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The Brothers Karamazov  : Vintage Classics - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov

Vintage Classics

By: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Paperback | 1 April 1992 | Edition Number 1

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'In this new translation one finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky's original' New York Times Book Review

This acclaimed English version of Dostoevsky's magnificent last novel does justice to al lits levels of artistry and intention; as murder mystery, black comedy, pioneering work of psychological realism, and enduring statement about freedom, sin and suffering.

The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving Karamazov and his three sons – the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the social and spiritual strivings in what was both a golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

Review by John Purcell

There are people out there who believe you need only ever read one Dostoyevsky novel, and that it is The Brothers Karamazov. I do understand what they mean. It could be seen as a final cohesive expression of all his prior work. You get a little Crime and Punishment, a nice slice of The Idiot, and the dark, still beating heart of Demons. Not to say that this is a cut and paste job. No. Dostoyevsky is just raising the stakes.

I would recommend reading the other three novels first; I truly believe it heightens the pleasure of reading The Brothers Karamazov. We have been on the journey Dostoyevsky has been on if we do.

A short review cannot hope to convey the wealth of experience contained in this novel. It is extraordinary when we consider how many people are involved in the making of one TV show or film, that in nineteenth century Russia, one man could have produced a work as vast and varied as The Brothers Karamazov all by himself. Extraordinary, life changing and epic. Read it.

About the Author

Fyodor Dostoevsky's life was as dark and dramatic as the great novels he wrote. He was born in Moscow in 1821, the son of a former army surgeon. A short first novel brought him instant success, but his writing career was cut short by his arrest for alleged subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849. Sentenced to a firing squad, dressed in a death shroud, he faced an open grave and awaited his execution when, suddenly, an order arrived commuting his sentence. He then spent four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison, where he began to suffer from epilepsy, and he only returned to St. Petersburg a fall ten years after he had left in chains. His prison experiences coupled with his conversion to a conservative and profoundly religious philosophy formed the basis for his great novels. His marriage to Anna Snitkina, following a period of destitution brought about by gambling, gave Dostoevsky the emotional stability to complete CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. THE IDIOT, THE POSSESSED, and THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. He died in 1881.
Industry Reviews
"Dostoevsky makes Martin Amis seem as if he was writing 130 years ago and that Dostoevsky is writing now. Read all of Dostoevsky. These books are for now and they matter, because it's up to us to call a halt to our TV producers, politicians, gutless artists, poets and writers: these "teenagers of all ages" who are propelling us towards a consumerist hell of disposability over quality" -- Billy Childish "Donne, Herbert, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Dostoevsky, Henry James - these are the great psychologists - far greater than Freud or Klein or Jung" -- Sally Vickers "No reader who knows The Brothers Karamazov should ignore this magnificent translation. And no reader who doesn't should wait any longer to acquaint himself with one of the peaks of modern fiction" * USA Today * "It returns us to a work we thought we knew - made new again" * Washington Post * "In this new translation one finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky's original" * New York Times Book Review *