tale achingly alive…It succeeds beautifully.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Reaches as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as is possible in English…The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured…The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard English version.”–Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760734070
  • Publication date: 6/2/2002
  • Format: Cassette

Meet the Author

Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and many other novels.

George Gibian was Goldwin Smith Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. His honors include Fulbright, Guggenheim, American Philosophical Society, and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships. He was the author of The Man in the Black Coat: Russia’s Lost Literature of the Absurd, The Interval of Freedom: Russian Literature During the Thaw, and Tolstoj and Shakespeare. He was the editor of the Norton Critical Editions of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and War and Peace, and Gogol’s Dead Souls, and of the Viking Penguin Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader. Professor Gibian’s articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, the Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday, among others.

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Read an Excerpt

ON AN EXCEPTIONALLY hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.

He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase. His garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was more like a cupboard than a room. The landlady who provided him with garret, dinners, and attendance, lived on the floor below, and every time he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young man had a sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl and feel ashamed. He was hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her.

This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite the contrary; but for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable condition, verging on hypochondria. He had become so completely absorbed in himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded meeting, not only his landlady, but any one at all. He was crushed by poverty, but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh upon him. He had given up attending to matters of practical importance; he had lost all desire to do so. Nothing that any landlady could do had a real terror for him. But to be stopped on the stairs, to be forced to listen to her trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering demands for payment, threats and complaints, and to rack his brains for excuses, to prevaricate, to lie - no, rather than that, he would creep down the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen.

This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became acutely aware of his fears.

"I want to attempt a thing like that, and am frightened by these trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm … yes, all is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most … But I am talking too much. It's because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I do nothing. I've learned to chatter this last month, lying for days together in my den thinking … of Jack the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable of that? Is that serious? It is not serious at all. It's simply a fantasy to amuse myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything."

The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out of town in summer - all worked painfully upon the young man's already overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a working day, completed the revolting misery of the picture. An expression of the profoundest disgust gleamed for a moment in the young man's refined face. He was, by the way, exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim, well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. Soon he sank into deep thought, or more accurately speaking, into a complete blankness of mind; he walked along not observing what was about him and not caring to observe it. From time to time, he would mutter something, from the habit of talking to himself, to which he had just confessed. At these moments he would become conscious that his ideas were sometimes in a tangle and that he was very weak; for two days he had scarcely tasted food.

He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness would have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress would have created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the number of establishments of bad character, the preponderance of the trading and working class population crowded in these streets and alleys in the heart of Petersburg, types so various were to be seen in the streets that no figure, however queer, would have caused surprise. But there was such accumulated bitterness and contempt in the young man's heart, that, in spite of all the fastidiousness of youth, he minded his rags least of all in the street. It was a different matter when he met with acquaintances or with former fellow students, whom, indeed, he disliked meeting at any time. And yet when a drunken man who, for some unknown reason, was being taken somewhere in a huge waggon dragged by a heavy dray horse, suddenly shouted at him as he drove past: "Hey there, German hatter" bawling at the top of his voice and pointing at him - the young man stopped suddenly and clutched tremulously at his hat. It was a tall round hat from Zimmerman's, but completely worn out, rusty with age, all torn and bespattered, brimless and bent on one side in a most unseemly fashion. Not shame, however, but quite another feeling akin to terror had overtaken him.

"I knew it," he muttered in confusion, "I thought so! That's the worst of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial detail might spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable … It looks absurd and that makes it noticeable … With my rags I ought to wear a cap, any sort of old pancake, but not this grotesque thing. Nobody wears such a hat, it would be noticed a mile off, it would be remembered … What matters is that people would remember it, and that would give them a clue. For this business one should be as little conspicuous as possible … Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it's just such trifles that always ruin everything …"

He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps it was from the gate of his lodging house: exactly seven hundred and thirty. He had counted them once when he had been lost in dreams. At the time he had put no faith in those dreams and was only tantalising himself by their hideous but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had begun to look upon them differently, and, in spite of the monologues in which he jeered at his own impotence and indecision, he had involuntarily come to regard this "hideous" dream as an exploit to be attempted, although he still did not realise this himself. He was positively going now for a "rehearsal" of his project, and at every step his excitement grew more and more violent.

With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge house which on one side looked on to the canal, and on the other into the street. This house was let out in tiny tenements and was inhabited by working people of all kinds - tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of sorts, girls picking up a living as best they could, petty clerks, &c. There was a continual coming and going through the two gates and in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four door-keepers were employed on the building. The young man was very glad to meet none of them, and at once slipped unnoticed through the door on the right, and up the staircase. It was a back staircase, dark and narrow, but he was familiar with it already, and knew his way, and he liked all these surroundings: in such darkness even the most inquisitive eyes were not to be dreaded.

