Dostoevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov , which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger from January to November Dostoevsky died less than four months after its publication. The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th-century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God , free will , and morality. It is a spiritual, theological drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, judgment, and reason , set against a modernizing Russia, with a plot which revolves around the subject of patricide. Dostoevsky composed much of the novel in Staraya Russa , which inspired the main setting.

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Warning: This review might contain spoilers even outside the hidden 'spoiler alert' regions. I honestly am not capable of discriminating. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Richard Pevear Translator. Larissa Volokhonsky Translator. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, is social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. The Brothers Karamazov Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about The Brothers Karamazov , please sign up. How do you find the character of Pavel Fyodorovich, aka Smerdyakov, in contrast to Ivan?

Who among the two represents the 'intellectual' dimension? The character of Smerdyakov is somewhat portrayed as 'evil,' but what about his mind, or the way he posed his challenge to Ivan? Utkarsh Detha While it is true that Smerdyakov chose wrong means and lacked the virtues one is expected to have courage, honesty etc. I think the reason behind this were the unjust norms of the society. Unlike Ivan, Smerdyakov the bastard had to live like a servant. He had no filial rights whatsoever.

He wanted to pursue his own dreams but for that he had no support from anyone. Even though Fyodor Karamazov was the worst a father could be, his legitimate sons enjoyed certain privileges that Smerdyakov did not.

These privileges came with their name. This was the main reason as far as I could understand why Smerdyakov devoted his intellect to petty issues, like manipulating others etc to achieve what he wanted He dreamed of moving to France. Ivan on the other hand could afford to spend his intellectual resources on 'lofty' issues like the existence of god, etc. Smerdyakov was nearly as capable as Ivan, if not more. He was just deprived of the luxuries to him, they were luxuries that the name Karamazov gave to Ivan.

He was able to manipulate Ivan, implant ideas in the minds of everyone and most remarkably the Prosecutor's mind the Defense lawyer, Fetyukovich was able to see through his deception and considered him to be a very clever man. This corroborates his superior intellect. I gave up on this book awhile ago because I disliked every single character and didn't care to find out what happened to them.

I'm thinking about going back to it now because I don't like unfinished books. Will someone tell me if any likable characters show up? I'm not very far in and will probably have to start over gah , but I need someone to like in this book. Brendan Caulfield I think you're coming at it the wrong way. This isn't meant to be light reading; It's heavy-duty philosophy cloaked as a novel. Each character is a per …more I think you're coming at it the wrong way.

Each character is a personification of an argument that duke it out in various ways throughout the book. I found it to be one of the most pure insights into the human condition that I have ever read besides Dostoyevsky's other books You might appreciate it more if you approach it in that light.

It also might not be what you're interested in which is fine too. See all 56 questions about The Brothers Karamazov…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.

Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Brothers Karamazov. Sep 07, Rawley rated it it was amazing. If there was still any doubt, let me confirm that this actually is the greatest book ever written. But be warned that you need to set aside a solid month to get through it. And it's not light reading--this is a dense work of philosophy disguised as a simple murder mystery. But it's well worth the effort.

It tackles the fundamental question of human existence--how best to live one's life--in a truly engaging way. Dostoevsky created 3 brothers Ivan, Alexei, and Dmitri with opposite answers to th If there was still any doubt, let me confirm that this actually is the greatest book ever written. Dostoevsky created 3 brothers Ivan, Alexei, and Dmitri with opposite answers to this fundamental question, and set them loose in the world to see what would happen.

A testament to Dostoevsky's genius is he didn't know how the book would evolve when he started writing. As a consequence, the book really isn't about the plot at all, but about how these brothers evolve and deal with their struggles based on their differing world views.

Dostoevsky articulates, better than anyone, how human beings really are what I would call "walking contradictions". Perhaps all of our struggles in life boil down to the reality that we desire contradictory things, simultaneously. If you like your novels with good character development, this is the masterwork. Dostoevsky's characters are more real, more human, than any other.

At different points along the way, you will identify with them, sympathize with them, curse them, agonize over them, celebrate them. You will be moved. Reading this book was a deeply personal experience for me, because I saw myself in one of the characters, and I didn't like what I saw. My worldview, in fact my entire direction in life, shifted as a result of this experience. I can't guarantee the same results for you, but you owe it to yourself to set aside the time, someday, for the Brothers Karamazov.

Be sure to read the Pevear Volokhonsky translation. View all 48 comments. If you like your books to move in a linear fashion this book is not for you. It hops around and attention must be paid or you will find yourself flipping back a few pages to reestablish the thread of the story. I took this on a plane flight, crazy right?

Not exactly the normal "light" reading I take on flights. It was a stroke of genius. I absolutely fell under the thrall of Dostoyevky's prose. Thank you to my fellow travelers who didn't feel the need to chat with the guy who obviously is s If you like your books to move in a linear fashion this book is not for you.

Thank you to my fellow travelers who didn't feel the need to chat with the guy who obviously is so frilling bored he has resorted to reading a Russian novel. I zipped through three hundred pages like it was butter and found myself absolutely captivated by the evolving drama of the Brothers Karamazov, the women that drive them crazy, and the father that brings to mind the words justifiable homicide.

I have to give a plug to these Everyman's Library editions. A page novel that feels like a page novel. Despite the smaller size, the print size is still easily readable. I will certainly be picking up more of these editions especially the Russian novels that are translated by the magical duo of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Translators Volokhonsky and Pevear One of my complaints, when I was in college, and liked to torture myself with the largest most incomprehensible Russian books I could find, was that the nicknames and diminutives of various Russian names increased my frustration level and decreased my ability to comprehend the plots.

I certainly spent too much time scratching my head and reading feverishly to see if I could figure out from the interactions of the characters if Vanky was actually Ivan or Boris or Uncle Vashy. I did not have that issue with this book.


The Brothers Karamazov






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