The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue

The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue


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Winner of the Pen/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize

The Brothers Karamasov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons—the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, is social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

This award-winning translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky remains true to the verbal inventiveness of Dostoevsky’s prose, preserving the multiple voices, the humor, and the surprising modernity of the original. It is an achievement worthy of Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374528379
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 06/14/2002
Pages: 824
Sales rank: 40,847
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.39(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect on intellectual thought and world literature.

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky were awarded the PEN/ Book-of-the-Month Translation Prize for The Brothers Karamazov and have also translated Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, Demons, and The Idiot.

Read an Excerpt

A Novel in Four Parts with Epilogue

By Fyodor Dostoevsky
Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky


Copyright © 1990 Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0374528373

Chapter One


Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of a landowner from our district, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, well known in his own day (and still remembered among us) because of his dark and tragic death, which happened exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall speak of in its proper place. For the moment I will only say of this "landowner" (as we used to call him, though for all his life he hardly ever lived on his estate) that he was a strange type, yet one rather frequently met with, precisely the type of man who is not only worthless and depraved but muddleheaded as well—one of those muddleheaded people who still handle their own little business deals quite skillfully, if nothing else. Fyodor Pavlovich, for instance, started with next to nothing, he was a very small landowner, he ran around having dinner at other men's tables, he tried to foist himself off as a sponger, and yet at his death he was discovered to have as much as a hundred thousand roubles in hard cash. At the same time he remained all his life one of the most muddleheaded madcaps in our district. Again I say it was not stupidity—most of these madcaps are rather clever and shrewd—but precisely muddleheadedness, even a special, national form of it.

    He was married twice and had three sons—the eldest, Dmitri Fyodorovich, by his first wife, and the other two, Ivan and Alexei, by his second. Fyodor Pavlovich's first wife belonged to a rather wealthy aristocratic family, the Miusovs, also landowners in our district. Precisely how it happened that a girl with a dowry, a beautiful girl, too, and moreover one of those pert, intelligent girls not uncommon in this generation but sometimes also to be found in the last, could have married such a worthless "runt," as everyone used to call him, I cannot begin to explain. But then, I once knew a young lady still of the last "romantic" generation who, after several years of enigmatic love for a certain gentleman, whom, by the way, she could have married quite easily at any moment, ended up, after inventing all sorts of insurmountable obstacles, by throwing herself on a stormy night into a rather deep and swift river from a high bank somewhat resembling a cliff, and perished there decidedly by her own caprice, only because she wanted to be like Shakespeare's Ophelia. Even then, if the cliff, chosen and cherished from long ago, had not been so picturesque, if it had been merely a flat, prosaic bank, the suicide might not have taken place at all. This is a true fact, and one can assume that in our Russian life of the past two or three generations there have been not a few similar facts. In the same way, the action of Adelaida Ivanovna Miusov was doubtless an echo of foreign influences, the chafings of a mind imprisoned. Perhaps she wanted to assert her feminine independence, to go against social conventions, against the despotism of her relatives and family, and her obliging imagination convinced her, if only briefly, that Fyodor Pavlovich, despite his dignity as a sponger, was still one of the boldest and most sarcastic spirits of that transitional epoch—transitional to everything better—whereas he was simply an evil buffoon and nothing more. The affair gained piquancy from elopement, which strongly appealed to Adelaida Ivanovna. As for Fyodor Pavlovich, his social position at the time made him quite ready for any such venture, for he passionately desired to set himself up by whatever means. To squeeze into a good family and get a dowry was tempting indeed. As for mutual love, it seems there never was any either on the bride's part or on his own, despite the beauty of Adelaida Ivanovna. This was, perhaps, the only case of its kind in Fyodor Pavlovich's life, for he was a great sensualist all his days, always ready to hang onto any skirt that merely beckoned to him. This one woman alone, sensually speaking, made no particular impression on him.

