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Crimen y castigo by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crimen y castigo (original 1866; edition 2001)

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
29,12934131 (4.24)2 / 714
Title:Crimen y castigo
Authors:Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Info:Barcelona: Juventud
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Literatura rusa

Work details

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)

  1. 180
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Booksloth)
  2. 180
    The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (PrincessPaulina, zasmine)
    PrincessPaulina: "The Idiot" is overlooked compared to Dostoevsky's other work, but in my opinion it's the most engaging. Deals with upper crust society in pre-revolutionary Russia
    zasmine: For more of his social dissection
  3. 173
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (SanctiSpiritus, Kantar)
  4. 162
    The Stranger by Albert Camus (chrisharpe, DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: A compare-and-contrast exercise - Raskolnikov is all nervous energy and hypertension, whereas Meursault is detatched, calm, and won't pretend to feel remorse. Two masterpieces.
  5. 93
    Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (SanctiSpiritus, Kantar)
  6. 51
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (infiniteletters)
  7. 40
    The Man Without Qualities, Volume 1: A Sort of Introduction, and Pseudo Reality Prevails by Robert Musil (ateolf)
  8. 31
    Hunger by Knut Hamsun (ateolf)
  9. 21
    Herzog by Saul Bellow (SanctiSpiritus)
  10. 76
    The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe (GCPLreader)
  11. 610
    Perfume by Patrick Süskind (klerulo)
    klerulo: Both these works attempt to get inside the head of singularly amoral sociopathic murderers.

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English (297)  Spanish (12)  Italian (6)  Dutch (5)  Finnish (5)  German (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Czech (1)  Tagalog (1)  All languages (341)
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
it's something that i'm glad is in my brain.

it reminds me of the snowden situation. it's not too far off the mark. think NSA ... ( )
  Joseph_W_Naus | Jul 20, 2016 |
I don't know or read a word of Russian. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this translation of Dostoevsky's novel. It drew and held my interest for over 500 pages. Footnotes were judicious. When they occurred, the footnotes provided additional useful information about locations, historical events, or key linguistic shifts. If English is your native language, this translation is a wonderful way to absorb Dostoevsky[s important ideas and personalities. ( )
  EpicTale | Jul 17, 2016 |
Good, but long winded like most classic Russian fiction. ( )
  AveryBGoodman | Jun 26, 2016 |
I found this one very intersting. All of the characters were well developed even though it's told in "deep POV" of the protagonist. The suspense was great, the characters were endearing despite their imperfections. In fact, each broken soul made me love the book even more. It's not an easy read, but I loved every minute of it. ( )
  Calavari | Jun 7, 2016 |
Since finishing Crime and Punishment, I have been struggling to express how I feel about the novel. This is because although I respect the book and I didn't regret reading it, unfortunately my main emotion is one of disappointment.

My only previous experience of Russian literature was when I read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace last year. And I loved it. Now, no doubt it was a bit foolish to expect an identical experience when picking up Crime and Punishment, considering it comes from a completely different author. But Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were contemporaries and chapters from both books were being serialised at roughly the same time, in line with the Russian convention. Partly because of the book's title, partly because of its literary reputation and partly because it came to me recommended for its philosophical bent, I expected Dostoevsky to address issues of crime in society in the same way and with the same rigour as Tolstoy addressed war and history in his epic. Not too unreasonably, I believe, the two books were married in my mind and this exacerbated my mild disappointment in Crime and Punishment into a rather regretful divorce.

Whereas Tolstoy (and I discussed this in my review of War and Peace elsewhere on this website) devoted every act in his magnum opus to illustrate his overarching theory, Dostoevsky is far less rigorous and consistent. Often, he is addressing or satirising philosophical arguments of his day that he doesn't necessarily agree with. This makes it hard to pin down what exactly his view is, as it means you can't accept his characters and their dialogue as mouthpieces for or representatives of his own views in the way you could for Tolstoy's Pierre, Natasha or Prince Andrei. I could – with not inconsiderable effort – eventually determine a sort of philosophy which Dostoevsky seems to be articulating but, if I am correct, it is not one I agree with. His central theme seems to be an almost Nietzschean idea of moral exceptionalism; the protagonist, Raskolnikov, reasons that he is allowed to kill because the act will set him on the way to a better life. Having reached a higher level, he can then do a thousand good deeds to make up for his one evil deed. But I was confused by this: Dostoevsky outlines this theory and sticks with it throughout the book, but Raskolnikov not only fails to do many good deeds after the murder but even at times seems to contest the notion that in murdering someone he even did something 'evil'.

