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The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky


I have to admit that I am always a little wary of reviewing classic literature, in the same fashion that I approach anything from a “Top Ten” list, or bestsellers. There is a certain expectation that, everyone has found something profound or enlightening in this work, so what happens if I completely miss out on it? I honestly did not know anything about “The Brothers Karamazov” other than that it was a big fat Russian novel and would probably last at least through one cross-continental flight.

I was pleasantly surprised at the humor and readability which I found at the beginning of the novel. The narrator, who is never named or really described, seems to be clearly translated in this edition by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Part One introduces the main characters, giving some background on their situations and relationships with one another. I was able to read this at one time, while the rest of the book was broken up during my trip, so my thoughts on those sections are rather disjointed. I did manage to finish it by the end of my trip, but will wait to revisit it in a more coherent fashion before attempting any analysis or extrapolation. I will say that it is definitely worth the reading, despite dragging a bit in the middle. I was not sure what to expect from the story, and was surprised to find that it was a somewhat ambiguous murder mystery. And unlike “Anna Karenina” (presently my only other benchmark for Russian literature) this one did not have a particularly satisfying conclusion, at least for me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. liz perry permalink
    2012/01/11 10:51

    sara!!!! oh goodness! have we talked about the Brothers Karamazov yet? i just read it a few months and i’m already clearing time to re-engage it. i don’t think i’ve ever had such an evocative read in my life!

    thanks for these reviews. i super love them.

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