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The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,70026193 (4.38)4 / 980
Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons--the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha--are all involved at some level. Brilliantly bound up with this psychological drama is Dostoevsky's intense and disturbing exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, freedom of will, the collective nature of guilt, and the disastrous consequences of rationalism. Filled with eloquent voices, this new translation fully realizes the power and dramatic virtuosity of Dostoevsky's most brilliant work.… (more)
  1. 202
    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. 34
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (igor.chubin)
Romans (21)

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English (233)  Italian (5)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Russian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (259)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
A fantastic book if you’re willing to invest in the time to read it. Even at a pace of 30 pages per day it took over a solid month to read. There are some amazing dialogues which really get into the philosophy and psychology of life. The characters are all amazingly defined and brought to life. I could relate to so many people I know from the way the author described and used his characters in the novel. The only part of the book I struggled with was the final chapters, perhaps I was getting anxious to complete the novel but really I think it was the constant explanations of what had already occurred in the novel. I enjoyed Crime and Punishment more than The Brothers Karamazov but I am still in awe that someone could write this novel by hand. Would eagerly read another novel by this author any day. ( )
  briandarvell | Aug 7, 2020 |
One of the most profound novels I've ever read. Dostoyevsky struggles through the book with perhaps the most profound question of his age: Is there a God? Because, if there is a God, he seems excessively cruel in his justice, even bloodthirsty. The argument against God made by Ivan in the middle of the book is stunning in its boldness.

On the flip side, Dostoyevsky is plainly horrified by the alternative. If there is not God, then everything is lawful. There's nothing standing between mankind and barbarism. The sham trial that fills the end of the book shows that human judgment and justice are flawed, worthy of mockery. In the end, the author seems to come down on the side that God is necessary, but I admire him for making the case for both alternatives in such a powerful fashion. There are no straw man arguments here.

The characters are clearly drawn and feel real. The plot is compelling. The biggest struggle I had with the novel is that Dostoyevsky too often embarks on side tracks from the main novel. There's a long passage about the life of Father Zosima that feels endless, and right in the heart of the murder mystery near the end of the book, he takes off on a multi-chapter excursion into the story of a dying boy who's desperate to find a dog. The Zosima chapters can be forgiven as Dostoyevsky making his best argument for the redemption that the existence of God makes possible, but I'm still mystified about why the missing dog deserved so many long and ultimately pointless pages.

I can also gripe that the trial chapter do little but repeat information we've already heard, and then, after all the witnesses testify, we get to sit through it all again as the lawyers make their multi-chapter closing statements. If you have a low tolerance for redundancy, you're in for a struggle.

So, the book can be something of a slog, but I promise you it's a rewarding slog you'll be satisfied you undertook. This is a book that matters. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Le quattro stellette non sono indicative del reale gradimento perché ho trovato questa opera talmente altalenante rispetto ad altre (Delitto e castigo, per esempio) che le sensazioni provate oscillavano spesso tra il che delusione ’sto libro al cazzarola, rimangio tutto quello che ho pensato fino a ora! Ci sono dei capitoli che sembrano buttati lì in fretta e furia, quasi banali nel raccontare le scaramucce amorose tra i personaggi. Ma è solo una impressione perché in seguito tutto acquista una profondità degna del nome dell’autore. Anche se, leggendo qua e là non è così strano pensare che in fretta e furia siano stati scritti sul serio, viste le disavventure dell’autore. Nabokov diceva che la prosa di Dosto era sciatta. E ovviamente lo diceva perché leggeva le opere in russo e poteva permettersi di giudicarne lo stile, cosa che difficilmente potremmo fare, a meno di non studiare il russo. C'è da aggiungere che Nabokov odiava gli scrittori che usavano l’arte per veicolare idee o per parlare e criticare fatti politici e storici. Per Nabokov, Orwell era un pessimo scrittore. Questo a indicare come il suo modo di vedere la letteratura non deve, a mio parere, far pensare che il suo fosse un giudizio critico infallibile. A Virginia Woolf non piaceva Dickens e tanti altri grandi scrittori non avevano simpatie per mostri sacri della letteratura.
Questa premessa per dire che si intuisce, se si osserva con occhio vigile, che I Karamazov non ha una qualità omogenea. E non significa nulla, perché non tutti i grandi capolavori possono vantare questa omogeneità. E non penso nemmeno sia necessario.
Quando però si arriva a capitoli come Il grande inquisitore, e quello appena precedente, si raggiungono livelli altissimi. Quando Ivan e Aleksej discutono sulla fede, al bar, tutta la storia dell’inquisitore, che non a caso viene anche pubblicata a parte vista la bellezza del capitolo, quando Ivan parla con il diavolo, quando insomma ci sono le ossessioni e i dubbi morali, religiosi e politici, viene fuori il meglio di Dosto. E non solo di Dosto, se parliamo di russi dell’800.
Quindi, è sicuramente una bella lettura, più impegnativa rispetto ad Anna Karenina, che ho amato di più, ma che, come ogni capolavoro, perfetto o imperfetto che sia, lascia dentro qualcosa.

( )
  Atticus06 | Jun 9, 2020 |
Karamazov Kardeşler'i okurken çok fazla ara verdim ara vermeseydim belki kitaptan daha çok zevk alabilirdim ama olmadı.Bunun önemli bir nedeni kitabın ilk 300 sayfalık kısmının sıkıcı olmasıydı buna da Staretz Zosima'nın dini konuşmaları neden oluyordu.Kitap ancak 300 den sonra toparlıyor ve okunacak hale geliyor.Bu kadar sayfa okuduysanız gerisi kolayca okunabiliyor.Kitap ana hikayeden çok fazla sapıp yan hikayelere bu kadar odaklanmasaydı gözümde Suç ve Ceza ile aynı seviyede olurdu ama yine de okunması gereken çok önemli bir kitap olduğu kanaatindeyim. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
Die Philosophie fand ich etwas zu viel für meinen Geschmack und ich gebe zu, dass ich alles, was debattiert oder vortrugen wurde, nicht in Ganzem begriffen habe.

Allerdings fühlte sich dieser Roman lebendig an, wie alle Werken von Dostojewsky und ich fand es durchaus leicht, ihn durchzulesen, von den Philosophieabschnitten mal abgesehen. ( )
  SVY | May 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (101 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anhava, MarttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bazzarelli, EridanoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eng, Jan van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fondse, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosloff, A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langeveld, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacAndrew, Andrew H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maugham, W. SomersetEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDuff, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mochulsky, KonstantinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mongault, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nötzel, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polledro, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prina, SerenaEditor and Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sales, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yarmolinsky, AvrahmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
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)
Very well then - tell me the truth, squash me like a cockroach.
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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Book description
Tre fratelli con caratteri molto diversi: uno orgoglioso e sensuale, uno razionale fino all'eccesso e uno sinceramente religioso; un figlio illegittimo malato ed emarginato ed un padre avaro e crudele, odiato e disprezzato da tutti.
Haiku summary
Sad Russian people
griping about God and stuff.
Wish Dad was still here.

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