Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmerising Experience
This is the fourth long novel by Dostoevsky that I have read, and for my money by far the best. It concerns the rise of nihilism in the Russian soul in the 1820s and is partially based on a factual murder. Far from being a dull subject the plot is fabulously exciting, and Dostoevsky weaves into it a multilayered examination of how powerful ideas can ensnare peoples...
Published on 15 Jan 2003

versus
0 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My Eyes Hurt
I have read many Dostoevsky novels and have come to the conclusion that he is an overrated writer. Demons was the straw that broke the camel's back. This not only caused my eyes pain but the emotional thought of reading this boring book made me melancholy. The book is piffle I can't even begin to tell you what it's about. The only book I have not read of Dostoevsky is...
Published on 1 Aug 2011 by Apotheosisz


Most Helpful First | Newest First

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmerising Experience, 15 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Demons: A Novel in Three Parts (Paperback)
This is the fourth long novel by Dostoevsky that I have read, and for my money by far the best. It concerns the rise of nihilism in the Russian soul in the 1820s and is partially based on a factual murder. Far from being a dull subject the plot is fabulously exciting, and Dostoevsky weaves into it a multilayered examination of how powerful ideas can ensnare peoples will. As ever in Dosteoevsky heavy Christian themes pervade the novel- how can a man do good deeds in a world filled with evil? His narrative artistry - allowing the characters to drive the novel with their dialogue, so that complex ideas gradually flower in the readers mind - works beautifully in this flawless translation. It took me about 6 weeks to read this book and I really felt like it lived with me and grew inside me over that time - not just a read, but a genuine experience. Take a deep breath, and let Dostoevsky into your life!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the best translation, 10 Jan 2007
By 
Jonathan Birch (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Demons: A Novel in Three Parts (Paperback)
Demons is intensely depressing and intensely bloody, though its dialogue-driven plotline also contains some of Dostoevsky's cleverest and funniest scenes. The novel (based on a true story) portrays Nihilist terrorists with harrowing realism, and as a result is as relevant as ever today.

This often-forgotten classic is commonly translated as "The Possessed" or the "The Devils". "Demons" makes more sense, and this is just one of the strengths of the magnificent Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. The notes and introduction are excellent, and Pevear and Volokhonsky's attention to detail renders the novel in idiosyncratic, flowing, fantastically readable prose that really shows you the best of Dostoevsky.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will chew you up and spit you out, 31 Jan 2008
This is Dostoyevsky at his bipolar best - the most hysterically funny and shockingly tragic book ever written, with a twitching, leaping cast of characters all hellishly lit by the brilliant halloween lantern Stavrogin. There is no more original or powerful characterization than this in literature - he appears as a kind of blank slate or ghost who can only be read by reference to the contradictory ways he has influenced, almost 'created' the other amazing characters in the book, as if they were acting out his potential while he remains untouched and spiritually dead. This is the great existentialist figure, eclipsing everything before and since. Not that I'd recommend this book to anyone, if you are worth anything it will haunt you and your dreams forever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dostoyevsky's Demons Clarified, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Demons: A Novel in Three Parts (Paperback)
When I read previous translations of Demons, the titles always were The Possessed, so in each case the translators obscured the novel's meaning. Now, I think, after reading Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation, I have been set straight. The demons, in part, are Puskin's goblins and witches, but in a much greater sense they are the lies (rationalism, materialism, anarchism, nihilism, atheism) that enter a man and woman's soul, and like the demons that came out of the man and entered the swine in Luke's Gospel, they drive the man or woman to destruction. Dostoyevsky connects the liberal idealists and freethinkers of 1840's Russia (they are the fathers and mothers) with the Nihilist Revolutionaries of the 1860's. He predicted the Bolshevik Revolution forty years before it happened, because he understood the essence of the revolutionary movement was not social Christianity but Nihilist destruction, from "unlimited freedom it would turn into unlimited despotism." Nikolai Stavrogin stands at the center of the novel, a sensualist, both good and evil, but more evil than good, because evil gives more pleasure. His demon is the thrill some find in danger, sadism, and moral depravity. Stavrogin is strikingly handsome and a taciturn aristocrat, so he is not without glamor. He is mentor to Ivan Shatov, a reformed Nihilist revolutionary, to Pyotr Verkhovensky, the Nihilist revolutionary leader, and to Kirillov, the man-godhead. The novel begins with Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky's story, he a liberal of the `40's who continues his rant under the sponsorship of Varvara Petrovna, Stravogin's mother, in a Russian provincial town, where Pyotr Verkhovensky, Stepan Trofimovich's abandoned son, decides to test his Nihilist theories. I never paid much attention to Stepan Trofimovich's story before, but I did this time, as I did to the point of view of the novel's narrator-chronicler, a settler in the provincial town. I read the novel as a coherent whole, not a shipshod piece like before. Memorable female characters include Marya Ignatievna, a cripple half-wit, married to Stravogin on a whim, Lizaveta Nikolaevna Tushin, infatuated with Stavrogin, and Darya Pavlovna (Dasha) Shatov, devoted to Stavrogin. The Foreward and End Notes to the novel are excellent. Humor comes from such unexpected people as Fedka the Convict, an evil soul Dostoyevsky knew well, having spent ten years in a Siberian prison and in exile for his "revolutionary activities." Demons affected me tremendously. Its intellectual power enveloped me in realization after realization
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My Eyes Hurt, 1 Aug 2011
This review is from: Demons: A Novel in Three Parts (Paperback)
I have read many Dostoevsky novels and have come to the conclusion that he is an overrated writer. Demons was the straw that broke the camel's back. This not only caused my eyes pain but the emotional thought of reading this boring book made me melancholy. The book is piffle I can't even begin to tell you what it's about. The only book I have not read of Dostoevsky is `The brothers Karamazov' (to be read when all other literacy pursuits are completed - hopefully this will take a long time) which I hope to dear God is remotely interesting. I admit having been born late in the 20th century I perhaps do not appreciate and do not fully understand the nature or Dostoevsky's Russian life and times. He was a prodigious writer who wrote even more prodigious books. That being said Oscar Wilde, Dickens,Dumas and Gogol are much better.

I gave the book one star ; half for the author and half for me for managing to reach halfway. I so desperately wanted to understand Dostoevsky and realise what all the fuss is about, alas I have failed and have retired reading Dostoevsky for an indefinite period. He just does not do it for me though I will say 'Uncle's dream' and the' village of stepanchikovo' area really good reads.

The translation I am reviewing is the peaver translation - perhaps I have been unfortunate enough to have read bad translations. If anyone can offer me better translations I will consider them circumspectly.

Peace
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Demons: A Novel in Three Parts
Demons: A Novel in Three Parts by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Paperback - 15 Sep 1994)
7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews