Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment. Written by the great Dostoevsky. (Or so I am told that he is great. This is the first book I have read by him and thus do not have a fully formed opinion.)

I did not read this book. I listened to it on CD while I drove long distances. It is a book that philosophizes through the narrative and thus requires more reflection than can be given while driving and listening to it constantly. It is a character driven novel, definitely not plot driven. In fact, the plot is so meandering that at times it is maddening. I did not really enjoy the plot. I didn't really love the book as a whole. I liked certain characters, such as the main character's friend Razumikhin, and the character that pulls at your heart strings like no other, Sonya. But the main character, Raskolnikov, drove me crazy. And that, in retrospect, is fitting as he was driving himself crazy throughout the book. The most interesting thing about the book is that it is A. not predictable and constantly making you wonder what this mad man will do and B. is a fascinating study of a deranged mind. Raskolnikov never does what you want him to. He is frustratingly odd. However, all his oddities stem from basic human nature and the truth is I could easily see myself becoming as mad as he.

Was I bored at times? Yes. Was the plot incredible? No. I can't even say I would recommend it. However, Dostoevsky does do an amazing job at reveling the human psyche. I enjoy talking about this book with others who enjoy Dostoevsky more than I enjoyed listening to it.

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