The Idiot

The Idiot

Book - 2004
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot is an immaculate portrait of innocence tainted by the brutal reality of human greed. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by David McDuff, with an introduction by William Mills Todd III.Returning to St Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive epileptic Prince Myshkin - the titular 'idiot' - pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife, and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna. Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and finally, murder. Inspired by an image of Christ's suffering Dostoyevsky sought to portray in Prince Myshkin the purity of a 'truly beautiful soul' and explore the perils that innocence and goodness face in a corrupt world. David McDuff's new translation brilliantly captures the novel's idiosyncratic and dream-like language and the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative. This edition also contains a new introduction by William Mills Todd III, which is a fascinating examination of the pressures on Dostoyevsky as he wrote the story of his Christ-like hero.Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in Penguin Classics include Crime & Punishment , The Idiot and Demons .If you enjoyed The Idiot , you might like Anton Chekhov's Ward No. 6 and Other Stories , also available in Penguin Classics.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 2004
ISBN: 9780140447927
014044792X
Branch Call Number: PG3326 .I3 2004
DOSTOYEV F
Characteristics: xli, 732 p. ; 20 cm

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Maoisdead
Feb 11, 2017

Classic book by Dusty.

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Sep 02, 2016

A marvelous book with incredible characterization. Part 1 of the book is an incredible page turner which all takes place in one day's timespan. Part 2 is introduces much of the romantic plot and near the end begins to drag. Part 3 digresses in tangents for awhile, gets lost, but then comes back incredibly toward the end. Part 4, much as part 3 before it, gets bogged down in some (in my opinion) unnecessary details, but the final 100 pages of the novel are some of the best I've ever read.

Overall Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" is everything I had heard: an incredible character study, a wonderful story of betrayal and romance, a great allegory of being a good person surrounded by bad people, and an extremely uneven novel. I feel that had Dostoyevsky spent some time editing the novel a bit more it could be trimmed and made quite a bit more effective. That said, it's still one of the finest novels I've ever read, and I'm stunned at the quality of Dostoyevsky's prose and dialogue.

At various points in the novel he stops using the "he said/she said" tags all together, but the dialogue flows wonderfully and simply by the way it is written you can tell which specific character is speaking. It's really something.

So, overall, the characters are my favorite part of this book.

m
macierules
Dec 05, 2010

I would never have picked up this book, if it wasn't my bookclub choice. Warning: don't read it in bed, you need to be fully alert and laced with caffeine to manage the text.

There were times I wanted to give up - its depth, drama, characterization are incredible, but at times the author digresses (sometimes for 60 pages or so) and makes it a tough read.

I can't imagine reading this book electronically - the weight and feel of the book add to its authority.

a
alexy93
Jul 22, 2010

Standing Ovation!
one of the truly finest books I have read. Considered one of the best in world literature

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