Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Double (1846)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7092610,449 (3.66)66
Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite: confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 66 mentions

English (22)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Është konsideruar si një prej romancierëve të mëdhenj rusë, nga ku janë influencuar edhe shumë shkrimtarë të tjerë pasardhës. Para së të bëhej shkrimtar Dostojevski që në adoleshencë ka qenë një lexues pasionant.

Romani dostojevskian paraqitet si një konfrontim i këndvështrimeve “ekzistenciale” midis personazheve të ndryshme, këndvështrime që shprehen në stile të ndryshme. Dostojevski i kushton një kujdes të veçantë realizmit të dialogëve, duke përdorur shprehje popullore, digresione, ndërprerje etj.
Ka shkruar: “Idioti”, “Analet e Petërburgut”, “Krim dhe ndëshkim”, “Vëllezërit Karamazov” etj
  BibliotekaFeniks | Jan 19, 2024 |
Published in 1846, this slim novel examines duality, identity, and mental health. Protagonist Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, Sr. (Senior) works as a bureaucrat in an office. He is in love with an unattainable woman named Klara. He is unhappy and feels he does not get enough respect. A doctor advises him to keep more cheerful company and fears for his sanity. Senior eventually meets an exact replica of himself, the “double,” called Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, Jr. (Junior), who becomes his rival and appears to want to destroy his reputation.

Junior exhibits the qualities that Senior wishes he possessed. We are never quite sure if Junior is part of Senior’s paranoia, but he appears to be. The individual exhibits both good and bad qualities; and engages in both moral and immoral behavior. There may be social reasons for Senior’s mental deterioration. I am unsure if this book was intended as commentary on the bureaucracy in Russia at the time, but I think it is likely. I am reading selected books off the Boxall List. I found this one intriguing. It packs a lot of content into less than 200 pages. It will appeal to those looking for something a bit off the beaten path.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Double
Series: (The Russians)
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Translator: Constance Garnett
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 215
Words: 62K


From Wikipedia

In Saint Petersburg, Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin works as a titular councillor (rank 9 in the Table of Ranks established by Peter the Great.), a low-level bureaucrat struggling to succeed.

Golyadkin has a formative discussion with his Doctor Rutenspitz, who fears for his sanity and tells him that his behaviour is dangerously antisocial. He prescribes "cheerful company" as the remedy. Golyadkin resolves to try this, and leaves the office. He proceeds to a birthday party for Klara Olsufyevna, the daughter of his office manager. He was uninvited, and a series of faux pas lead to his expulsion from the party. On his way home through a snowstorm, he encounters a man who looks exactly like him, his double. The following two thirds of the novel then deals with their evolving relationship.

At first, Golyadkin and his double are friends, but Golyadkin Jr. proceeds to attempt to take over Sr.'s life, and they become bitter enemies. Because Golyadkin Jr. has all the charm, unctuousness and social skills that Golyadkin Sr. lacks, he is very well-liked among the office colleagues. At the story's conclusion, Golyadkin Sr. begins to see many replicas of himself, has a psychotic break, and is dragged off to an asylum by Doctor Rutenspitz.

My Thoughts:

This was extremely confusing. I'm used to being confused by russian stories as the authors simply think differently than I do but this just felt even more so than usual.

I can chalk that up to 3 possibilities. First, this is a novel about a man going insane and as we're in his head, the journey to madness makes no sense itself. The second is that this was Dostoyevsky's second novel and so it was unpolished and not as well put together as his later works. The option is that the translator bunged things up, badly. I really can't say which option is correct but if all 3 played a part it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Reading this so closely after finishing In the Court of the Yellow King was a mistake. That book was all about madness in phantasmagorical terms while this was “real” madness. It simply overloaded me in terms of what I could handle. Many of the situations were supposed to be humorous but they never struck me that way. It was simply sad seeing a man going insane and not knowing what was going on. It rang all too true to life too. I've dealt with a couple of people on meds and when they got off their meds they were just like Golyadkin. It was scary.

I am glad this was as short as it was. By the end when Golyadkin is committed to an insane asylum I was ready for this to be over, as I couldn't handle it any more. Probably a good thing I'm not a therapist or something, hahahahaa :-) Despite my issues, I am glad I read this and it has in no way deterred me from continuing on with this Russian journey I have begun.

★★★✬☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Mar 5, 2022 |
Not one of my favorite Dostoevsky stories, but interesting nonetheless and of novella length.

It's basically a thriller/horror story of a man (the protagonist) who begins to see his doppelganger, his "double". The double takes over the protagonists job, his friends, his life, until the protagonist descends into madness and is taken away to be institutionalized.

If you've ever feared that society may turn on you in a conspiratorial way, this story is for you. Due to these themes I get Kafka vibes. Themes of pervasive anxiety, a social anxiety. Everyone looking at you, judging you. Conspiratorial discussions, sideways glances. Plotting against you.

The character is somewhat one-dimensional compared to the excellent writing and characterization of Dostoevsky's other stories, such as the Brothers Karamazov. It works for this story, and is perhaps done intentionally to gain the effect of contrast against his "double" who acts more confident, jovial, and gets along easily with his peers.

Despite being a horror story it is also somewhat humorous, with the protagonist constantly being referred to as "our hero" despite his pathetic, servile whimpering all the time. Is the narrator being sarcastic? The subjective nature of the narrator makes it feel unreliable, and perhaps a reflection of the protagonist's own inability to see objectively and rationally what is occurring. ( )
  ekerstein | Sep 29, 2021 |
Öteki'yi okudum. Dostoyevski'nin ilk dönem eserlerini pek beğenmiyorum ama Öteki'yi çok beğendim.

Bu kitapta Dostoyevski, Golyadkin karakterinin psikolojisini çok iyi aktarsa da kitap roman tekniği konusunda biraz zayıf kalmış. Bu yüzden kitabın ilk yarısı sıkıcı olmuş, ancak 90. sayfadan sonra kitap açılıyor. Ayrıca kitapta gözle görülür bir şekilde Gogol esintileri vardı, Dostoyevski bu kitabı yazdığı sıralarda henüz kendi üslubunu geliştirmemiş sanki.

Kitabın konusunu spoiler vermeden anlatmak oldukça güç, bu yüzden psikolojik sorunları olan karakterleri sevenlerin sevebileceği bir kitap olduğunu söylemekle yetineceğim. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagemann, MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harden, EvelynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaroschenko, N.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peet, D.P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Röhl, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waage, Peter NormannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilks, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zveteremich, PietroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
First words
It was a little before eight when Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a minor civil servant, came to, yawned, stretched, and finally opened his eyes wide after a long night's rest.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite: confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
First published in 1846, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella The Double is a classic doppelganger and the second major work published by the author. It is the story of Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a government clerk who believes that a fellow clerk has taken over his identity and is determined to bring about his ruin. Considered the most Gogolesque of Dostoyevsky's works, the novella brilliantly depicts Golyadkin's descent into madness in a way that is hauntingly poetic. The Double illustrates Dostoyevsky's uncanny ability at capturing the complexity of human emotion, especially the darker side of the human psyche.
Haiku summary
golyadkin thought he
saw his twin so they sent him
to the asylum

Legacy Library: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Fyodor Dostoevsky's legacy profile.

See Fyodor Dostoevsky's author page.

Current Discussions


Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.66)
1 1
1.5 2
2 24
2.5 4
3 90
3.5 20
4 112
4.5 9
5 50


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,919,005 books! | Top bar: Always visible