    They had no sooner eloped than it became clear to Adelaida Ivanovna that she felt only contempt for her husband and nothing more. Thus the consequences of their marriage revealed themselves extraordinarily quickly. And though her family even accepted the situation fairly soon and allotted the runaway bride her dowry, the married couple began leading a very disorderly life, full of eternal scenes. It was said that in the circumstances the young wife showed far more dignity and high-mindedness than did Fyodor Pavlovich, who, as is now known, filched all her cash from her, as much as twenty-five thousand roubles, the moment she got it, so that from then on as far as she was concerned all those thousands positively vanished, as it were, into thin air. As for the little village and the rather fine town house that came with her dowry, for a long time he tried very hard to have them transferred to his name by means of some appropriate deed, and he would probably have succeeded, merely because of the contempt and loathing, so to speak, that his shameless extortions and entreaties aroused in his wife, merely because of her emotional exhaustion—anything to be rid of him. Fortunately, Adelaida Ivanovna's family intervened and put a stop to his hogging. It is well known that there were frequent fights between husband and wife, but according to tradition it was not Fyodor Pavlovich who did the beating but Adelaida Ivanovna, a hot-tempered lady, bold, dark-skinned, impatient, and endowed with remarkable physical strength. Finally she fled the house and ran away from Fyodor Pavlovich with a destitute seminarian, leaving the three-year-old Mitya in his father's hands. Fyodor Pavlovich immediately set up a regular harem in his house and gave himself to the most unbridled drinking. In the intermissions, he drove over most of the province, tearfully complaining to all and sundry that Adelaida had abandoned him, going into details that any husband ought to have been too ashamed to reveal about his married life. The thing was that he seemed to enjoy and even feel flattered by playing the ludicrous role of the offended husband, embroidering on and embellishing the details of the offense. "One would think you had been promoted, Fyodor Pavlovich," the scoffers used to say, "you're so pleased despite all your woes!" Many even added that he was glad to brush up his old role of buffoon, and that, to make things funnier still, he pretended not to notice his ridiculous position. But who knows, perhaps he was simply naive. At last he managed to find the trail of his runaway wife. The poor woman turned out to be in Petersburg, where she had gone to live with her seminarian and where she had thrown herself wholeheartedly into the most complete emancipation. Fyodor Pavlovich at once began bustling about, making ready to go to Petersburg. Why? He, of course, had no idea. True, he might even have gone; but having undertaken such a decision, he at once felt fully entitled to get up his courage for the journey by throwing himself into more boundless drinking. Just then his wife's family received news of her death in Petersburg. She died somehow suddenly, in some garret, of typhus according to one version, of starvation according to another. Fyodor Pavlovich was drunk when he learned of his wife's death, and the story goes that he ran down the street, lifting his hands to the sky and joyfully shouting: "Now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace." Others say that he wept and sobbed like a little child, so much so that they say he was pitiful to see, however repulsive they found him. Both versions may very well be true—that is, that he rejoiced at his release and wept for her who released him, all at the same time. In most cases, people, even wicked people, are far more naive and simple-hearted than one generally assumes. And so are we.

