Crime And Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime And Punishment

byFyodor DostoyevskyTranslated byDavid McduffIntroduction byDavid Mcduff

Paperback | December 31, 2002

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Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption.

This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky’s great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also includes a new chronology of Dostoyevsky’s life and work.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Undergrou...
Crime And Punishment
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by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Crime And Punishment: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
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Title:Crime And PunishmentFormat:PaperbackPublished:December 31, 2002Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140449132

ISBN - 13:9780140449136

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting An amazing book with a deep psychological view in the mind of the guilty. Very suspenseful and a great read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great intro to Russian Literature This was my first foray into 19th century Russian literature. It's a suspenseful crime story on the surface. However, it's even more so a critique on the idea of whether certain "great" individuals can transcend law and acceptable social behavior if the ends justify the means.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read This is a chilling tale. Well worth the read.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crime and Punishment This was my first venture into Dostoevsky. Admittedly it took a few chapters to get into the flow of his writing but once there, I can see why his work is highly influential and recommended. This book should be required reading in any English class.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great philosophical read This book had always intimated me, but upon reading it I became quickly absorbed in the philosophical and psychological content and commentary.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read My first Dostoevsky read, could not put it down. The writing style is magnificent, very easy to read and very engaging. This book launched me into this great Russian novelist, would highly recommend reading this if you are looking to get into Dostoevsky. The Sidney Monas translation if my favorite of all the translations Iv'e read, unfortunately I don't believe he translated any other of Dostoevsky's works.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great psychological read The brilliance of this novel is Dostoevsky's grasp of human nature. Much of this story is spent inside the head of the central character and Dostoevsky does a masterful job conveying the thoughts of a murderer and the guilt that he possesses.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My new favourite book! The darkness and suspense trailing throughout this novel was so intriguing and exciting. My words cannot describe how much I enjoyed every page, every idea, introduced by Dostoevysky. It was a beautifully dark tale.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Crime and Punishment This can be a tough read but what Russian Translation isn't? Crime and Punishment was the first real classic I read that I can recall. It's full of suspense and darkness.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A psychological suspense Describes the thinking behind committing the ultimate crime and the eventual guilt.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Classic This was my first Dostoyevsky novel and I really enjoyed it. Raskolnikov is a very intriguing character. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Classic exploration of the criminal mind.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a descent into madness A man decides to commit a murder because he can and then after the fact his own guilt and paranoia destroy him
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must-read classics! Sad, touching, philosophical, analytical, psychological, realistic - so many words to describe this masterpiece!
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! It's a great book! One of the best written in my opinion. Makes you observe the world differently after.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes you think If you're looking for a book that will challenge your ideas of morality, this is likely it. And it still is one of the best plots in all of fiction.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind bending This is a dark and profound psychological thriller intricately woven with complex philosophical concepts. The main theme is the protagonist’s quest to find out whether murder is acceptable if carried out in mankind’s best interest. Obsessively driven to test his theory, Raskolnikov plots to murder Alyona Ivanovna , a repulsive and vile pawnbroker that he views as not only having no redeeming qualities but a bringer of despair and hopelessness. The ensuing emotions plague Raskolnikov as he tries to deal with his actions and struggles to avoid being caught all the while haunted with delusions and hallucinations induced by his mental illness. Repeatedly questioned by a deceptively skilful detective drives the dialogue between the two characters to a harrowing climax. Brilliantly done and thoroughly enjoyable
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Russian Tragedy... I am a quick reader yet it took me well over two weeks to finish this book, probably because the college recently just opened and new semester follows with insurmountable amount of work etc. It was, nevertheless, well worth twenty or so days. I have recently found my love for Russian literature and after reading this book I can clearly see as to why that is. Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” is one of those books which can never be deprived of its vigour and vitality. It is a classic Russian tragedy tale yet the main character, Raskolnikov, is so complex and interesting a character that you will be attached to him until the very end. This novel will implore you to think of life and make you philosophize about the world and its meaning. It is unlikely for someone of my age (19) to make such a statement, but this book has changed my life. I do not merely mean it has changed my view of writing and literature (P.G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Leo Tolstoy, Christopher Hitchens, Oscar Wilde and Salman Rushdie have already done that!) but this book has made me realize just how precious one’s life is. A novel of supreme importance! Too bad I was not introduced to it much earlier.
