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The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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  1. 172
    The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (PrincessPaulina, melies)
    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
  2. 20
    The Master of Petersburg by J.M. Coetzee (xtien)
    xtien: Brilliand novel by Coetzee about a fictional Dostoevsky
  3. 32
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (igor.chubin)
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English (165)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (181)
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i made it only half way through. i could not relate to any of the characters. the action was slow if there was even any action and then all the difference side stories and life stories of each character. just not my cup of tea. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Apr 12, 2014 |
On the surface this novel could be read as a psychological thriller, family drama, and murder mystery--with enough of a twist to satisfy an Agatha Christie fan. It's rather beside the point though, and the reveal is hardly the climax of the book. This is after all one of the most celebrated works of not just Russian, but world literature, one of the candidates for greatest novel ever written. My introduction to Dostoyevsky was an excerpt from this novel, the chapter "The Grand Inquisitor." And not in a literature course, but a philosophy course, where it was used to raise issues about the nature of God and the problem of evil. It's the speech of (and a story by) the atheist Ivan Karamazov he tells to his devout brother Aloysha. And to give Dostoyevsky his due, he props up no straw man--it's a powerful indictment of God.

Not that I always appreciated the religious-themed passages. My Dostoyesky could go on and on... Those of you who complained about the speechifying in the novels by Russian-born Ayn Rand? The similarities in style are no accident--she was a fan of Dostoyevsky--certainly not of his philosophy, to which she was diametrically opposed, but of the way he wove such themes into plot and character. Sometimes I felt preached at in this novel--I particularly found the chapter on the sainted Zossima's teachings an unbearable slog, and by midpoint I decided to skip the rest of that chapter. Maybe some day I'll go back, but I rather doubt it. But believe me, that was the only part I skipped or wanted to skip. The eldest brother Mitya sometimes came across as too-stupid-to-live and the youngest Aloysha too goodie-goodie. And every female character was a drama queen--not that the men fare much better. But as long as the focus was on the brothers and their relationships with each other and their odious father, I was riveted. And certainly each of them were more engaging to follow through hundreds of pages than Raskolnikov, the monomaniacal and repulsive center of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Certainly I'd be much more likely to read more of Doestoyevsky than Tolstoy, whose War and Peace bored me to tears (although I did rather relish Anna Karinina.) I do absolutely think The Brothers Karamazov lives up to its reputation as one of those great works everyone would learn a lot from being acquainted with--and an engrossing story as well. ( )
2 vote LisaMaria_C | Mar 23, 2014 |
I came into this pretty optimistically. I didn't get much out of 'The Idiot,' which seemed a bit, well, pubescent; even less out of 'Memoirs from the House of the Dead,' which was about 200 pages too long. Let's not even bring up 'Netochka Nezvanova.' But I'm determined to keep trying, since he has his high points (none in 'The Idiot,' though) and I feel a moral compulsion to read him.

Also, the other books I read for various classes, and thought that might have been the problem. It wasn't. The problem is that nobody with as much talent as Dostoevsky has ever written flabbier, more repetitive books. I know that this is intentional, and part of his 'democratic' genius and so on, all the characters get a say and so on and so on. That only works is all the characters deserve a hearing, and doesn't excuse them getting their say twelve or thirteen times per novel. If Dmitri K had had one more soliloquy I might have attacked him with a pestle. Novels of ideas are only good when the ideas are good.

The good news is that the famous Grand Inquisitor chapters really are amazing, as are the fables and little stories spread throughout the novel, and Ivan K generally had more interesting things to say than anyone else. The 'optimism' of the sub-plot focusing on the young boys is, well, a little flimsy (almost 800 pages of murder, despair and stupidity, ending with 'let's just all get along'??), but the children themselves are actually far more interesting than the adults.

Anyway. I can't really recommend it to anyone who's not interested in 'The Russian Soul,' and/or filled with adolescent existentialist angst. I am clearly an anti-democratic tyrant who likes hierarchical fascism in my novels. So be it. ( )
3 vote stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Meh. I would have enjoyed this more if I knew/cared more about Russian culture, Russian literature, Russian religion, the Bible in general, and any of the ethical debates discussed in this novel. I kept reading it because the characters are so engaging and the language so descriptive the book comes to life and, though at times I found it tedious, I was always eager to pick it up again. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
The greatest book ever, the book that made me think the most ( )
  ivinela | Dec 10, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (81 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fyodor Dostoevskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosloff, A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacAndrew, Andrew H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDuff, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mochulsky, KonstantinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nötzel, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noetzel, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yarmolinsky, AvrahmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Verily, verily, I say unto, you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringth forth much fruit. - John 12:24
Dedication
Tillägnas Anna Grigorjevna Dostojevskaja
Dedicated to

Anna Grigorievna Dostoevsky
First words
Alexey Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his tragic and obscure death, which happened just thirteen years ago, and of which I shall speak in its proper place. (Garnett, 1912)
Aleksei Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner of our district, extremely well known in his time (and to this day still remembered in these parts) on account of his violent and mysterious death exactly thirteen years ago, the circumstances of which I shall relate in due course. (Avsey 1994)
Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, which happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place. (Garnett, Great Books, 1952)
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. (Pevear/Volokhonsky, 1990)
Quotations
Very well then - tell me the truth, squash me like a cockroach.
(McDuff,1993)

In schools children are a tribe without mercy.
(McDuff, 1993)
I have, as it were, torn my soul in half before you, and you have taken advantage of it and are rummaging with your fingers in both halves along the torn place...O God!
(McDuff, 1993)
I'm a Karamazov - when I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up . . . 
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Individual volumes should not be combined with the complete set/work or different volumes of the same set/work.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374528373, Paperback)

The award-winning translation of Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:56 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A remarkable work showing the author's power to depict Russian character and his understanding of human nature.

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