Chapter Two

Of course, one can imagine what sort of father and mentor such a man would be. As a father he did precisely what was expected of him; that is, he totally and utterly abandoned his child by Adelaida Ivanovna, not out of malice towards him and not from any wounded matrimonial feelings, but simply because he totally forgot about him. While he was pestering everyone with his tears and complaints, and turning his house into an iniquitous den, a faithful family servant, Grigory, took the three-year-old Mitya into his care, and if Grigory had not looked after him then, there would perhaps have been no one to change the child's shirt. Moreover, it so happened that the child's relatives on his mother's side also seemed to forget about him at first. His grandfather, that is, Mr. Miusov himself, the father of Adelaida Ivanovna, was no longer living. His widow, Mitya's grandmother, had moved to Moscow and was quite ill, and the sisters were all married, so that Mitya had to spend almost a whole year with the servant Grigory, living in the servants' cottage. But even if his papa had remembered him (indeed, he could not have been unaware of his existence), he would have sent him back to the cottage, for the child would have gotten in the way of his debaucheries. Just then, however, the late Adelaida Ivanovna's cousin, Pyotr Alexandrovich Miusov, happened to return from Paris. Afterwards he lived abroad for many years, but at the time he was still a very young man, and, among the Miusovs, an unusual sort of man—enlightened, metropolitan, cosmopolitan, a lifelong European, and at the end of his life a liberal of the forties and fifties. In the course of his career he had relations with many of the most liberal people of his epoch, both in Russia and abroad; he knew Proudhon and Bakunin personally; and he particularly liked to recall and describe—this was already near his journey's end—the three days of the February revolution in Paris in forty-eight, letting on that he himself had almost taken part in it on the barricades. This was one of the most delightful memories of his youth. He had independent property, valued according to the old system at about a thousand souls. His splendid estate lay just beyond our little town and bordered on the lands of our famous monastery, with which Pyotr Alexandrovich, while still very young, having just come into his inheritance, at once began endless litigation over the rights to some kind of fishing in the river or wood-cutting in the forest—I am not sure which, but to start a lawsuit against the "clericals" was something he even considered his civic and enlightened duty. Hearing all about Adelaida Ivanovna, whom he of course remembered and had once even shown some interest in, and learning of Mitya's existence, he decided, despite his youthful indignation and his contempt for Fyodor Pavlovich, to step into the affair. It was then that he first made the acquaintance of Fyodor Pavlovich. He told him straight off that he wanted to take responsibility for the child's upbringing. Years later he used to recall, as typical of the man, that when he first began speaking about Mitya with Fyodor Pavlovich, the latter looked for a while as if he had no idea what child it was all about, and was even surprised, as it were, to learn that he had a little son somewhere in the house. Though Pyotr Alexandrovich may have exaggerated, still there must have been some semblance of truth in his story. But all his life, as a matter of fact, Fyodor Pavlovich was fond of play-acting, of suddenly taking up some unexpected role right in front of you, often when there was no need for it, and even to his own real disadvantage, as, for instance, in the present case. This trait, however, is characteristic of a great many people, even rather intelligent ones, and not only of Fyodor Pavlovich. Pyotr Alexandrovich hotly pursued the business and even got himself appointed the child's guardian (jointly with Fyodor Pavlovich), since there was, after all, a small property, a house and estate, left by his mother. Mitya did, in fact, go to live with his mother's cousin, but the latter, having no family of his own, and being in a hurry to return to Paris for a long stay as soon as he had arranged and secured the income from his estates, entrusted the child to one of his mother's cousins, a Moscow lady. In the event, having settled himself in Paris, he, too, forgot about the child, especially after the outbreak of the abovementioned February revolution, which so struck his imagination that he was unable to forget it for the rest of his life. The Moscow lady died and Mitya was passed on to one of her married daughters. It seems he later changed homes a fourth time. I won't go into that now, particularly as I shall have much to say later on about this first-born son of Fyodor Pavlovich, and must confine myself here to the most essential facts, without which I could not even begin my novel.

    First of all, this Dmitri Fyodorovich was the only one of Fyodor Pavlovich's three sons who grew up in the conviction that he, at any rate, had some property and would be independent when he came of age. He spent a disorderly adolescence and youth: he never finished high school; later he landed in some military school, then turned up in the Caucasus, was promoted, fought a duel, was broken to the ranks, promoted again, led a wild life, and spent, comparatively, a great deal of money. He received nothing from Fyodor Pavlovich before his coming of age, and until then ran into debt. He saw and got to know his father, Fyodor Pavlovich, for the first time only after his coming of age, when he arrived in our parts with the purpose of settling the question of his property with him. It seems that even then he did not like his parent; he stayed only a short time with him and left quickly, as soon as he had managed to obtain a certain sum from him and made a certain deal with him concerning future payments from the estate, without (a fact worth noting) being able to learn from his father either the value of the estate or its yearly income. Fyodor Pavlovich saw at once (and this must be remembered) that Mitya had a false and inflated idea of his property. Fyodor Pavlovich was quite pleased with this, as it suited his own designs. He simply concluded that the young man was frivolous, wild, passionate, impatient, a wastrel who, if he could snatch a little something for a time, would immediately calm down, though of course not for long. And this Fyodor Pavlovich began to exploit; that is, he fobbed him off with small sums, with short-term handouts, until, after four years, Mitya, having run out of patience, came to our town a second time to finish his affairs with his parent, when it suddenly turned out, to his great amazement, that he already had precisely nothing, that it was impossible even to get an accounting, that he had already received the whole value of his property in cash from Fyodor Pavlovich and might even be in debt to him, that in terms of such and such deals that he himself had freely entered into on such and such dates, he had no right to demand anything more, and so on and so forth. The young man was stunned, suspected a lie or a trick, was almost beside himself, and, as it were, lost all reason. This very circumstance led to the catastrophe, an account of which forms the subject of my first introductory novel, or, better, the external side of it. But before I go on to this novel, I must introduce the other two sons of Fyodor Pavlovich, Mitya's brothers, and explain where they came from.

