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Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics)

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Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679734505
ISBN10: 0679734503
Condition: Standard
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Lindsay Waite, August 16, 2012 (view all comments by Lindsay Waite)
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it in the early 70s and re-read it recently. Before "Criminal Minds" and other current TV shows where there is an attempt to explore the nature of criminality, Dostoyevsky delved into the subject. He takes us in to the mind of Raskolnikov while he contemplates and tries to justify murder. After the killings, he behaves more and more like a guilty man, so when police officer Petrovich and Raskolnikov have encounters, he is a suspect. This is a fascinating psychological and political study of crime and, yes, punishment.
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skpeterson21, May 12, 2011 (view all comments by skpeterson21)
I recently read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This novel presents the reader with insight into the mind of a murderer of he plans and executes his crime and suffers as a result. The novel aims to teach the reader the dangers of arrogance and the progressive thinking of 1860s Russia.
This novel was written during a time of political upheaval in Russia. The serfs had just been emancipated and the university students were brimming with ideological protest. Dostoevsky had been jailed previous to the writing of this novel because of his radical writings. He used his jail time experience to help describe Raskolnikov’s experience in Siberia. As a result of this tumultuous time, Dostoevsky injects much social criticism into his novel. He assaults drunkenness, the new “modern” thoughts of the progressives and rationalists. Throughout the book, Dostoevsky calls for a return to the values that had made Russia great.
Dostoevsky presents the reader with many questions throughout the book. He questions the justification and rationalization of murder. Do the ends justify the means? Raskolnikov develops a theory that such men of genius such as him were allowed to transgress the law in the benefit of society. Raskolnikov says that men such as Napoleon (a man of genius) “are made not of flesh but of bronze” (274). Much of the novel is devoted to Raskolnikov’s path to realization about whether or not he is a great man. Another question that arises is regarding the redemption of sin. Is it possible for a man to achieve redemption after committing a heinous crime in the name of vainglory? The reader finds the answer to this question through Raskolnikov’s guilt, suffering, and love for a girl. This girl, Sonya pleads with Raskolnikov to “`accept suffering and redeem yourself by it, that’s what you must do`” (420). By the end of the novel, the reader will find out if Raskolnikov achieves the redemption that he seeks. The prevalence of redemption and sin in this novel is also shown through many Biblical allusions such as to the story of Lazarus.
Dostoevsky’s use of language in this novel is masterful and it fully describes the mental state of a murder. The diction is dark, severe, etc. One such example occurs on page 9 when Raskolnikov thinks about “the sense of infinite loathing that had begun to crush and sicken his heart even while he had only been on his way to the old woman had now attained such dimensions and become so vividly conscious that he was quite simply overwhelmed by his depression” (9). The use of strong language reflects the mental turmoil and anguish that pervades the mind of Raskolnikov. Finally, the diction and language provide a very realistic and believable account of a manic individual as he copes with guilt and shame.
Overall, Crime and Punishment is a wonderful read with many plot twists, boundless symbolism, and questions regarding human nature. The novel reflects the turbulent political and social atmosphere in which it was written and as a result contains striking social commentary. This artistic masterpiece clearly teaches readers a lesson about guilt, sin, arrogance, and the psychology of murder. After reading this novel, I now know why this novel is an international classic.
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skpeterson21, May 12, 2011 (view all comments by skpeterson21)
I recently read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This novel presents the reader with insight into the mind of a murderer of he plans and executes his crime and suffers as a result. The novel aims to teach the reader the dangers of arrogance and the progressive thinking of 1860s Russia.
This novel was written during a time of political upheaval in Russia. The serfs had just been emancipated and the university students were brimming with ideological protest. Dostoevsky had been jailed previous to the writing of this novel because of his radical writings. He used his jail time experience to help describe Raskolnikov’s experience in Siberia. As a result of this tumultuous time, Dostoevsky injects much social criticism into his novel. He assaults drunkenness, the new “modern” thoughts of the progressives and rationalists. Throughout the book, Dostoevsky calls for a return to the values that had made Russia great.
Dostoevsky presents the reader with many questions throughout the book. He questions the justification and rationalization of murder. Do the ends justify the means? Raskolnikov develops a theory that such men of genius such as him were allowed to transgress the law in the benefit of society. Raskolnikov says that men such as Napoleon (a man of genius) “are made not of flesh but of bronze” (274). Much of the novel is devoted to Raskolnikov’s path to realization about whether or not he is a great man. Another question that arises is regarding the redemption of sin. Is it possible for a man to achieve redemption after committing a heinous crime in the name of vainglory? The reader finds the answer to this question through Raskolnikov’s guilt, suffering, and love for a girl. This girl, Sonya pleads with Raskolnikov to “`accept suffering and redeem yourself by it, that’s what you must do`” (420). By the end of the novel, the reader will find out if Raskolnikov achieves the redemption that he seeks. The prevalence of redemption and sin in this novel is also shown through many Biblical allusions such as to the story of Lazarus.
Dostoevsky’s use of language in this novel is masterful and it fully describes the mental state of a murder. The diction is dark, severe, etc. One such example occurs on page 9 when Raskolnikov thinks about “the sense of infinite loathing that had begun to crush and sicken his heart even while he had only been on his way to the old woman had now attained such dimensions and become so vividly conscious that he was quite simply overwhelmed by his depression” (9). The use of strong language reflects the mental turmoil and anguish that pervades the mind of Raskolnikov. Finally, the diction and language provide a very realistic and believable account of a manic individual as he copes with guilt and shame.
Overall, Crime and Punishment is a wonderful read with many plot twists, boundless symbolism, and questions regarding human nature. The novel reflects the turbulent political and social atmosphere in which it was written and as a result contains striking social commentary. This artistic masterpiece clearly teaches readers a lesson about guilt, sin, arrogance, and the psychology of murder. After reading this novel, I now know why this novel is an international classic.
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armcher, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by armcher)
Spellbinding, edge-of-your-seat, always relevant!
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thanly, April 30, 2009 (view all comments by thanly)
Fedor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment makes a point about the importance of staying within moral and societal boundaries by presenting the reader with a man who has strayed so far from morality he sees murder as a logical means to an end. Dostoevsky’s use of language and character focuses the novel on its moral and makes it a unique and influential work of literature.