"If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow came to pass that I were really going to do it?" he could not help asking himself as he reached the fourth storey. There his progress was barred by some porters who were engaged in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew that the flat had been occupied by a German clerk in the civil service, and his family. This German was moving out then, and so the fourth floor on this staircase would be untenanted except by the old woman. "That's a good thing anyway," he thought to himself, as he rang the bell of the old woman's flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as though it were made of tin and not of copper. The little flats in such houses always have bells that ring like that. He had forgotten the note of that bell, and now its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of something and to bring it clearly before him … He started, his nerves were terribly overstrained by now. In a little while, the door was opened a tiny crack: the old woman eyed her visitor with evident distrust through the crack, and nothing could be seen but her little eyes, glittering in the darkness. But, seeing a number of people on the landing, she grew bolder, and opened the door wide. The young man stepped into the dark entry, which was partitioned off from the tiny kitchen. The old woman stood facing him in silence and looking inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive, withered up old woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every instant. The young man must have looked at her with a rather peculiar expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again.
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Reading Group Guide

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

INTRODUCTION

When Dostoyevsky started work on Crime and Punishment in the summer of 1865 he was depressed and in serious financial straits. A recent gambling spree had depleted his savings, and he owed money for personal expenses as well as bills for Epokha, the journal he founded and had been forced to discontinue. Threatened with debtors' prison, he was approached by an unscrupulous publisher who offered a ridiculously exploitative contract under which Dostoyevsky signed over the copyrights to all his existing works and agreed to write a work of fiction by the end of the following year. For all this he was paid the sum of three thousand rubles, most of which was quickly swallowed up by promissory notes; what little remained was squandered at the gaming tables. Destitute once again, Dostoyevsky forced himself to concentrate on his writing, and by that fall had conceived of the idea for a novel-length work about a family ruined by alcohol.

The roots of Crime and Punishment can be found in various episodes in Dostoyevsky's life. His original idea, a murderer's first-person confession, came to him during his prison term in Siberia—an experience that profoundly changed his political views and instilled in him a life-long respect for order and authority. There is also evidence that he conceived of the Marmaledov family as the basis for a novel to be titled "The Drunkards," but which was never published. Finally, Dostoyevsky was reacting to the political climate in St. Petersburg, where the impulses of the revolution could be found in the nihilist and radical movements, which Dostoyevsky abhorred. Regardless of its origins, Dostoyevsky meant the novel to be as close to perfect as possible. He took extensive—now famous—notes regarding its structure, toying with different points of view, character, structure, plot, and a variety of thematic strains.

The efforts paid off. Crime and Punishment is a superbly plotted, brilliant character study of a man who is at once an everyman and as remarkable as any character ever written. It poses a simple question, "Can evil means justify honorable ends?" and answers it convincingly without didacticism or naiveté. Dostoyevsky intimates himself so closely with Roskolnikov's consciousness, and describes his turmoil and angst so precisely and exhaustively, that it is easy to forget that the events take place over the course of a mere two weeks. He encourages us to identify with Roskolnikov: the painstaking descriptions of the student's cramped, dingy quarters; the overpowering sights and sounds of a stifling afternoon on the streets of St. Petersburg; the excruciating tension of Porfiry's interrogation—all serve to place the reader at the heart of the action: Roskolnikov's fevered, tormented mind.

The murder itself is almost incidental to the novel; Dostoyevsky devotes no more than a few pages to describing its execution, although he details the painful vacillations that precede the incident and, of course, exposes every aspect of its aftermath. Similarly, Roskolnikov's punishment, in the literal sense, is put off until the epilogue, with his sentence—reduced to seven years due to the accused's apparent temporary insanity—to a Siberian labor camp. Thus Dostoyevsky brilliantly invites readers to put forth their own notions of Crime and Punishment, and engages us in an irresistible debate: Who is the real criminal? Marmeladov, for abandoning his family? Luzhin for exploiting Dunya? Svidrigailov for murdering his wife? Sonya for prostituting herself? The greedy pawnbroker whom Roskolnikov murdered? Or, to turn the question around: Who among us is not a criminal? Who among us has not attempted to impose his or her will on the natural order? Furthermore, we are made to understand that Roskolnikov's true punishment is not the sentence imposed on him by the court of law, but that imposed on him by his own actions: the psychological and spiritual hell he has created for himself; the necessary sentence of isolation from his friends and family; the extreme wavering between wanting to confess his crime, and desperately hoping to get away with it. Compelled, ultimately, to confess his crime—and the confession scene is the only incident in which Roskolnikov actually admits to the crime—we feel that Roskolnikov has suffered sufficiently. Indeed, the epilogue with its abbreviated pace and narrative distance feels like a reprieve for the reader as well as for the criminal. Finally, in Siberia, Roskolnikov has found space.

