The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not too unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain.) Vanya (the narrator and fictional author) has a crush on Natasha, who has left her family to live with her new lover, Alyosha. Alyosha is a sweetheart, but he's also a little dim; he's the son of Prince Valkovsky, a Machiavellian character who's the villain of the tale. Prince Valkovsky hopes to gain wealth and stature by marrying Alyosha off to an heiress -- Katya. The Prince's machinations make him one of the most memorable "predatory types" in the Dostoevsky ouvre.