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The Karamazov Brothers (Oxford World's Classics)

The Karamazov Brothers (Oxford World's Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Fyodor Dostoevsky , Ignat Avsey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A fine translation."--Sr. Anna M. Conklin, Spalding University

Product Description

Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers (1880) is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons - the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the saintly novice Alyosha - are all at some level involved.

Bound up with this intense family drama is Dostoevsky's exploration of many deeply felt ideas about the existence of God, the question of human freedom, the collective nature of guilt, the disatrous consequences of rationalism. The novel is also richly comic: the Russian Orthodox Church, the legal system, and even the authors most cherished causes and beliefs are presented with a note of irreverence, so that orthodoxy, and radicalism, sanity and madness, love and hatred, right and wrong are no
longer mutually exclusive. Rebecca West considered it "the allegory for the world's maturity", but with children to the fore. This new translation does full justice to Doestoevsky's genius, particularly in the use of the spoken word, which ranges over every mode of human expression.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6886 KB
  • Print Length: 930 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (1 Aug 1994)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008C80UIY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Dostoevsky is not to everyone's taste, and if you like your books to focus on the story you are unlikely even to finish The Karamazov Brothers. But as a way into Russian literature, and far and away the most readable of the philosophical literature genre, this book stands alone.
The brothers' different motivations and attitudes, and the complex way in which individual moralities interact on the stage of life, give this book its central thread and interest. We are privileged to see both the surface and the depths - which has the effect of holding a mirror up to ourselves as we react to the people and events.
This translation has a real freshness. This is flagged by changing the familiar rendering of the title as "The Brothers Karamazov" into its most obvious English form "The Karamazov Brothers." Am I the only person who had assumed the book involved a circus, based on the older version?
The point of the translation is not to simplify, but to prevent English from being a barrier in engaging with the text. In this it seems to have succeeded entirely - although of course as a non-Russian speaker I cannot vouch for the accuracy and appropriateness of the words chosen.
This is a winter novel - one to read in front of the fire and with friends or family to hand, and no hurry to complete it. It will lead you to question much that you take for granted - perhaps even yourself.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal 24 Aug 2005
By A Customer
The Karamazov Brothers is, quite simply, Dostoyevsky's greatest work. The characters are superb creations, the settings stunning and the pace is breathtaking. The book itself is a discourse on religion, existentialism, innocence and rationalism, and comes to some absolutely mindblowing conclusions. The chapter entitled 'The Grand Inquisitor' is the pinnacle of Dostoyevsky's career, beautifully constructed, stunningly written and with fantastic ideas.
The Karamazov Brothers is a difficult work, and it helps if you've read some of his other works before starting, particularly the Idiot and the Posessed/the Devils. This new translation is one of the best of its kind, and well worth buying over other editions. A helpful introduction, chronology and character list make this a great buy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels ever written 9 Nov 2001
By A Customer
The Brothers Karamazov has to be Dostoevsky's crowning achievement(even surpassing The Idiot).The scope of this novel and the issues it confronts encapsulate everything great about nineteenth century russian literature.Not only is it, on one level, a murder story it is also a tale of such philosophical power it astonishes. Ivan's conversation with "the devil" and the death of Father Zossima are some of the most powerful and evocative passages ever written in the history of the novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard work at times, but rewarding in the end 20 July 2009
I read Crime and Punishment a few years ago and really enjoyed that, so, after a trip to Russia and a few conversations about Dostoevsky, I decided to have a go at a few more of his books. This one, meant to be his greatest (and certainly his last!), nearly put an end to my campaign to read all his stuff.

Basically, I read the first 2-300 pages with great interest. It is easy to read, but that can occasionally make you breeze thru some of the more deep thoughts in the book without realizing, and things were going well. But, I wasn't fully concentrating on the book as I was also reading one or two other things, and, after a while, this book was relegated to being a 'bog book'!

My advice is - don't do that! Don't pick it up, read a few pages whilst you're about your business and then set it down. What happens is that you get into some long speech or discourse that becomes deeply boring and frustrating when you find that after many toilet sessions you are no nearer the end. You also lose the pace and atmosphere reading it this way.

So what happened what that after 6 months of reading I'd got thru about 450 pages and was very frustrated with it. I began to get suspicious of all the praise it gets, because some people, like a few reviewers even here, give you the impression that they're merely repeating heavy praise so as not to look stupid by not appreciating it. Just read thru the other reviews and see how many people referenced the grand Sigmund Freud quote on the back cover!

And so I gave up. But then I had a holiday, and in 10 days of that holiday I blasted thru the remaining 530 pages or so and was very glad that I did. It is worth it.

Dostoevsky writes dialogue very well, develops characters brilliantly and can crank up suspense very tightly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Work of Russia's Greatest Novelist 23 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This was Dostoyevsky's greatest work and in Freud's opinion (and my own) "the most magnificent novel ever written". It is a murder mystery, a study (as always in Dostoyevsky novels) in psychology, and a stimulating philosophical dialogue (books 5 & 6 forming the intellectual core). Above all it is the chronicle of a spiritual conversion.
This is a good translation with detailed footnotes explaining some of the more obscure historical points and preceded by a useful introduction. If I could change one thing it would be to replace the current cover with a watercolour entitled "The Grand Inquisitor" by Salvador Dali, which is a picture of a giraffe (who of course represents Jesus) being thrown out the window of a stone tower.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time classic
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. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John T C
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! As fresh, crazy, thought-provoking and emotive as I...
Although I prefer reading in book form, where you can look back ( and forward), check notes when you want, the kindle forces you to concentrate simply on the page, and move forward... Read more
Published 12 months ago by TW
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely magnificent
Probably my favourite Dostoyevsky novel.
I don't even have the words to begin to describe how fantastic this piece is. Read more
Published on 8 April 2012 by A. Nim
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book, wonderful translation
having at last gotten around to reading this well regarded novel i am very grateful i did. its an amazing story involving deep philosophical debates and complicated personalities... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Translation
This translation makes this masterpiece so very readable. It's a real 'can't put down book'. Don't be put off by the length of the book. It's such a gripping novel. Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2010 by Tillie's review
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond compare
Unlike Dostoevsky, I have no words that could ever begin to encompass what I feel for this novel, I finnished it only a couple of months ago and it still has me choked, p970-'My... Read more
Published on 13 April 2010 by Keith A. Pringle
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
Dostoevsky requires some investment of time, but it's worth it. The Karamazov brothers is an excellent study of flawed characters, and I very much enjoyed the philisophical... Read more
Published on 12 May 2009 by bodrick
1.0 out of 5 stars philosophy unparallelled
the transalation of ignat avsey is wonderful and excellent; it adds lustre to the book ; fyodor's russian masterpiece is rendered by ignat avesey in english language in a masterly... Read more
Published on 19 April 2009 by C. L. Muralidharan
5.0 out of 5 stars the best
after reading crime and punishment i had a go at this. crime and punishment was hard work, but worth it. this, however is fantastic. Read more
Published on 9 April 2007 by Andrew Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Greates Novel Ever written?
Well Freud thinks so, and why value his opinion over the many others? well the reason is this, Dostoevsky looks deep, very deep into the human phsychy to undercover the thoughts we... Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2006 by RICHARD ODDY
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