The public reception of Crime and Punishment was enthusiastic—if a little stunned. There was much discussion about the novel's overwhelming power and rumors of people unable to finish it. Readers were shocked by Dostoyevsky's gruesome descriptions and enthralled by his use of dramatic tension. Perhaps the most virulent, and unexpected, criticism came from readers who felt that Dostoyevsky's portrait of the nihilist movement was an indictment of Russian youth and that its premise was inconceivable. For more than a century, critics have argued about the book's message: Is it a political novel? A tale of morality? A psychological study? A religious epic? As Peter McDuff points out in his Introduction to the Penguin Classics edition, interpretations may be more revealing of the critic than of the text. Whatever Dostoyevsky's purpose—political, moral, psychological, or religious (and most likely he meant to touch on each of these themes)—one thing is certain. In Roskolnikov, Dostoyevsky has created a man who is singular yet universal. He is someone with whom we can sympathize, empathize, and pity, even if we cannot relate to his actions. He is a character we will remember forever, and whose story will echo throughout history.

 

ABOUT FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in 1821 at a Moscow hospital where his father was employed as a doctor. The family was poor, but their descent from 17th-century nobility entitled them to own land and serfs. Dostoyevsky's mother, Maria, was loving and religious; his father, Mikhail, tended toward alcoholism and violence, and his cruel behavior toward the peasants on their small estate resulted in his murder when Fyodor was eighteen years old.

Fyodor was the second of eight children. He was particularly close to his younger sister, Varvara, whose unfortunate marriage may have inspired Dostoyevsky's portraits of both Dunya and Sonya. His older brother, Mikhail, shared Dostoyevsky's literary and journalistic interests as well as his early social ideals. Together they attended secondary schools in Moscow, then the military academy in St. Petersburg, followed by service in the Russian army.

Dostoyevsky broadened his education by reading extensively in an attempt to sharpen his literary skills. As a youth he read and admired writers of all nationalities, including Dickens, Hugo, and Zola, and imitated some of Russia's literary geniuses, particularly Gogol. He also began a tortured acquaintance with Turgenev, which was to continue throughout his life.

His first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846. This tale of a young clerk who falls haplessly in love with a woman he cannot possess led the literary lion Victor Belinsky to proclaim Dostoyevsky as the next Gogol. Dostoyevsky's entrance into St. Petersburg literary society had begun—but his celebrity status was quickly overshadowed by his somewhat obnoxious behavior. Eventually, Dostoyevsky found another group to join, this time a circle of intellectual socialists run by Mikhail Petrashevsky. Given the reactionary climate of the time, the Petrashevsky group's revolutionary ideas were both exciting and dangerous, and, although Dostoyevsky was far from being a revolutionary, his alignment with the faction brought him to the attention of the police. In 1849 he and the rest of the Petrashevsky group were arrested for subversion. Dostoyevsky was imprisoned at the Peter and Paul Fortress where he and others were subject to a mock execution—an understandably traumatic experience which seems to have triggered an epileptic condition that would plague Dostoyevsky throughout his life. He spent the next five years at hard labor in Siberia, where his acquaintance with the criminal community would provide him with the themes, plots, and characters that distinguish many of his greatest works, including Crime and Punishment.

Dostoyevsky returned to St. Petersburg in 1859. The next decade was filled with emotional and physical turmoil. In 1864 the deaths of his wife, Maria, and his beloved brother, Mikhail, deepened his debt and drove him to gambling. He embarked on a doomed affair with Apollinaria Suslova, who vacillated between admiring and despising him. He also witnessed the dissolution of his literary journal and formed a disadvantageous relationship with an unscrupulous publisher. Yet the 1860s were also a period of great literary fervor, and in 1865, the publication of Crime and Punishment paved the way for a series of novels—including The Idiot, The Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov—that both reclaimed his position in Russia's pantheon of great living writers, and brought stability to his personal and financial affairs. He married his stenographer, Anna Grigorievna Snitkin, with whom he fathered four children, and established himself as a leading conservative who often spoke out against revolutionary activity. In June of 1880, Dostoyevsky attended a celebration of the great novelist, Pushkin, during which he delivered a speech in praise of the writer. His words were met with great adulation, and the event marked what was perhaps the highest point of public approbation Dostoyevsky would ever attain. Little more than six months later, on January 28, 1881, Dostoyevsky died of a lung hemorrhage. His funeral, attended by nearly thirty thousand mourners, was a national event.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. How does Dostoyevsky achieve and sustain the suspense in his novel? Which scenes strike you as being particularly suspenseful? How does he use description to enhance the turmoil in Roskolnikov's mind?
     
