The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

Book - 1996
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Fyodor Dostoevsky's crowning life work, The Brothers Karamazov, stands among the greatest novels in world literature. His exploration of faith, doubt, morality, and the place of suffering in life are equaled in no other work of literature, save the Bible. // The book explores the possible role of four brothers in the unresolved murder of their father, Fyodor Karamazov. At the same, it carefully explores the personalities and inclinations of the brothers themselves. Their psyches together represent the full spectrum of human nature, and continuum of faith and doubt. Ultimately this novel seeks to understand the real meaning of existence and includes much beneficial philosophical and spiritual discussion that moves the reader towards faith. // This new abridgment done exclusively for Mission Books by Russian Studies scholar Thomas Beyer keeps the important religious themes of the novel intact. It is an excellent way for the admirer of Dostoevsky to refresh himself, or to introduce Dostoevsky to a friend who has yet to experience the joy of reading his works. // Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes with a passion and keen insight of biblical grace like no other modern novelist. His works Crime and Punishment and The Idiot testify to his great skill. The Brothers Karamazov has been hailed by readers for over a century as one of the finest achievements in all of western literature. // Thomas R. Beyer is Professor of Russian at Middlebury College in Vermont. He holds three degrees in Slavic Literature including a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. In his decades of teaching, Tom Beyer has read The Brothers Karamazov dozens of times. His abridgment of the novel shows his thorough knowledge of his subject.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1996.
ISBN: 9781618430502
9780679601814
0679601813
9781857150704
1857150708
Branch Call Number: FIC DOST

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c
Calvacade
Aug 08, 2017

There are not too many books that transcend time. It is difficult for a story to stay relevant hundreds of years later, not just because of changing times but due to changing life styles, personal interactions and issues that tend to bother people of different eras. Karamazov is a rare exception.
Dostoyevsky's first big triumph is his ability to weave a highly complex intrigue in the simplest of fashion. His characters play mind games that are difficult to further evolve for writers a century later with all the modern day machinations and progress in writing styles based on experiences of generations of authors that have come before. Unlike most other classics of the nineteenth century or before, Karamazov characters are as vile, crafty, intelligent or thoughtful as any created by the best of present time novelists.
The second triumph is in clearly portraying so many characters in their own unique, non-compromising ways. Few of his characters are completely good or bad. Almost no interactions between them are predictable. The story moves as unpredictably as real life, even if one was to be aware of its eventual end through spoilers or copycat reproductions by others in the following 130 years.

j
Janice21383
May 28, 2017

What Russian young men were doing in the 19th century, instead of building railroads and improving agriculture. They were writing poetry, agitating for and against their overwhelming, authoritarian society, spending thousands of rubles on "creatures" and, to a greater extent than most will believe, worrying about their souls. There is a thin excuse for a plot, but endless, magnificent talk. TBK is more like a series of connected plays than a book, specifically the plays of George Bernard Shaw. Needless to say, this is not a book to read as an introduction to Russian literature, or even to Dostoevsky. It would also help to know some Russian history, and to understand how their culture is very different to that of western Europe, despite sharing a continent and a skin colour. But if you're a person who wrestles with great moral questions, or wants to understand the heart of our Russian neighbours, The Brothers Karamazov is the book to read.

a
amariem_0
Feb 24, 2017

The translation I read is the one from "Great Books of the Western World" series, but since this catalog entry is the one that has comments attached to it, I'll just copy my post to this thread:

There were bits and pieces of the book that I found very touching and inspirational but I had trouble grasping the story as a whole. That may be because it took me about six months to read, so by the time I was finished I may have lost connection to things that had happened earlier in the story. If I had read the book at a more even pace, I may have been able to think more critically from what I was reading and figure out how the various themes of the story fit together.

h
haileyj
Jan 23, 2016

As one reader wrote, the book is too heavily padded with words which made for a boring read. I got to about page 400 (out of 1000+) and gave up before the father was murdered because I just didn't care why or which son did it. Dostoevsky's struggle with his faith or lack of, isn't as interesting or relevant any more as it must have been in the late 1800's.

jackseney Jan 03, 2016

Yes, a classic, a work of genius, etc., etc. but also overlong and very heavily padded (Dostoyevsky, like Dickens and other "greats," wrote for serialization and for money, making lengthy exposition, dramatic cliffhangers, overwrought scenes, etc. necessary for business). You know you're in trouble when entire long segments have titles like "The Preliminary Investigation." But those are the drawbacks. The timeless pluses that transcend Dostoyevsky himself are in his exploration of the mind, heart and soul of man as represented by the three brothers. There is also his fine sardonic humor (which I, at least, am convinced I see in everything he wrote). And then there is this novel's glorious conclusion - that rare example of an extreme sentimentality that works. Not so much read as skimmed through by generations worldwide, be sure to look for the best parts of this book while you do.

multcolib_susannel Dec 15, 2015

Three brothers
Two women
One murder.

New Translation.

n
nsystems
Nov 19, 2014

Critics recommend this translation, especially.

l
luv2sew96
Apr 04, 2014

Maybe I shouldn't write a review if I haven't even finished the book yet.
It's rather an overwhelming amount of words to read, in my defense. In fact, everything about this book is overwhelming - the characters, the dialogue, the amount of religion and theology, most of which just goes over my head anyway. But, read it. It's good so far (I'm more than half-way) and I can sense greatness, which is why it is a classic I suppose.

g
GerryD
Jun 19, 2013

Considered one of the Top 10 classic novels (my #7) of the western world. The best of five major novels in the Top 200 by this major Russian author. See my GerryD Lists for other great novels.

s
snakie_chick
Nov 27, 2011

I think you may have to be Christian to consider this a masterpiece. The parts in between the long, rambling philisophical bits were very good.

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Gokusnake Jul 06, 2012

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FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

The brothers Alyosha, Dmitry, and Ivan become involved with patricide.

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