As Fyodor Karamazov awaits an amorous encounter, he is violently done to death. The three sons of the old debauchee are forced to confront their own guilt or complicity. Who will own to parricide? The reckless and passionate Dmitri? The corrosive intellectual Ivan? Surely not the chaste novice monk Alyosha? The search reveals the divisions which rack the brothers, yet paradoxically unite them.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We loved immersing ourselves in the 19th-century Russian setting of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic tale of a vicious, debauched patriarch and his four very different sons. Filled with intrigue, romance, conflicts over money and religion, and even tense courtroom drama, The Brothers Karamazov is the kind of novel that invites you to take your time. Dostoyevsky’s archetypal characters let him explore timeless concepts including faith, conscience, guilt, kindness and love—but they’re also compellingly drawn, frequently amusing human beings. We were riveted by the author’s acute observations of interactions between people, which still ring absolutely true today.
The depth, complexity, and length of what many consider to be Dostoyevski's best work make it one of the hardest classic novels to bring to audio. The philosophical novel/murder mystery set in 19th-century Russia requires a strong and versatile narrator to keep listeners going for the day-and-a-half-plus duration. Thankfully, narrator Constantine Gregory masters the challenge. In doing so, he manages the omniscient third-person narration by using a pleasant mellifluous tone that invites the listener to relax and approach the text patiently and carefully. The novel also features first-person voices from the large cast of characters, such as Father Zosima, who, naturally enough, argues for the existence of a higher power and Gregory is able to imbue those sections with enough individuality to make them as distinct as the author intended.