  2. What role does chance play in the development of the novel? In which scenes does coincidence figure heavily in the outcome? Is Dostoyevsky interfering too much with the natural course of events in order to move his story along, or is he making a point about the randomness of life, free will, and divine intervention?
     
  3. Compare the characters of Roskolnikov, Luzhin, and Svidrigailov. How is each of these men a "villain," and to what extent are they guilty? How does each man face his guilt, and how does each suffer for it?
     
  4. Compare the major female characters: Sonya, Dunya, Katerina Ivanovna. Do you think they are well-rounded characters or stereotypes? How does each figure in Roskolnikov's actions?
     
  5. Discuss the scene in which Roskolnikov meets Sonya in her room and he asks her to read the story of Lazarus. What makes this scene so effective? What does Roskolnikov mean when he tells Sonya she is "necessary" to him? (p. 388)
     
  6. Later, in confessing the murder to Sonya, Roskolnikov claims, "Did I really kill the old woman? No, it was myself I killed.... And as for the old woman, it was the Devil who killed her, not I." (p. 488) What does he mean by this? What motive does Roskolnikov give for his murder? Why does he confess to Sonya? Why doesn't the confession ease him of his inner torment?
     
  7. Discuss Roskolnikov's theory of the ordinary versus the extraordinary man. What is Dostoyevsky's attitude toward this theory? Can you think of modern-day examples of this theory put into practice?
     
  8. Does the fact that Roskolnikov never uses the money he stole from the pawnbroker make him less—or more—guilty? Why do you think he never recovers the stolen items or cash?
     
  9. Why does Roskolnikov reject his family's and Razumikhin's attempts at solace and comfort? Why, when they are at their most loving, does he have feelings of hatred for them? What is Dostoyevsky saying about guilt and conscience?
     
  10. Roskolnikov emerges as a dual character, capable of cruelty and compassion, deliberation and recklessness, and alternating between a desire for solitude and companionship. Why has Dostoyevsky created such a complex psychological portrait?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

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(69)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 92 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing

    I absolutely adore this book! The reader in this addition is excellent and never bores. The story is awfully long so you'll have to dedicate some time, but listening makes it go by so much faster. I got this as a christmas present and little did i know it would become a favorite.

    It is witty and intellectually stimulating, but while dark, it is never overwhelming or depressing. Very interesting and a well written translation.

    I read this after finishing THe Man Who Was Thursday, by GK Chesterton, and found they are an interesting combination.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    FOREST

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Love the introduction

    I own the Norton Critical Edition, which contains several useful scholarly articles. However, this edition (one of the few I could find of the Coulson translation) contains an introduction which explains several key points: the freedom of the serfs, the issues of alcoholism at the time, and, most importantly, Dostoyevsky's original abstract, which presents his take on Raskolnikov's motives. A wonderful introduction that adds to the novel considerably.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Amazing

    Some may say its a bad book beecause of the grammar and the fact that they were forced to read it. I was also told to read it, but i loved it. The grammar is simply from being translated and its an amazing book. I do say that its more of an advanced book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Dark but really great

    A commentary as much on his own time as our own. Amazing how he captures the revolution and I can only see one coming our way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A very good book that i recommend everyone to read.

