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Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
By: (1821-1881)

A mysterious crime is being plotted in a tiny garret above a dilapidated apartment building in St Petersburg in Russia. The plotter, Rodion Raskolinikov, is a poor student who has delusions of ridding the world of “worthless vermin” and counter balancing these crimes with good deeds. He commits a murder to test his own theories and prove that crime comes naturally to the human species.

Crime and Punishment is a path-breaking novel of ideas that changed the course of novel writing in the 20th century. The intense insights into the workings of the human mind had seldom been attempted by any writer anywhere in the world till then. The author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was the son of a hardworking but indigent doctor in Moscow. He was educated in boarding schools and later at a military academy from which he graduated as a military engineer. However, his heart was set on becoming a writer and he left the army to pursue a life devoted to writing. He was also deeply involved in the politics of the time and was sentenced to four years in a prison camp in Siberia for being part of an anarchist group.

In Siberia, he underwent an ideological change and reverted to traditional/conservative ideas. Crime and Punishment was published in serial form in a literary journal in 1866 after he returned from Siberia. His father's sudden and brutal killing by serfs on their own estate probably provided the trigger for the ideas expressed in the book. His father was an authoritarian despot, while his mother was a weak and fearful person and many of Dostoyevsky's novels contain images that portray these contradictions.

The book is divided into six parts and it is quite a formidable task reading through the entire novel. However, the sheer size, scope and scale of the book carries even the most timid reader along as it traces social realities, psychological aspects of crime and the effect of environment on the minds of vulnerable people. The book met with immense acclaim as it emerged in serial form and was soon compiled in book form. Several English translations followed, as well as those in other languages. More than 25 film adaptations, numerous references in books, television and contemporary writings have kept its appeal alive for generations of readers.

Its enduring fascination for modern day readers remains in its themes of alienation and loneliness, the idea of a Superman above the conventions and rules of society and its deep insights into the inner life of a young person on the brink of adulthood.

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Reviews (Rated: 3 Stars - 15 reviews)

Reviewer: - December 9, 2020
Subject: Very difficult to understand
The reader has a very strong accent and little understanding of English speech rhythms. It took a LOT of concentration to simply understand what they were saying. I couldn't follow the sense of individual sentences, let alone get immersed in the narrative. I commend the reader for their effort; but I found this impossible to listen to.
Reviewer: - January 4, 2020
Subject: Crime and punishment
I loved this. It is now my favorite book. It has changed me somehow. I love the narrator. He captured it perfectly.
Reviewer: - February 4, 2019
Wow... I love this book but my lord the narrator is horrendous I got to page 2 had to Turn it off.... absolute horrific to listen to!!!
Reviewer: - May 3, 2018
Crime and punishment
Reviewer: - January 30, 2018
Subject: Crime and Punishment
I agree with most of the above reviews, chapters 1-7 are almost torture. Speed up your recording and it helps this part be easier to listen to. Persevere, because it is worth it. Very interesting.
Reviewer: - January 19, 2018
Subject: Crime and Punishment
Perhaps the narrator should think of another profession, this ISN'T his cup of tea.
Reviewer: - June 29, 2017
Subject: Crime and punishment
Horrible. Could not connect well with the narrator.
Reviewer: - June 5, 2017
Subject: Worst Narration
This is the worst narration I have ever heard. I don't know how this passes as ok, even for free. This narration should be redone asap
Reviewer: - September 28, 2016
Subject: Reader
Reader was hard to understand.
Reviewer: - September 21, 2015
Love the reader! Voice full of character, really adds to the feel of the story
Reviewer: - December 30, 2014
Subject: horrible narration
Couldn't take the narrator. English is not his first language, props for trying though.
Reviewer: - October 21, 2014
Absolutely unlistenable. Impossible to follow due to the worst reading I've ever heard for several chapters. Had to give up on this one. Should be re-done immediately.
Reviewer: - July 5, 2013
So bad the reader should remain mute.
Reviewer: - March 20, 2013
Subject: Reading improves after ch 7
The first seven chapters (all of Part 1) should be re-done by someone else, preferably Father Ziele or Anna Simon who were the best readers for the rest of the book. I read Part 1 and then listened to the rest of the book and it is truly a classic. I appreciate all the time and effort put in by the readers and editors, but a poor reading for the opening chapters of such a compelling novel unfortunately turns people away from enjoying a truly mesmerizing story.
Reviewer: - December 11, 2012
At times the reader read as if he were a real psycho. Be ware.

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