Dmitri Karamazov and his father Fyodor are at war over both Dmitri’s inheritance and the affections of the beautiful Grushenka. Into this feud arrive the middle brother Ivan, recently returned from Moscow, and the youngest sibling Alyosha, who has been released into the wider world from the local monastery by the elder monk Zossima. Through a series of accidents of fate and wilful misunderstandings the Karamazovs edge closer to tragedy, while the local townspeople watch on.
The Brothers Karamazov was Fyodor Dostoevsky’s final novel, and was originally serialised in The Russian Messenger before being published as a complete novel in 1880. This edition is the well-received 1912 English translation by Constance Garnett. As well as earning wide-spread critical acclaim, the novel has been widely influential in literary and philosophical circles; Franz Kafka and James Joyce admired the emotions that verge on madness in the Karamazovs, while Sigmund Freud and Jean-Paul Satre found inspiration in the themes of patricide and existentialism.