A troubled young man commits the perfect crime: the murder of a vile pawnbroker whom no one will miss. Raskolnikov is desperate for money, but he convinces himself that his motive for the murder is to benefit mankind. So begins a tragic novel that illuminates the eternal struggle between human emotions and desire, and the harsh laws of ethics and justice. Part thriller and part philosophical meditation, this is a penetrating look at the core of human nature.
The New Translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky; the most important since this great novel first introduced to the English- speaking world eighty years ago- 'Many consider CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Dostoevsky's finest masterpiece; of his novels, it is certainly the one that would profit most from an exact and well- informed translation, locating its 'newspaper' atmosphere in appropriate contemporary speech. This is has now received from Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who also provide illuminating notes. They are to be congratulated on an outstanding achievement' John Bayley.
Fyodor Dostoevsky was born in Moscow on 11th November 1821. He had six siblings and his mother died in 1837 and his father in 1839. He graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Military Engineering in 1846 but decided to change careers and become a writer. His first book, Poor Folk, did very well but on 23rd April 1849 he was arrested for subversion and sentenced to death. After a mock-execution his sentence was commuted to hard labour in Siberia where he developed epilepsy.He was released in 1854. His 1860 book, The House of the Dead was based on these experiences. In 1857 he married Maria Dmitrievna Isaeva. After his release he adopted more conservative and traditional values and rejected his previous socialist position. In the following years he spent a lot of time abroad, struggled with an addiction to gambling and fell deeply in debt. His wife died in 1864 and he married Anna Grigoryeva Snitkina. In the following years he published his most enduring and successful books, includingCrime and Punishment (1865). He died on 9th February 1881.
"Dostoevsky makes Martin Amis seem as if he was writing 130 years ago and that Dostoevsky is writing now. Read all of Dostoevsky. These books are for now and they matter, because it's up to us to call a halt to our TV producers, politicians, gutless artists, poets and writers: these "teenagers of all ages" who are propelling us towards a consumerist hell of disposability over quality" -- Billy Childish "Dostoevsky's finest masterpiece" John Bayley "Donne, Herbert, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Dostoevsky, Henry James - these are the great psychologists - far greater than Freud or Klein or Jung" -- Sally Vickers "The best translation of Crime and Punishment currently available... An especially faithful re-creation...with a coiled-spring kinetic energy... Don't miss it" Washington Post "Crime and Punishment...is about a big subject - the meaning of life - yet it is gritty, gripping and it's depiction of city life gives it a modern, timeless feel" -- Leila Aboulela, Author Of The Translator
'The old woman was merely a sickness ...it wasn't a human being I killed, it was a principle!' Raskolnikov, Crime and Punishment 20030924
Dostoevsky contends with Tolstoy for the title of being the greatest Russian novelist. Although his work exhibits less narrative drive than that of Tolstoy, he demonstrates immeasurably greater psychological insight, especially into the minds of the unbalanced. Crime and Punishment is a novel which can change the reader's life. Unexpectedly readable, with occasional bizarre humour, it takes a theme of great simplicity - Student Raskolnikov kills a pawnbroker and her sister and is then torn apart by his conscience - and endows it with extraordinary surprises, each one more consistent with character than a more conventional solution might have been. A clash of very different people thrown together in an unusual circumstance produces, at length, a sense of inevitability and resolution. Strongly recommended to all cocksure murderers and self-satisfied policemen, among others. (Kirkus UK)
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
Short-listed for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
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