At the time Dostoevsky wrote Crime and Punishment there were many ‘radicals’ and ‘free-thinkers’ in Russia who believed that the world should be viewed calmly and logically, without any regard for emotion or humanity. They rejected religion and turned from generally accepted social norms. Though he had spent time following some radical principles, Dostoevsky suffered for them and turned from his previous practices, scorning those who did not return to morality with him. In his rejection of ‘radical’ ways, Dostoevsky tried to help others by keeping them from this path. Crime and Punishment is one of his largest and most well-known attempts to do this. To show why this ‘free-thinking’ was so wrong, he presented the reader with an example of a man who took logic and free thought to its farthest conclusion; if humans are no more significant than any other material object, then killing one means nothing. Though this is presented as an extreme conclusion Dostoevsky used it to show the lengths a man can go to without the constraints of society and morality. Though it was largely ignored when the book was first released, Dostoevsky’s main purpose in writing Crime and Punishment was to make a point about the dangers of ignoring society and morality.

The novel begins with Raskolnikov lost in thought as he considers his idea of killing and robbing a pawnbroker. Though he is disgusted by the idea of taking another person’s life, he tells himself to see it logically and realize that the woman he intends to kill is of no good to anyone and that by her death he can profit, therefore her murder is a good choice. “No, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do it! Granted, granted tat there is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic” (66).
While still unsure of his idea, Raskolnikov receives a letter from his mother telling him that his sister is marrying a man she dislikes so she can provide for him and their mother. This pushes him over the edge in his debate as he decides that he must have the money he can get from the robbery so he can save his sister. Despite his own disgust at the prospect of murder, Raskolnokov decides that the benefit to himself and his sister outweighs the wrong of killing a woman whom he views as a worthless and vile woman. Still unsure of his intentions as he arms himself for the attack, Raskolnikov kills the woman and immediately panics, loses his calm, and kills her sister when she walks in and finds him standing over the body. “Fear gained more and more mastery over him, especially after this second, quite unexpected murder” (84). Raskolnikov soon discovers that he is susceptible to guilt just like any other man, and is tortured by the knowledge of what he has done. Not only consumed by guilt for the murders he committed, Raskolnikov is also shamed by his failure to live up to his own ideal. He believes that he has the potential to become a great man and as such is not bound by the laws of other, lesser men. But the guilt and disgust he feels from his crime prove to him that he is not the man he had thought. Overwhelmed by this mental strain, he slips into an illness that keeps him bedridden and delusional for weeks.
After his recovery, Raskolnikov finds himself stuck trying to navigate between his mother and sister who have come to the city, his friend who places himself inside his life to try to help him, a young prostitute who is left to support her family alone, the police as they try to find the two women’s’ killer, and his own mind as he continues to suffer from the punishment inflicted by his own conscience.
Through various developments in his life, Raskolnikov is forced to relive his actions again and again, unable to move on and forget what he has done, he must chose how he will live; as a free thinker, forever evading the police and his own mind, or as a moral citizen, living once again within society’s boundaries.