Date published: 2012-01-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mostly I skimmed, so I missed lots Raskolnikov is (or was?) a student, and murders two women. The rest of the novel is everyone around him living life as normal, while he sorts through his head what he did (I think). I’ve heard it called a “psychological thriller”. Well, psychological, sure; thriller, not so much… I skimmed through most of it, as there were only a very few, select parts that really caught my interest. I also have issues with multi-page paragraphs (as in, one paragraph being multiple pages long!). Through most of it, I was bored. It was close to the end of the book, I figured out (I think) that the same characters were referred to by different names (including the main character, I think?). That never helps anything.
Date published: 2010-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lengthy but amusing Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a novel that takes a lot of dedication to read because of its length, but I found it to be a satisfying experience. The story isn’t like any other I have ever read. The beginning lures you into reading it, and after a while you want to know how the protagonist will change. What I found at first to be confusing were the some of the many different characters that were introduced not only had one name, but had a nickname too, which were used quite often. Constance Garnett does an excellent job in translating; I read the Wordsworth Classics edition. The most interesting part of this novel, I found, was when Raskolnikov, the protagonist, spoke to another about the article he had written some months prior. This argument seemed to be the heart of the novel. “[A]ll men are divided into “ordinary” and “extraordinary”. Ordinary men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because … they are ordinary. But extraordinary men have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way, just because they are extraordinary.” (221) By reading that, you can imagine what category Raskolnikov wanted to be a part of. The story commences with Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, also called Rodya, sneaking out of the room that he rents, because he is “hopelessly in debt to his landlady...” He used to be a student and he used to give lessons to earn some money, but he found himself out of work, and the only pair of clothes he had became too worn out to get any respectable employment. His mother had not sent him money recently because he had her own expenses to take care of. Without money, Raskolnikov has been starving himself, and as a result is suffering from delusions and strange thoughts, and becomes easily irritable. While sitting at a restaurant one day, he overhears a conversation between two men, speaking of a pawnbroker who is so stingy that she buys their items at too low of a price. One man says that he would be doing everyone a favour by killing that old lady, the pawnbroker. But he wouldn’t actually do it, he concluded. Raskolnikov, however, was very touched by the conversation of the pawnbroker who he has been going to for money. He starts imagining how he would like to kill her in his mind, and goes about trying to initiate his plans. How will Raskolnikov’s life take a sudden turn as a result of his plans? What punishment must he bear because of his crime? “[A]n extraordinary man has the right – that is not an official right, but an inner right – to decide in his own conscience to overstep . . . certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity). … if the discoveries of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men, Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound . . . to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making discoveries his known to the whole of humanity. But it does not follow that Newton had a right to murder people right and left and to stead every day in the market. … [L]egislators and leaders of men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making new law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short at bloodshed either, if that bloodshed – often of innocent persons fighting bravely in defence of ancient law – were of use of their cause. It’s remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these benefactors and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage.” (222) 4/5
Date published: 2010-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Cultural Classic Read by an Aristocrat I feel Alex Jennings is a very good reader. He often imitates the characters he reads as though he were several different people. This helps to imagine the personalities of the characters, lowers the general boredom of listening to an audio book, and creates much immersion. Jennings, with his slight English accent, is crystal clear in his voice. He sounds above the academic and more an intellectual--an aristocrat--who carries the story, and there is no problem in the immersion. He is interesting and perfectly-paced. He reads the text rather happily, without any drone-type sound. He reads delightfully, as though he likes the text and is willing to play the parts. I'm happy with the reader and the audio book. I should add, I have very little experience with audio books. But, Dostoevsky's book is an academic and intellectual classic, and the reading is good, very good.
