The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue

Book - 1990
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Baker & Taylor
The violent lives of three sons are exposed when their father is murdered and each one attempts to come to terms with their guilt

Publisher: San Francisco : North Point Press, 1990.
Edition: Book club ed.
ISBN: 9780865474222
0865474222
Branch Call Number: DOS
Characteristics: xx, 796 p. ; 23 cm.

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arturo_m
Apr 26, 2014

My first Dosteyevsky novel, this is also my first time reading a Russian classic, so I might not be the best person to get an informed, well-read opinion from, but be that as it may ...
This textured tome has been described as one of the greatest, if not the greatest work of literature of all time. Though certainly impactful on me, it hasn`t impressed me in quite that way.

Not that I wasn't impressed at all. The characters are rich, nuanced and satisfyingly unpredictable. Dosteyevsky is doubtlessly skilled at painting detailed portraits of the human soul, human frailty, the profundities of human depravity, Russian culture, dynamic social change, intense intellectual conflict, the aesthetics of landscape and the awe of eternal deity.

I was moved most of all by the pathetic story thread of Illusha, the slight but brave boy and his family. If there has ever been a more tender portrayal of a father-son relationship written on the page, I am ignorant of its existence.

Much of the parallel story threads read to me like a sort of backstory for an episode of the Jerry Springer show. This is all the more remarkable when compared to other aspects of the novel that explore intense psychological, philosophical and theological themes. This sacred / profane dichotomy is really a part of the novel's lasting appeal and impact.

Perhaps in a few years I will mature, and having re-read "Karamazov", will inevitably uncover deeper artistic and spiritual treasures in this classic work, a la Mortimer J. Adler. My bet is that if I do revisit these pages, this will certainly be the outcome.

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