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The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – 1 May 1997

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 796 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman; New Ed edition (1 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857150708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857150704
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 13.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow in 1821, the second of a physician's seven children. His mother died in 1837 and his father was murdered a little over two years later. When he left his private boarding school in Moscow he studied from 1838 to 1843 at the Military Engineering College in St Petersburg, graduating with officer's rank. His first story to be published, 'Poor Folk' (1846), was a great success.

In 1849 he was arrested and sentenced to death for participating in the 'Petrashevsky circle'; he was reprieved at the last moment but sentenced to penal servitude, and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison at Omsk, Siberia. In the decade following his return from exile he wrote The Village of Stepanchikovo (1859) and The House of the Dead (1860). Whereas the latter draws heavily on his experiences in prison, the former inhabits a completely different world, shot through with comedy and satire.

In 1861 he began the review Vremya (Time) with his brother; in 1862 and 1863 he went abroad, where he strengthened his anti-European outlook, met Mlle Suslova, who was the model for many of his heroines, and gave way to his passion for gambling. In the following years he fell deeply in debt, but in 1867 he married Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina (his second wife), who helped to rescue him from his financial morass. They lived abroad for four years, then in 1873 he was invited to edit Grazhdanin (The Citizen), to which he contributed his Diary of a Writer. From 1876 the latter was issued separately and had a large circulation. In 1880 he delivered his famous address at the unveiling of Pushkin's memorial in Moscow; he died six months later in 1881. Most of his important works were written after 1864: Notes from Underground (1864), Crime and Punishment (1865-6), The Gambler (1866), The Idiot (1869), The Devils (1871) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880).



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"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)

"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)

"No reader who knows The Brothers Karamazov should ignore this magnificent translation. And no reader who doesn't should wait any longer to acquaint himself with one of the peaks of modern fiction" (USA Today)

"It returns us to a work we thought we knew - made new again" (Washington Post)

"In this new translation one finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky's original" (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'In this new translation one finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky's original' New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom Feltham on 28 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I first read The Brothers Karamazov when I was about 14, and ever since it has remained one of my favourites. I got the Pevear version from my local library, read and loved it, and then got it out again to read a year later. A few years later I bought a different translation, but found it incredibly dull by comparison. I've always gone for the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation when available, with no regrets.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sergey Vasilev on 9 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, which is one of Dostoyevsky's all time best, perhaps the best, adds to make him perhaps the best writer of all times. The author came up with so many great ideas and characters that are so real to life even in their complex emotions and rationales that we relate to the characters as if we are in their heads. In the end, not only do we have a great story, we are also left with a beautifully written work of political, psychological, sociological, ethical and psychological thought that is very true not only to Russia, but to other lands and peoples as well.

The greatest soul writer of all times and great contributor to human psychology successfully created a beautiful and amazing dynamism between the Karamazov brothers that has been the core of many stories after involving siblings. There is the unreliable father, the old Fyodor Karamazov whose life dominates his sons and whose death casts a huge shadow on their future.

Sensual Alyosha who is the youngest of the Karamazov brothers is the main character of the story, and he is noted for his strong faith in god and humanity, deep kindness and sense of sacrifice.

Ivan the atheist has a sharp mind and is the critical analyzer who seeks for meaning in everything. He is skeptical and dwells more on rationale in his dealing with people and issues. In the end, his intellectual mind misleads him and opens the doors to the nightmares in his life.

Dmitry is the sensitive brother who has a strong consideration for anything living, Smerdyakov their half-brother, is the cunning illegitimate son of old Fyodor Karamazov and works as Fyodor's servant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Herr Holz Paul on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the first third of this book rather tedious. It is a kind of jaunty romp based around the three brothers and their father. I was tempted to think in terms of a nineteenth century soap opera! The language is also disappointingly dull - the translators here seem to get good press so I am a little confused, although I have been around long enough to know that the professional fraternity are good at congratulating themselves. Having enjoyed Crime and Punishment I was expecting better than this I have to say.
However, quite suddenly when we get to book V there is a marked change and we leave behind the frivolity for more dark and uncomfortable material. Here we find the much visited `The Grand Inquisitor`. The language is not what I would describe as accessible. But then this is Dostoyevsky. I imagine that this would have been seen as controversial literature in its day, maybe still is, and it should be noted that the author did once narrowly escape execution for his deviations and remained under surveillance for much of his life.
Book VI is comprised entirely of one large digression from the story as Alyosha relays stories of the life of the Elder Zosima who is the head monk and nearing the end of his life. I am reminded here of the writings of Michel de Montaigne with an emphasis on the spiritual and on matters philosophical.
It is not until we get to book VIII that we return to the story proper and we are now half way through the tome. The pace quickens and things become entertaining, thank goodness! Further on we are taken on another excursion in to the arcane as Ivan Karamazov is visited by a ghost in a dream - his alter ego?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hannah on 15 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
I kept this book on my shelf for 3 years before reading it, but once I did, I finished it in less then a week. Dostoyevsky has incredible insights on socialism, philosophy, religion and society, most that are still relevant today. It is easy to see how Camus and Sartre were influenced by it, and there were passages also that reminded me of Huxley's Brave New World, especially about the englightened few controlling the masses.
Above all else however, this is an enjoyable whodunnit. An excellent crime novel centring round the three Karamazov brothers; Dmitri, Ivan and Alyosha and their wayward father, Fyodor. All the human emotions are here - love, hatred, jealousy, bitterness, and although Tolstoy may be the master of relationships, no-one can draw out the tension like Dostoevsky.
I was intimidated by the sheer size and reputatio of this, but it is one of the best books I have ever read, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
It is difficult to know where to begin with Dostoyevsky’s epic masterpiece and final novel. Perhaps a good place is with David McDuff’s Penguin Classics translation – nearly 1,000 pages of relatively dense text, frequently with paragraphs running over multiple pages – enough to put off even the most hardened 'classics’ reader perhaps? Well, for me, no – McDuff (and, of course Dostoyeysky) has managed to write is such a way as to convey (even in the novel’s most elliptical passages – such as the discourses of Alyosha Karamazov’s mentor, the Elder Zosima) the author’s original text in a, perhaps surprisingly, accessible way.

Thus, we get to learn (via the novel’s anonymous narrator) of the fractious relationship between, and the respective loves and desires of, cruel landowner and father Fyodor and his three sons, the fiery, temperamental Mitya, the intellectual atheist, Ivan, and the family’s calming influence, the spiritual Alyosha, plus their illegitimate half-brother, the enigmatic Smerdyakov – all encompassed within the novel’s vast political scope (Russia and its uncertain place in the late 19th century world, the country’s own class structure, religious strictures, sexual politics, etc) and the novel’s human dimensions around love, physicality, greed, jealousy, trust, loyalty, destiny, guilt, punishment, redemption and death – all shot through with Dostoyevsky’s pervasive pessmism. Throughout, Dostoyevsky keeps us guessing as to the true motives of his characters and what underpins their personal moralities (we get little of the 'clarity’ of Raskolnikov here), providing a number of touching sub-narratives, for example that surrounding the young afflicted boy Ilyusha (on whose story the author provides a moving conclusion to the novel). And, if that isn’t enough for you, the novel’s central narrative provides as compelling a 'criminal court procedural’ as I’ve read anywhere – simply gripping.
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