Date published: 2009-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the effort I suspect many will be turned off reading this, as it can be slow to start and isn't an easy read at times. But if you do decide to read this, please see it completely through, as it *will* be rich and rewarding. For me, this was my gateway into literature. I hadn't read many books since high school, which I had left 5 years prior, but on a whim borrowed a copy of this from my boss. I struggled through the first 200 pages or so, but once past them, I simply was unable to put the book down. Dostoevsky had an ability to write extremely deep characters, and you get sucked into their life and the events that unfold. You will laugh and cry with them, and by the end of the book you will feel like they are old friends. It really is incredible. The story itself offers a lot.; psychology, suspense and struggle. Many elements are at play, and there are countless memorable moments and people to experience in this book. I only hope others get as much from reading this as I did.
Date published: 2009-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I have a copy from 1972, an early translation to Romanian and the read was absolutely captivating. Every word is significant, almost as if the author calculated how everything fell into place. I also read a recent translation but was nowhere close to the first copy. The vocabulary was very different back then.
Date published: 2008-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing Raskolnikov is very poor, intelligent and has a high opinion of himself. He sells his father's old belonging, just to get a meal. Raskolnikov is convinced that by killing a person, he will cure everything he is feeling. He commits another murder, for the feeling he had was so remarkable he had to do it again. And for every person he killed, he has a reason why he did it. In jail, he meets Sonya. Sonya is an eighteen year old, and was forced into prostitution to support her two siblings and an alcoholic father. It’s a book full of psychology and exstistentialism. Crime and Punishment is a world wide read nineteenth century Russian novel, translated into many different languages. This book has a lot of similarities to the plays: Hamlet and Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK This book was an incredible read. The only problem is it is so SLOW. As I was reading my mind wandered and I found it difficult to keep my mind on the book. If you haven't read anything by Dostoevsky, read The Idiot first.
Date published: 2000-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic for any Era Crime & Punishment is a classic for any era. I read it for the first time while taking a russian literature course in university. It is one of my favorite novels of all time, I rank it in my top 5 favorite. It has all the necassary elements; love, mystery, murder and redemption. Don't be intimidated by the title or size, it is a book that you will breeze through, I could hardly put it down. A definite must read!
Date published: 2000-05-03

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONWhen Dostoyevsky started work on Crime and Punishment in the summer of 1865 he was depressed and in serious financial straits. A recent gambling spree had depleted his savings, and he owed money for personal expenses as well as bills for Epokha, the journal he founded and had been forced to discontinue. Threatened with debtors' prison, he was approached by an unscrupulous publisher who offered a ridiculously exploitative contract under which Dostoyevsky signed over the copyrights to all his existing works and agreed to write a work of fiction by the end of the following year. For all this he was paid the sum of three thousand rubles, most of which was quickly swallowed up by promissory notes; what little remained was squandered at the gaming tables. Destitute once again, Dostoyevsky forced himself to concentrate on his writing, and by that fall had conceived of the idea for a novel-length work about a family ruined by alcohol.The roots of Crime and Punishment can be found in various episodes in Dostoyevsky's life. His original idea, a murderer's first-person confession, came to him during his prison term in Siberia—an experience that profoundly changed his political views and instilled in him a life-long respect for order and authority. There is also evidence that he conceived of the Marmaledov family as the basis for a novel to be titled "The Drunkards," but which was never published. Finally, Dostoyevsky was reacting to the political climate in St. Petersburg, where the impulses of the revolution could be found in the nihilist and radical movements, which Dostoyevsky abhorred. Regardless of its origins, Dostoyevsky meant the novel to be as close to perfect as possible. He took extensive—now famous—notes regarding its structure, toying with different points of view, character, structure, plot, and a variety of thematic strains.The efforts paid off. Crime and Punishment is a superbly plotted, brilliant character study of a man who is at once an everyman and as remarkable as any