Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
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.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot (1869)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,934127315 (4.13)393
Prince Myshkin, a good yet simple man, is out of place in the corrupt world created by Russia's ruling class.

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 393 mentions

English (104)  Dutch (5)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (125)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Idéen er god, karakterne komplekse og interessante, en skarpsindig forfatter. Idioten indeholder alt, en klassiker skal have, og alligevel kedede jeg mig bravt og fik aldrig følelserne tæt på. Som at se film gennem et vindue. ( )
  troelsk | May 8, 2020 |
The author created believable characters in impossible situations. Typical Russian tragedy. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
It had some interesting bits, but far too much back and forth between a crazy love triangle for my tastes. It was a bit of a slog at times. ( )
  Philthy | Jan 9, 2020 |
While it was still a bit of a challenge, I enjoyed The Idiot far more than Crime and Punishment. My second try at Dostoevsky confirms, however, that I'm not a huge fan.

This novel centers around Prince Myshkin who was given up as a child to a sanatorium for treatment for a condition. The story begins with him leaving the institution as an adult. He has no immediate family or friends and he desperately seeks to make a connection with distant relatives and their acquaintances.

In character, the Prince is simply a kind, quiet and forgiving person. He does posses some symptoms of a malady that include seizures, difficulty speaking, agitation, difficulty focusing attention, emotional instability and a preoccupation with human faces. Because of his late language development, clumsiness and extreme reactions to the environment, he may have been suffering from something within the autism spectrum, though high functioning.

The story is composed of numerous psychologically deep insights into Myshkin and the other characters; some of which are bipolar, schizophrenic and suicidal. These often come to light during various social gatherings that are required of people of their stature. Throughout most of the book, the Prince is treated horribly. The other characters show a complete disregard for his feelings and have no sense of empathy. In fact, many take "malignant pleasure" in the tragedies of others. They often refer to the Prince as "The Idiot" in his presence. Even those that care for him sometimes chide him or try to hide him so they are not embarrassed by his behavior.

Lightly stringing these events together is the underlying plot of Prince Myshkin's pursuit of two love interests in trying to find a sense of acceptance and belonging. In the end, he gives up the woman he truly loves because he feels he isn't good enough for her and instead decides to marry her rival, a woman he pities. The marriage is never completed however because his wife-to-be leaves him at the altar and runs off with another lover. The story ends with her murder and the Prince completely regressing into a catatonic state in the sanatorium. He never finds the sense of belonging or normalcy he wanted. ( )
  pmtracy | Dec 17, 2019 |
It was a well written and appeared to be a well-translated book. Captured the drama and dissociative character of the "socialite experience". It was also a well written account of the immature, idiot, reliance on the feminine for individuality and self-fulfillment; Myshkin's and Roghozin's masculinity was "sick". ( )
  pspringmeyer | Aug 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (296 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Avsey, IgnatTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlisle, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlisle, OlgaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, StaffanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kjetsaa, GeirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuukasjärvi, OlliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laín Entralgo, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manger, HermienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, Eva M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, J.Jac.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmer, Charles B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witt, SusannaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yarmolinksy, AvrahmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Towards the end of November, during a warm spell, at around nine o'clock in the morning, a train of the Petersburg-Warsaw line was approaching Petersburg at full steam.
At nine o'clock in the morning, towards the end of November, the Warsaw train was approaching Petersburg at full speed. It was thawing, and so damp and foggy that it was difficult to distinguish anything ten paces from the line to right or left of the carriage windows. Some of the passengers were returning from abroad, but the third-class compartments were most crowded, chiefly with people of humble rank, who had come a shorter distance on business. All of course were tired and shivering, their eyes were heavy after the night's journey, and all their faces were pale and yellow to match the fog. [Trans. Constance Garnett]
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
After his great portrayal of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky set out in The Idiot to portray a man of pure innocence. The twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin, following a stay of several years in a Swiss sanatorium, returns to Russia to collect an inheritance and “be among people.” Even before he reaches home he meets the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose obsession with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. In Petersburg the prince finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with money, power, and manipulation. Scandal escalates to murder as Dostoevsky traces the surprising effect of this “positively beautiful man” on the people around him, leading to a final scene that is one of the most powerful in all of world literature.
Haiku summary

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.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.13)
0.5 2
1 15
1.5 6
2 78
2.5 17
3 311
3.5 91
4 741
4.5 100
5 829

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044792X, 0451531523

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 146,514,038 books! | Top bar: Always visible