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The House of the Dead (Penguin Classics)by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Synopses & Reviews
Here was the house of the living dead, a life like none other upon earth
In January 1850 Dostoyevsky was sent to a remote Siberian prison camp for his part in a political conspiracy. The four years he spent there, startlingly re-created in The House of the Dead, were the most agonizing of his life. In this fictionalized account he recounts his soul-destroying incarceration through the cool, detached tones of his narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov: the daily battle for survival, the wooden plank beds, the cabbage soup swimming with cockroaches, his strange family of boastful, ugly, cruel convicts. Yet The House of the Dead is far more than a work of documentary realism: it is also a powerful novel of redemption, describing one mans spiritual and moral death and the miracle of his gradual reawakening.
This edition includes notes and an introduction discussing the circumstances of Dostoyevskys imprisonment, the origins of the novel in his prison writings, and the character of Aleksandr Petrovich.
The four years that Dostoevsky spent in a Siberian prison camp were brutish and long, the most agonizing of his life. But there is a vitality that overtakes the house of the dead, turning the crisis of its narrator into a slow miracle: the return and reawakening of his personality.
Fictionalised account of the time Dostoyevsky spent in a Siberian prison camp. Translated by David McDuff.
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