character ever written. It poses a simple question, "Can evil means justify honorable ends?" and answers it convincingly without didacticism or naiveté. Dostoyevsky intimates himself so closely with Roskolnikov's consciousness, and describes his turmoil and angst so precisely and exhaustively, that it is easy to forget that the events take place over the course of a mere two weeks. He encourages us to identify with Roskolnikov: the painstaking descriptions of the student's cramped, dingy quarters; the overpowering sights and sounds of a stifling afternoon on the streets of St. Petersburg; the excruciating tension of Porfiry's interrogation—all serve to place the reader at the heart of the action: Roskolnikov's fevered, tormented mind.The murder itself is almost incidental to the novel; Dostoyevsky devotes no more than a few pages to describing its execution, although he details the painful vacillations that precede the incident and, of course, exposes every aspect of its aftermath. Similarly, Roskolnikov's punishment, in the literal sense, is put off until the epilogue, with his sentence—reduced to seven years due to the accused's apparent temporary insanity—to a Siberian labor camp. Thus Dostoyevsky brilliantly invites readers to put forth their own notions of Crime and Punishment, and engages us in an irresistible debate: Who is the real criminal? Marmeladov, for abandoning his family? Luzhin for exploiting Dunya? Svidrigailov for murdering his wife? Sonya for prostituting herself? The greedy pawnbroker whom Roskolnikov murdered? Or, to turn the question around: Who among us is not a criminal? Who among us has not attempted to impose his or her will on the natural order? Furthermore, we are made to understand that Roskolnikov's true punishment is not the sentence imposed on him by the court of law, but that imposed on him by his own actions: the psychological and spiritual hell he has created for himself; the necessary sentence of isolation from his friends and family; the extreme wavering between wanting to confess his crime, and desperately hoping to get away with it. Compelled, ultimately, to confess his crime—and the confession scene is the only incident in which Roskolnikov actually admits to the crime—we feel that Roskolnikov has suffered sufficiently. Indeed, the epilogue with its abbreviated pace and narrative distance feels like a reprieve for the reader as well as for the criminal. Finally, in Siberia, Roskolnikov has found space.The public reception of Crime and Punishment was enthusiastic—if a little stunned. There was much discussion about the novel's overwhelming power and rumors of people unable to finish it. Readers were shocked by Dostoyevsky's gruesome descriptions and enthralled by his use of dramatic tension. Perhaps the most virulent, and unexpected, criticism came from readers who felt that Dostoyevsky's portrait of the nihilist movement was an indictment of Russian youth and that its premise was inconceivable. For more than a century, critics have argued about the book's message: Is it a political novel? A tale of morality? A psychological study? A religious epic? As Peter McDuff points out in his Introduction to the Penguin Classics edition, interpretations may be more revealing of the critic than of the text. Whatever Dostoyevsky's purpose—political, moral, psychological, or religious (and most likely he meant to touch on each of these themes)—one thing is certain. In Roskolnikov, Dostoyevsky has created a man who is singular yet universal. He is someone with whom we can sympathize, empathize, and pity, even if we cannot relate to his actions. He is a character we will remember forever, and whose story will echo throughout history.ABOUT FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKYFyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in 1821 at a Moscow hospital where his father was employed as a doctor. The family was poor, but their descent from 17th-century nobility entitled them to own land and serfs. Dostoyevsky's mother, Maria, was loving and religious; his father, Mikhail, tended toward alcoholism and violence, and his cruel behavior toward the peasants on their small estate resulted in his murder when Fyodor was eighteen years old.Fyodor was the second of eight children. He was particularly close to his younger sister, Varvara, whose unfortunate marriage may have inspired Dostoyevsky's portraits of both Dunya and Sonya. His older brother, Mikhail, shared Dostoyevsky's literary and journalistic interests as well as his early social ideals. Together they attended secondary schools in Moscow, then the military academy in St. Petersburg, followed by service in the Russian army.Dostoyevsky broadened his education by reading extensively in an attempt to sharpen his literary skills. As a youth he read and admired writers of all nationalities, including Dickens, Hugo, and Zola, and imitated some of Russia's literary geniuses, particularly Gogol. He also began a tortured acquaintance with Turgenev, which was to continue throughout his life.His first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846. This tale of a young clerk