Dostoevsky’s moral is evident throughout the book, as Raskolnikov is constantly punished for the actions brought about by his radical views and free-thinking, while the moral characters, the ones who refuse to give up their convictions, are happier and far better off. Though it is an extreme example, Raskolnikov’s actions are meant to show the dangers of radical thinking; that any doctrine that rejects religion and society can only lead to wrong and immoral actions. Dostoevsky’s focus on Raskolnikov’s mind, keeping the reader inside his thoughts and feelings with little acknowledgement of the outside world, gives the reader a unique look inside the mind not only of a killer but, more importantly, inside the mind of a man torn between his convictions, his ideas, his dreams, and his need for stability and love. Without this particular manipulation of language and development within the novel it would not have achieved the status it has as an important look inside the mind, and into the space between radical thought, and morality.
Fedor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment provides a commentary and a warning on radical thinking and the rejection of moral principles. Through his example of a young man misled by false ideals Dostoevsky shows the punishment, both from the law and from the conscience, inflicted on those who reject society’s laws.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679734505
Author:
Fyodor Dostoevsky and Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Translator:
Pevear, Richard
Author:
Volokhonsky, Larissa
Author:
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
Author:
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Author:
Dostoevsky, Fyodor M.
Author:
Pevear, Richard
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Russian & Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Saint petersburg (russia)
Subject:
Detective and mystery stories
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Russia
Subject:
Saint Petersburg (Russia) Fiction.
Subject:
Saint Petersburg
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Classics
Series Volume:
no. (HCFA)
Publication Date:
19930331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.2 x 1.2 in 1.16 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue (Vintage Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 592 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780679734505 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the great classics of world literature, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is the story of Raskolnikov, a young man who — unable to complete his studies — commits what he calls "justifiable murder." What ensues is as demanding and illuminating for the reader as it is for the main character. If you're familiar with Dante's Divine Comedy then reading this book is an even more enriching experience.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This is one of the finest explorations of criminal psychology ever written. With enormous scope, Dostoyevsky dissects poverty, rationalization, the criminal mind, guilt, confession, religion, and redemption. He also provides an exquisite look at overwhelming paranoia. Crime and Punishment is a perfect, breathtaking masterpiece.

"Review A Day" by , "For my classics year project, I knew I had to get some Dostoevsky in. I crossed The Idiot off the list for the shallow reason that I have the DVD of Akira Kurosawa's version. That left either Crime and Punishment or Brothers Karamazov. A used copy of Crime and Punishment showed up first, so it won. I was a little apprehensive, though, as my mom had recently read another Dostoevsky and found it very Christian, and another person had specifically mentioned Crime and Punishment as a Christian book. However, while Christianity was mentioned, it never rose to a level in the book to cause an atheist to fidget (as opposed to Uncle Tom's Cabin, for example, which I found eye-rollingly unreadable due to sermonizing)." (Read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Reaches as close to Dostoevsky's Russian as is possible in English...the original's force and frightening immediacy is captured....The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard English version."
"Review" by , "This fresh, new translation...provides a more exact, idiomatic and contemporary rendition of the novel that brings Fydor Dostoevsky's tale achingly alive....It succeeds beautifully."
"Synopsis" by , With the same suppleness, energy, and range of voices that won their translation of The Brothers Karamazov the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, Pevear and Volokhonsky offer a brilliant translation of Dostoevsky's classic novel that presents a clear insight into this astounding psychological thriller. "The best (translation) currently available"--Washington Post Book World.
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