As outlined on pages 259-61, Raskolnikov reasons that people are divided between the ordinary and the extraordinary and that whilst both types must obey the law, the extraordinary have a right – not an official right, but a right within themselves – to step over certain obstacles", even to kill, in the pursuit of "fulfilment of his idea" that, because of his extraordinariness and his genius, may prove beneficial to mankind. He notes, furthermore, that the movers and shakers of history have all been blood-shedders (not true, but a fair generalisation); that in order to bring something new and progressive to mankind, the 'exceptionals' must by necessity veer off the beaten path – to change something in the established order, to refuse to conform to society's rules, one must by necessity be a criminal. However, and crucially, there is a flaw: that of the ordinary person who believes they are extraordinary (pg. 262). Raskolnikov's theory makes allowance for this by contending that if the person has the strength of will to feel no doubt about the justness of his actions, then he has the moral right within himself to do it, regardless of the established law. If he questions and queries whether he has the right to such power, he reasons on page 419, it means he does not have the right to power. As it turns out (and I suppose this is a spoiler alert of sorts), Raskolnikov does have doubts about his act, both before and after (there are a few nice scenes early on in which he has reasoned everything out but his body is betraying him – his hands start shaking, for example). To his mind, this means he did not have the right within himself to commit the murder and he ends up confessing and serving his time at a hard-labour camp in Siberia. (End spoilers.)

Whilst I found this central theory interesting to engage with (even if it did seem at times a bit fascistic), it was another parallel philosophy that I dispute more fundamentally. In notable contrast to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky seems to identify the world as one in which everything happens by chance and people go about their lives, doing their thing – even murder – more or less on autopilot. Every plot point is developed by, and every philosophical argument is evidenced by, mere chance coincidences, and not in a subtle sort of knock-on butterfly effect way, but simple, bump-into-somebody-on-the-street-who-changes-your-life coincidences. Dostoevsky seems to be hinting at a sort of divine plan (there is a revealing line on page 142 about everything "fall[ing] together so nicely… just like a stage play."), and Raskolnikov at the end even turns to God for salvation and redemption (although, thankfully, the reader is not beaten over the head with this message). This disappointed me not only because I don't believe in fate or God or a grand plan (at least, not one that can be comprehended by mankind), but because – in my opinion – it doesn't work for the novel. Everything in the plot really does happen by sometimes rather farfetched chance, and the mystery comes not from a thought-provoking idea about God moving in mysterious ways, but from strange decisions by the characters and from blind luck. This is a novel in which a murderer who has committed the 'perfect crime' is reckless about getting caught, and even brags and makes unsubtle hints about what he has done. This is a novel in which a police detective investigating a brutal murder befriends – sincerely – the man he knows to have done it. This is a novel in which the friends and family of the murderer – repentant not because he believes he has done wrong, but because he didn't have the strength of will to completely eradicate his doubt – rally round him and talk about moving to Siberia to be closer to him. Indeed, the love interest to Raskolnikov – upon being told by him of his murderous acts – responds by declaring undying love and devotion for him. It is not a novel in which one can draw any conclusions about the nature of man and crime simply because the characters and the crime, at least in this respect, are too artificial.