who falls haplessly in love with a woman he cannot possess led the literary lion Victor Belinsky to proclaim Dostoyevsky as the next Gogol. Dostoyevsky's entrance into St. Petersburg literary society had begun—but his celebrity status was quickly overshadowed by his somewhat obnoxious behavior. Eventually, Dostoyevsky found another group to join, this time a circle of intellectual socialists run by Mikhail Petrashevsky. Given the reactionary climate of the time, the Petrashevsky group's revolutionary ideas were both exciting and dangerous, and, although Dostoyevsky was far from being a revolutionary, his alignment with the faction brought him to the attention of the police. In 1849 he and the rest of the Petrashevsky group were arrested for subversion. Dostoyevsky was imprisoned at the Peter and Paul Fortress where he and others were subject to a mock execution—an understandably traumatic experience which seems to have triggered an epileptic condition that would plague Dostoyevsky throughout his life. He spent the next five years at hard labor in Siberia, where his acquaintance with the criminal community would provide him with the themes, plots, and characters that distinguish many of his greatest works, including Crime and Punishment.Dostoyevsky returned to St. Petersburg in 1859. The next decade was filled with emotional and physical turmoil. In 1864 the deaths of his wife, Maria, and his beloved brother, Mikhail, deepened his debt and drove him to gambling. He embarked on a doomed affair with Apollinaria Suslova, who vacillated between admiring and despising him. He also witnessed the dissolution of his literary journal and formed a disadvantageous relationship with an unscrupulous publisher. Yet the 1860s were also a period of great literary fervor, and in 1865, the publication of Crime and Punishment paved the way for a series of novels—including The Idiot, The Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov—that both reclaimed his position in Russia's pantheon of great living writers, and brought stability to his personal and financial affairs. He married his stenographer, Anna Grigorievna Snitkin, with whom he fathered four children, and established himself as a leading conservative who often spoke out against revolutionary activity. In June of 1880, Dostoyevsky attended a celebration of the great novelist, Pushkin, during which he delivered a speech in praise of the writer. His words were met with great adulation, and the event marked what was perhaps the highest point of public approbation Dostoyevsky would ever attain. Little more than six months later, on January 28, 1881, Dostoyevsky died of a lung hemorrhage. His funeral, attended by nearly thirty thousand mourners, was a national event.DISCUSSION QUESTIONSHow does Dostoyevsky achieve and sustain the suspense in his novel? Which scenes strike you as being particularly suspenseful? How does he use description to enhance the turmoil in Roskolnikov's mind?What role does chance play in the development of the novel? In which scenes does coincidence figure heavily in the outcome? Is Dostoyevsky interfering too much with the natural course of events in order to move his story along, or is he making a point about the randomness of life, free will, and divine intervention?Compare the characters of Roskolnikov, Luzhin, and Svidrigailov. How is each of these men a "villain," and to what extent are they guilty? How does each man face his guilt, and how does each suffer for it?Compare the major female characters: Sonya, Dunya, Katerina Ivanovna. Do you think they are well-rounded characters or stereotypes? How does each figure in Roskolnikov's actions?Discuss the scene in which Roskolnikov meets Sonya in her room and he asks her to read the story of Lazarus. What makes this scene so effective? What does Roskolnikov mean when he tells Sonya she is "necessary" to him? (p. 388)Later, in confessing the murder to Sonya, Roskolnikov claims, "Did I really kill the old woman? No, it was myself I killed.... And as for the old woman, it was the Devil who killed her, not I." (p. 488) What does he mean by this? What motive does Roskolnikov give for his murder? Why does he confess to Sonya? Why doesn't the confession ease him of his inner torment?Discuss Roskolnikov's theory of the ordinary versus the extraordinary man. What is Dostoyevsky's attitude toward this theory? Can you think of modern-day examples of this theory put into practice?Does the fact that Roskolnikov never uses the money he stole from the pawnbroker make him less—or more—guilty? Why do you think he never recovers the stolen items or cash?Why does Roskolnikov reject his family's and Razumikhin's attempts at solace and comfort? Why, when they are at their most loving, does he have feelings of hatred for them? What is Dostoyevsky saying about guilt and conscience?Roskolnikov emerges as a dual character, capable of cruelty and compassion, deliberation and recklessness, and alternating between a desire for solitude and companionship. Why has Dostoyevsky created such a complex psychological portrait?

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