    A very interesting story about a russian peasant and his fatal actions that haunt him for most of his life. He commits a deed that he regrets later on. His family risks everything for the goodness of his sake. He seems so selfish yet he is not because in his inner personality you see a different person that wants to help others but can't because life has him deprived of money. Money buys a lot of things in this book, like in our world today. So Raskolnikov the protoganoist is living in a state of delirium. I could tell you much more, but i suggest you buy the book. It is a Russian Classic by the lovely Feodor Dostoevsky. =)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Taylia

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I Love Dostoevsky

    As with most of the classic Russian greats the books are very detailed and require discipline to finish. However, the content makes it worth every effort. Dostoevsky is on a completely different plane of consciouness and understanding than most men and women of his time and our own. I recommend this, as well as The Brothers Karamazov, for anyone looking for a deeper meaning to the relationships we have with the challenges in our own lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    My New Favorite Book

    Someone recommended Crime and Punishment to me, saying that I would enjoy it. I wasn't sure that I would, but I read it and was immediately fascinated. Raskolnikov is one of the most interesting characters in literature, and I especially love Dunya, Razumikhin, and Sonya. Rodion Raskolnikov is imprisoned in his own mind and by his own personality, but eventually finds freedom in prison, with the help of a giving and religious ex-prostitute. Dostoevsky presents his views on the steryotypes of groups of people and remarks that people may not always be what they seem. Then again, they may be exactly what they seem. He questions about a person's right to commit a crime in order to help others, and this really made me think. His message of eventual redemption inspired and uplifted me. Dostoevsky writes on so many levels that it's impossible to understand them all, but I'll certainly reread this book to try. Besides the depth and message of this wonderful book, it's just a captivating story. I would recommend this to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    Good Stuff

    I love this work as I love most all of Dostoevsky's works. This is one of his best books second only to The Brothers Karamazov. Books like this are what makes reading worth all the time. This is a complex phsycological thriller with the thrill and complexity of a masterpeice written by a brilliant literary artist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2005

    Good, but hard to follow

    I think that this book had a lot of issues in it that focused ont he psyche of a murderer and I think in that way the book is extremely powerful and interesting. However, there are so many details that it was almost impossible to catch the ones that were important. I also think that it was hard to read because my teacher only gave us a day to read 80 pages, but that's life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2003

    Incredible

    Now it is no wonder to me why he is considered one of the best authors of all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2002

    Review of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment"

    I think this book deserves a four star rating. I really enjoyed it. When I first picked it up, I didn¿t think I would like it because it was for a book report for world history class and it looked very long, but I ended up liking it after all. I guess that¿s why they say you shouldn¿t judge a book by it¿s cover. The reason I didn¿t give it five stars was because although I liked it, the language was a little hard to follow at times. It was also kind of slow at some parts like the beginning and it took a long time to read. But overall it is a good book. I especially liked the story, the characters and the element of suspense. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense and does not mind a challenge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    Excellent book

    As Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov proceeds foolishly through his life, he is presented with many difficult choices, all of which end as bad decisions on his part. Each of these bad decisions throw him deeper into the pit of poverty in which he is forced to make even worse decisions. As Raskolnikov undoubtedly suspects, he will end up paying dearly in the long-run. In a way, Fyodor Dostoevsky depicts the main character to have caused his own situation, further implying that one does not receive punishment without crime. I was assigned this book for a high school history project to read over a matter of two months, so I was rushed in the process. However, this book has taught me some valuable things. For instance, a conscience is the worst prison known to mankind. It is unproven that worrying over a matter is actually worse than the matter itself, but that is not the entire story. More than worrying about punishment, Raskolnikov must face the simple fact that he has ended someone¿s existence and caused pain to those living in tragedy¿s wake. Even if Raskolnikov is not caught, his crime does not go without punishment. Indeed Crime and Punishment go hand in hand, but again, this is not the entire story. Dostoevsky hides his thoughts weaving in and around the words, leaving the reader in enough order to keep reading, but enough chaos to read the book again. This is a great book, and I recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2002

    Masterful!

    This book brings with it a question to all humanity that still arouses argument today, yet is as old at the first writings of religion. " If you were to kill a vile, disgusting, horid excuse for a humman being for the greater good of mankind, would that murder then be just?" If the death of that one person was to bring life to many ohthers, would it then be just? This book is an absolute literary dream to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2002

    Outstanding!!

    I have only read two great Russian novels however this was my favorite one by far. The way in which Porfiry kept playing 'cat and mouse' with Raskolnikov kept me on the edge of my seat - the whole book was extremely intense and there were very few moments when I felt uninterested. The ending, I found, was a tad slow, but this book is definitely one of the best classics

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    Recommended

    It wasn't a bad book. I read it during summer break for fun thinking that it was going to be a regular kind of book, but it wasn't. It was a very humorous and suspensive book (which i liked about it). If you like these kinds of books I would reccomend this book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2002

    An Excellent, Suspenseful, and Satisfying Novel

    Crime and Punishment was a wonderful novel that explores criminal psychology and much more. The characters are absolutely unforgettable and the plot is stimulating and suspenseful. This is a truly extraordinary novel that you are sure to enjoy.

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