Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing.
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.
An acclaimed new translation of the classic Russian novel.
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A very interesting study of human nature and how guilt affects one’s personality even if one gets away with a crime. Also, the mental process of justifying one’s right to commit a crime and the ensuing mental anguish. Even though love and honesty are shown to triumph over evil, the book is still rather sad and dark.
Great start to this book, however it’s for naught when it falls apart on the third act with its predictable religious propaganda of an era without science or technology or practical thinking. It is still worth the read, despite the fact that half of the entirety of the book is basically the author repeatedly stating the full names (FULL NAMES) of every character about a thousand times each, which is needless to say so absolutely unnecessary. Times were certainly different.
Reading this monster was an undertaking at first but it quickly sucked me in, and I found it difficult to put down; however, a word to the wise this free version is the Constance Garrett translation, which a quick google search will tell you might not be the most true to the author’s intentions. That being said I voraciously read the entire novel prior to realizing the edition and still had a great time. It’s free, so, you know, whatever.