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Brothers Karamazov, the Paperback – 1 Jun 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 796 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (1 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528379
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.2 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,680,260 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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First Sentence
Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of a landowner from our district, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, well known in his own day (and still remembered among us) because of this dark and tragic death, which happened exactly thirteen years ago and which I shall speak of in its proper place. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 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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16 of 17 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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7 of 8 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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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jonathan.rushforth@queens.ox.ac.uk on 13 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
The russian is not for the faint hearted, it takes effort to get into this detailed look at the hyporcrisies of russian society in the last century, but it's worth its weight. The characters are harsh and detailed, but a complete descent into cynicism is avoided. This is a tale of three brothers and the fallout from the murder of their father, though it's not an analysis of patricide but a look inside provincialdom, orthodoxy and familial hatred. The chapter 'The Grand Inquisitor' alone has been acclaimed as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, and deservedly so. This is the kind of book that sucks you in for days on end. Not recommended for anyone with depressive leanings.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Harper on 2 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
The translations by Pevear and Volokhonsky are by far the best that I've ever read of Russian literature. This review's negativity is in NO way directed at the content of the book, which is amazing, nor at the quality of the translation, which is (in my opinion) the best out there for Brothers K.

Unfortunately, the publisher has not matched the quality of the words with the quality of his binding. The paper is particularly low quality, and will become yellow and brittle in no time, and I'm particularly worried about the spine cracking, since this book is too thick for a cheap (dare I say somewhat shoddy?) "perfect bound" spine. I suppose I should have expected this low quality for the similar low price, but I was still extremely disappointed in the physical quality of the book.

If you're looking for a copy to read again and again, perhaps this edition will not hold out on you, and you should look for a better-bound copy of the SAME translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky. If, however, you're looking for a cheap one-time read that may very well begin to fall apart before you're finished, this is the book for you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
If you've never read any Dostoevsky I can hardly blame you; they're certainly imposing looking. But the 'Brothers Karamazov' is not only a brilliant read buy also a philosophical triumph.
While perhaps it does not contain the page turning plot of Crime and Punishment it would be an extraordinary person who could not find some thought within it to challenge and interest them. Of course for such a complex work a good translation is a must and don't be afraid to read the notes unless unlike me you are an expert on 19th century Russia. Yes at times it's difficult to read, but it's well worth the effort.
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