Chapter Three

Fyodor Pavlovich, having packed off the four-year-old Mitya, very soon married for a second time. This second marriage lasted about eight years. He took his second wife, Sofia Ivanovna, also a very young person, from another province, where he happened to have gone for a bit of contracting business in the company of some little Jew. Fyodor Pavlovich, though he led a wild, drunken,...


Excerpted from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Copyright © 1990 by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
List of Characters,
From the Author,
Chapter 1 - Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov,
Chapter 2 - The First Son Sent Packing,
Chapter 3 - Second Marriage, Second Children,
Chapter 4 - The Third Son, Alyosha,
Chapter 5 - Elders,
Chapter 1 - They Arrive at the Monastery,
Chapter 2 - The Old Buffoon,
Chapter 3 - Women of Faith,
Chapter 4 - A Lady of Little Faith,
Chapter 5 - So Be It! So Be It!,
Chapter 6 - Why Is Such a Man Alive!,
Chapter 7 - A Seminarist-Careerist,
Chapter 8 - Scandal,
Chapter 1 - In the Servants' Quarters,
Chapter 2 - Stinking Lizaveta,
Chapter 3 - The Confession of an Ardent Heart. In Verse,
Chapter 4 - The Confession of an Ardent Heart. In Anecdotes,
Chapter 5 - The Confession of an Ardent Heart. "Heels Up",
Chapter 6 - Smerdyakov,
Chapter 7 - Disputation,
Chapter 8 - Over the Cognac,
Chapter 9 - The Sensualists,
Chapter 10 - The Two Together,
Chapter 11 - One More Ruined Reputation,
Chapter 1 - Father Ferapont,
Chapter 2 - At His Father's,
Chapter 3 - He Gets Involved with Schoolboys,
Chapter 4 - At the Khokhlakovs',
Chapter 5 - Strain in the Drawing Room,
Chapter 6 - Strain in the Cottage,
Chapter 7 - And in the Fresh Air,
Chapter 1 - A Betrothal,
Chapter 2 - Smerdyakov with a Guitar,
Chapter 3 - The Brothers Get Acquainted,
Chapter 4 - Rebellion,
Chapter 5 - The Grand Inquisitor,
Chapter 6 - A Rather Obscure One for the Moment,
Chapter 7 - "It's Always Interesting to Talk with an Intelligent Man",
Chapter 1 - The Elder Zosima and His Visitors,
Chapter 2 - From the Life of the Hieromonk and Elder Zosima, Departed in God, Composed from His Own Words by Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov,
Chapter 3 - From Talks and Homilies of the Elder Zosima,
Chapter 1 - The Odor of Corruption,
Chapter 2 - An Opportune Moment,
Chapter 3 - An Onion,
Chapter 4 - Cana of Galilee,
Chapter 1 - Kuzma Samsonov,
Chapter 2 - Lyagavy,
Chapter 3 - Gold Mines,
Chapter 4 - In the Dark,
Chapter 5 - A Sudden Decision,
Chapter 6 - Here I Come!,
Chapter 7 - The Former and Indisputable One,
Chapter 8 - Delirium,
Chapter 1 - The Start of the Official Perkhotin's Career,
Chapter 2 - The Alarm,
Chapter 3 - The Soul's Journey through Torments. The First Torment,
Chapter 4 - The Second Torment,
Chapter 5 - The Third Torment,
Chapter 6 - The Prosecutor Catches Mitya,
Chapter 7 - Mitya's Great Secret. Met with Hisses,
Chapter 8 - The Evidence of the Witnesses. The Wee One,
Chapter 9 - Mitya Is Taken Away,
Chapter 1 - Kolya Krasotkin,
Chapter 2 - Kids,
Chapter 3 - A Schoolboy,
Chapter 4 - Zhuchka,
Chapter 5 - At Ilyusha's Bedside,
Chapter 6 - Precocity,
Chapter 7 - Ilyusha,
Chapter 1 - At Grushenka's,
Chapter 2 - An Ailing Little Foot,
Chapter 3 - A Little Demon,
Chapter 4 - A Hymn and a Secret,
Chapter 5 - Not You! Not You!,
Chapter 6 - The First Meeting with Smerdyakov,
Chapter 7 - The Second Visit to Smerdyakov,
Chapter 8 - The Third and Last Meeting with Smerdyakov,
Chapter 9 - The Devil. Ivan Fyodorovich's Nightmare,
Chapter 10 - "He Said That!",
Chapter 1 - The Fatal Day,
Chapter 2 - Dangerous Witnesses,
Chapter 3 - Medical Expertise and One Pound of Nuts,
Chapter 4 - Fortune Smiles on Mitya,
Chapter 5 - A Sudden Catastrophe,
Chapter 6 - The Prosecutor's Speech. Characterizations,
Chapter 7 - A Historical Survey,
Chapter 8 - A Treatise on Smerdyakov,
Chapter 9 - Psychology at Full Steam. The Galloping Troika. The Finale of the Prosecutor's Speech,
Chapter 10 - The Defense Attorney's Speech. A Stick with Two Ends,
Chapter 11 - There Was No Money. There Was No Robbery,
Chapter 12 - And There Was No Murder Either,
Chapter 13 - An Adulterer of Thought,
Chapter 14 - Our Peasants Stood Up for Themselves,
Chapter 1 - Plans to Save Mitya,
Chapter 2 - For a Moment the Lie Became Truth,
Chapter 3 - Ilyushechka's Funeral. The Speech at the Stone,
About the Author,
Copyright Page,