It is a shame that I was not entirely won over by the novel's philosophising and – more accurately – its delivery, because I enjoyed it in other ways. Raskolnikov's inconsistencies, whilst diminishing the strength of Dostoevsky's philosophies, enrich the novel if it is seen as a story of one man's descent into madness rather than a moral treatise on the nature of crime and rehabilitation. (A more suitable title for the book would have been Murder and Madness.) In this respect it is quite compelling and rather unique; as the introduction to my Vintage Classic edition notes, it is "a highly unusual mystery novel: the most mystified character in it is the murderer himself." (pg. xiii). (On this note, I would also like to say the translation in this edition by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky was, as with their War and Peace translation, more than suitable.) The book is far too long for what it is, and I say that as someone who thought the 1,200-page War and Peace was just the right size for its story. In Crime and Punishment, there are far too many diversions and tangents and unnecessary details. Whereas one is required to read every word of War and Peace to truly understand its scope, Crime and Punishment could reasonably be condensed from its 'Six Parts and an Epilogue' to about two, maybe three, parts and an epilogue.

As I mentioned at the start of this review, my response to Crime and Punishment was primarily one of disappointment. I sincerely appreciated the novel, but still far less than I expected to given its reputation and my not-unreasonable preconceptions. Overall, I believe that it is a novel to be studied and respected rather than enjoyed." ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Björkegren, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borja, CorinneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borja, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brodal, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canon, Raymond R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coulson, JessieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffmann, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jullian, PhilippeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Katzer, JuliusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kropotkin, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuukasjärvi, OlliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manger, HermienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meijer, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prina, SerenaEditor and Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ready, OliverTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reedijk, LourensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rydelius, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vuori, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
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. (Garnett translation)
Toward the end of a sultry afternoon early in July a young man came out of his little room in Stolyarny Lane and turned slowly and somewhat irresolutely in the direction of Kamenny Bridge. (Coulson translation)
On a very hot evening at the beginning of July a young man left his little room at the top of a house in Carpenter Lane, went out into the street, and, as though unable to make up his mind, walked slowly in the direction of Kokushkin Bridge.
At the beginning of July, during an extremely hot spell, towards evening, a young man left the closet he rented from tenants in S____y Lane, walked out to the street, and slowly, as if indecisively, headed for the K______n Bridge. (Pevear and Volokhonsky translation)
In het begin van juli, het was tegen de avond en bijzonder warm, verliet een jongeman het kamertje dat hij aan de S-steeg in onderhuur bewoonde, en begaf zich traag, besluiteloos bijna, in de richting van de K-brug.
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Disambiguation notice
The original Russian title is “Преступление и наказание”.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
How Raskolnikov, a former student, deluded, kind, handsome, mercilessly intellectual, comes half-dreaming with a borrowed hatchet to murder an old woman money-lender, is the central action of Crime and Punishment.

From its opening pages Dostoyevsky attaches us unreservedly to his hero, creating an intimacy that is claustrophobic, full of tension, and as haunting and relentless as a love affair. Begun as a novel concerned with the psychology of a crime and the processes of guilt, it surpasses itself to take on the tragic force of myth.

It is the king of murder stories. And of detective stories. And of thrillers... writes John Jones in his classic study of Dostoyevsky, calling Crime and Punishment the most accessible and exciting novel in the world.

The cover shows a painting by an anonymous artist in the Russian Museum, Leningrad.
Haiku summary
Student with an axe:
Napoleon or madman?
Siberian gaol.

Good boy gone bad in

this novel: comic version

removes most drama.


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553211757, Mass Market Paperback)

A desperate young man plans the perfect crime -- the murder of a despicable pawnbroker, an old women no one loves and no one will mourn. Is it not just, he reasons, for a man of genius to commit such a crime, to transgress moral law -- if it will ultimately benefit humanity? So begins one of the greatest novels ever written: a powerful psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, a fascinating detective thriller infused with philosophical, religious and social commentary. Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in a garret in the gloomy slums of St. Petersburg, carries out his grotesque scheme and plunges into a hell of persecution, madness and terror. Crime And Punishment takes the reader on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind, and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil ... a man who cannot escape his own conscience.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

(see all 12 descriptions)

Determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammeled individual will, Raskolnikov, and impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the Tsars, commits an act of murder and theft and sets into motion a story which, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its profundity of characterization and vision, is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 33 descriptions

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25 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451530063, 0140449132

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