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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real shame..., 6 April 2003
This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
...that this outstanding work was never completed. Dostoyevsky was exiled for belonging to a revolutionary group before he managed to complete his first novel. The part that remains was to be the prologue to an extensive work along the lines of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'.
I shan't give away the plot, but suffice to say it involves murder (though not as violent as in 'Crime and Punishment'), family ties and loyalties and ruined genius.
A marvellous book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The difficulty to be and to survive as an artist, 18 July 2010
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Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
After the death of her first husband, Netochka's mother marries a pathologic, alcoholic violist. When his wife dies, he neglects his stepdaughter, who is subsequently adopted by a noble family. She immediately feels the stings of a class society (`I was beneath you') and is all the time searching for a replacement of her dead mother. The marriage of her new parents is also not a happy one.

Art
Besides the excellent picture of the psychology of a child, the main interest of this unfinished novel is Dostoyevsky's vision on art: `if (thirst for fame) becomes the main source of an artist's activity then he ceases to be an artist, for he has lost the artist's chief instinct, which must be to love art simply because it is art, and not for its rewards.'
Like D.H. Lawrence (`the novel is the book of life. It can help us to live.'), F. Dostoyevsky's protagonist feels that `I was destined to live through that future by getting to know it first in books.'

This novel is written rather clumsily (`I shall now relate', `this is what happened') and can be overtly sentimental (`insufferable sadness').
It is not a good introduction to Dostoyevsky's work; better are some of his short stories (White Nights, The Eternal Husband, Uncle's Dream, The Gambler).
But, it is a must read for all Dostoyevsky fans.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 19 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
In all likelihood if you've come across this book and are thinking of getting it then you are already well familiar with Dostoevsky's far better known works and are wondering if this is a void in your reading armoury really worth filling. If this is indeed the case, don't wait or consider any more - this is a superb if sadly unfinished work.

Dostoevsky, despite what some indications here might lead you to believe was already a very fine, if ill-appreciated, author at this time in his life with works like "The Double" behind him, and Netochka Nezvanovna is powerful and written with a kind of 'civilized polish' one might not have expected from Dostoevsky, thus giving the lie to gross notions of himself peddled by the likes of Nabakov as a kind of force of nature devoid of elegance. It also shows that the strange crudities of later works like Notes From the Underground are stylistic devices integral to those works and complex matters of authorial volition - matters too subtle it seems for many of Dostoevsky's detractors.
So back to this work and I won't give any kind of synopsis of the work but just to highly recommend it to any who like me were wondering about the need or desirability in ordering it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
Netochka Nezvanova was written before Dostoevsky's exile during his Utopian Socialist times, it was intended to be a novel but was never completed, Jane Kentish states that Dostoevsky had only written the prologue to this novel.

Although Dostoevsky never completed the novel, it still reveals Dostoevsky's genius which would later be developed into his major novel.
The story is written in first person, about Netochka's painful childhood and experiences which would effect her for the rest of her life.

I would split the novel into 3 sections, firstly Netochka's childhood with her mother living in poverty, who marries a failed musician. The musician who claims to be a genius but is unable to develop his talent, constantly torments the family with his drunkard ways and manipulates Netochka's unending love for him to satisfy his selfish desires. This part of the book is by far the best part, the tear jerking, emotional cries of the child echoes in your heart as you read. Dostoevsky certainly knows how to make the reader step into the character's shoes.

The second part is when Netochka is adopted into an aristocratic family, where she develops a strange relationship with the family's daughter Katya.
Lastly Netochka is then taken care of by Katya's sister as the family move to Moscow, where she is able to witness the disintegration of family life.

One of the running themes of the novel is art, where art is constantly surrounding Netochka's life and one see's how she is slowly able to appreciate art through music.
Although, the last part leaves us with an unfinished story, which is a shame. The novel involves a lot of crying, blushing, fainting, sometimes too much, leaving the reader wondering why the fainting or crying was even necessary.

Like i said earlier, this is an undeveloped story, and never finished. But it is a great read, especially the first part of the story, it'll certainly leave a deep impression on the reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartrending, 30 April 2010
This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
The cover of this book states that this was Dostoevsky's first publication, but I don't know if that is true since it was never finished. Unfinished or not, it contains just about everything that the author is well-known for, and the rather abrupt ending does not detract from an otherwise amazing story. No one can write like Dostoevsky, and I don't think a match for his passion will ever be found, which is the reason that he's been my favorite author ever since I discovered him. Anyone who loves his novels will not be disappointed with this, and anyone who hasn't yet read his work would do well to start with this, if they are daunted by the size of his longer books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The begining of a master piece, 9 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) (Paperback)
Moving, sinks you to another reality, and the fact of being incomplete, makes one self thinking about the different ways that it could have finished...
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Netochka Nezvanova (Classics)
Netochka Nezvanova (Classics) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Paperback - 29 Aug. 1985)
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