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The Brothers Karamazov (Pevear / Volokhonsky translation) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 148 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cover that you see belongs to the Pevear\Volokhonsky translation. If you buy this e-book it is NOT THE PEVEAR translation. This is a Gutenberg press book, not the pevear. I am quite disappointed.
borges More than 1 year ago
Good thing I downloaded the sample first, or I too would have been drawn in by the cover that claims to be the Pevear translation. Don't spend a dime on this freely-available Project Gutenberg edition: "The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever."
emapaz More than 1 year ago
Shame on you, Barnes & Noble, for using the cover of the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, when it is actually the Project Gutenberg edition. The Brothers Karamazov is a great work of art, but some translations are far superior to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Brothers Karamazov's translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volonsky is wonderful, the very best so far. BUT it is NOT what you see when you open this Nook eBook. The translation you see is by Constance Garnett, made early in the 20th century. And worse, it is a public domain version made available by the Gutenberg Project long ago.... This is just unbelievable! --
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version of the brothers karamazov is an incomplete download. It leaves out about 20% of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think I am going to read this wonderful book again. There is so much life and passion in it, that reading it again will definitely enrich my soul even further. I want to tell you how this novel changed my life. It was recommended to me by a Russian Orthodox priest who considered it the best source of Russian Orthodox spirituality in literature. So I read it. I read it because at the time I was striving to become a true Orthodox Christian myself. The result, however, turned out the opposite: I lost any faith I ever had in the truth of the Church and all its dogmas. This book gave me an idea that if there is God, it is certainly not what we are taught He is. I think that in this work Dostoevsky reached the very height of what I would call 'a war with oneself'. He created this unforgettable contrast between what he wanted to believe (and, indeed believed at times) and what he actually was going through in his spiritual search, which were probably indescribable spiritual torments of doubt. I now have this indelible image of Ivan confiding in Alesha, arguing with Satan and, at last, denying God himself in his search for the truth. It was he, who stirred my whole being and it was Dostoevsky himself speaking through Ivan with the most profound sincerety and desperation. On the opposite, Dostoevsky introduces Alyosha, who didn't doubt, but just loved and believed. This young man, according to Dostoevsky's plan, is a prototype of Jesus Christ himself, a man in whom the truth is open within, a man through whom one can truly feel God's love. It is a fascinating character, although, Dostoevsky depicts him in the light of Christian Orthodoxy, as an example of TRUE spirituality, as opposed to any other spirituality. Nevertheless, if we were to take liberties in the interpretation of the work, put the dogmas aside and look at Alyosha as a human being, then we could boldly say, that this young man IS the embodiment of love, truth and godliness. I really would want to at least resemble such a person! And in the midst of this spiritual struggle, there is murder, treachery, repentance, love and comedy, which bring the characters out into your own life. I just love this book! I love the brothers, even though they are so different! There are so many things to love 'The Brothers Karamazov' for, but it is for this brave, but nevertheless desperate challenge to our faith, and at the same time, a great example of living it, that I praise this book so highly. It is truly as rich, thought-provoking and awe-inspiring as life itself. P.S. I highly recommend the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It is the most correct and true to the spirit of the book translation available. By the way, they also translated 'Crime and Punishment', 'The Demons', 'Notes from the Underground' and lots more, so I recommend those as well. And if you really would like to get the feel of how Dostoevsky DID NOT write, try the translation by Constance Garnett! It is outdated and, frankly, in some places she took liberties at what to leave and what to take out. I read 'The Brothers Karamazov' in Russian and English, going line-by-line sometimes and discovering those literary atrocities all along the text.
Brookeanne Walters More than 1 year ago
My biggest recommendation would be to pay for a $0.99 copy. This is unedited and unless you are very good at skimming over major typos, this will add an additional challenge to what some would consider a very challenging book. Fantastic story though!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm nearly finished with Dostoevsky's brilliant book, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in classic literature. Dostoevsky had the proclivity to inundate his novels with a copious amount of religious fervor (which reflects the years in which it was written..circa 1878-1880 C.E.), however, that in no way diminishes the overall experience. Dostoevsky deserves my utmost respect, and now takes his place alongside such iconic figures as: Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is incrediable, an absolute materpeice. Although at first the sheer size is intimidating, Dostoevskies writing style is so wonderfull that the pages simply fly by. Also you if you study philosophy you see where latter philosophers(Nietzsche, Sartre, and many others) got many of their prominate ideas. I'm not going to comment on the actual book, because it is so profound, deep, and a sheer joy to read, that it woild be almost sinfull to spoil the suprising turns and plot twists. JUST READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't recommend this book. Now, I'm going to admit here that I've learned that I'm not a fan of Dostoevsky. Perhaps I'm not smart enough, or maybe it's that I just don't have the patience to sit and think about the undertones to his work. But I find his work just to be too long-winded and pointless. I definitely believe that for books of this era, you really have to be familiar with the political and cultural aspects of the environment in which they're written. Of course, some of his dialogue concerning religion is ageless, but he also had a purpose in writing about it at that particular time. Moreover, I also think that many books of this just too long. Back in the day, when people didn't have movies, TV, the internet, or cars to drive them places, I'm assuming that people didn't mind staying home to read more. But man, there so many unnecessary details in this book it's just ridiculous. My mom read this book many years ago, and she said she never really did figure out the point in it. One of my friends said he stopped reading it halfway through because it was boring. I soldiered through it just so I could say I read it, but I'm not taking anything away with me for having done so. Recommend skipping this one.
Fulminata More than 1 year ago
I was asked recently "Why Dostoevsky." This from a Russian who admires Tolstoy. I will never try placing either Tolstoy or Dostoevsky above the other as they are both astonishing writers, but when I answered for Dostoevsky, I used almost only this book as my reason why. Firstly Karamazov is a very deeply written book. The characters are monoliths, they are not a one dimensional representation of a person, but real people. Next the events in the novel are drawn very carefully and beautifully. There is love, desire, anger, hatred, understanding, and everything in between. The most famous part of this novel is of course the "Grand Inquisitor" scene. It alone would guarantee this books immortality, but there is so so much more. Its worth the time required to read it.
Scobie More than 1 year ago
This new translation of The Brothers Karamazov is a marked improvement over the older Constance Garnett translation: it is more enjoyable, the English is closer to Dostoevsky's Russian, and, thankfully, the humor of the original comes through. The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoevsky's final novel and is considered to be among his best. The work has not suffered from the passing of time and is still interesting and enjoyable. I recommend this new translation to anyone reading the work for the first time, or for those who have decided to re-read and don't mind buying a new copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The greatest soul writer of all times and great contributor to human psychology successfully created a beautiful and amazing dynamism between the Karamazov brothers that has been the core of many stories after involving siblings. There is the unreliable father, the old Fyodor Karamazov whose life dominates his sons and whose death casts a huge shadow on their future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can you expect from a man who left petersburg in chains becuase his writings went against the tzar and the politics going on? Or a man who endured 6 months of the silent treatment in solititary confinement because of those very writings? Dostoevsky's novel is just brilliant. Character development, and his understanding of the human soul, the good, the bad and the disgraceful. It is a true work of literary art and if you happen to be into philosophy, you won't be a true philosopher till you read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantasticin the fact that the character developments were flawless. Each character, while labeled in some way, was fully rounded and made you feel like it was a real person you could know.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read hundreds of works in contemporary literature. This is by far my favorite novel ever. This work has few rivals for sheer substance and character developement. This is the masterpeice of a master. Everything you need to know about life is in this book. Alyosha Karamazov is the best character I've ever encountered, he is the ulimate hero of moral virtue.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The greatest soul writer of all times and great contributor to human psychology successfully created a beautiful and amazing dynamism between the Karamazov brothers that has been the core of many stories after involving siblings. There is the unreliable father, the old Fyodor Karamazov whose life dominates his sons and whose death casts a huge shadow on their future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of the book until it was recomended by my philosophy teacher. Although complex, it offers brilliant insight into the world of philosophy as well as that of depravity. Dostoevsky is in a sense an "inteligent criminal" in his writing. Definately worth reading. Things won't look quite the same.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was extraordinarilly long and there were several slow sections. But the dialogue between brothers in dealing with the issues of God and humanism are second-to-none. The reader is challenged to introspectively decide what they believe and how to deal with their own prejudices. Dostoevsky's societal picture is one hundred years ahead of its time. You'll be utterly amazed. The translation was a little rough, forcing the reader to make grammatical changes (i.e.: 'It was you (who) killed him!). It is worthy, though, of its 'classic' genre.
Mromano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It may be the greatest book ever written, at least that I have read. I haven't read War and Peace or Les Miserables yet so I reserve judgment on the greatest book of all time. Freud considered it the greatest book ever written and Faulkner was rumored to read it once a year. That is high praise indeed.
fuzzy_patters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my second foray into Dostoevsky, and I wasn't dissapointed. Dostoevsky had a remarkable ability to capture people just as they are. His characters secret motivations are displayed for all to see in a way that is more real than any other author that I have read. Reading Dostoevsky is like looking into a mirror. Every character is so human as to be a reflection of ourselves.
JimmyChanga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the perfect novel, sprawling, complex, filled with great characters, philosophical, humane, powerful, and gripping. there are so many things in this book that i want to talk over with someone, but maybe i shouldn't write them all out in this review. ask me and we can talk!
alexnisnevich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A character in Slaughterhouse-Five says, "Everything there was to know about life was in The Brothers Karamazov," and I wholeheartedly agree. This is a beautiful, and inspiring novel whose sheer depth is astounding.I know that many readers are put off by its length, but I believe everyone must read The Brothers Karamazov at some point in their lives. There is simply nothing else like it.As for me, I must go and find myself more Dostoevsky to read now :)
booksfordeb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been a while since I read this book but I remember that this book was why I love Dostoevsky. It is a simple plot with a complicated story. Dostoevsky explores the dysfunctional family, humanity and all of its manifestations, religion, the individual and society, and life. It is dark as is the author's style, and so beautifully written. Doestoevsky is a master of the psychological thriller. Unquestionably worth the time it takes to read the book and comprehend its depth.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The classic Russian tale of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his sons Ivan, Dmitri and Alexei. I can see where it would be considered great literature, and I am certainly glad I read it, but it took me a long time. When the story was interesting, it was very interesting, but when it got bogged down in politics, religion, or just rhetoric, I found it difficult to plod through.