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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant translation of a brilliant book!
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...
Published on 28 Mar 2006 by Tom Feltham

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation??
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...
Published 13 days ago by Herr Holz Paul


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant translation of a brilliant book!, 28 Mar 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic story, 9 Nov 2006
This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (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.

The characters of the brothers and the events of their lives made for the complex and fascinating story of exceptional proportions, where faith, meekness, atheism, indifference and slavery to negative instincts and impulses are often in conflict. Faith and atheism or disbelief in God is taken to epic proportions in Ivan's encounter with the devil.

Dostoevsky stated that, "when there is no God, all is permitted.". That assertion is reinforced in books like UNION MOUJIK,THE IDIOT and CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. The absence of God or lack of faith in man makes it possible for man to thrive in his worst animal instincts. Even when man starts with good intentions, the absence of faith usually derails him to the point where the good intentions are overshadowed by the negative effects of his actions. My conclusion is that this is a rare masterpiece.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic still relevant today, 15 July 2010
This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman's Library classics) (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation??, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (Paperback)
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? I see similarities here with the character Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment with questions surrounding megalomania and omnipotence in the psychological sense. The author seems to be scraping at the thin crust of civilisation to expose the more primitive and unsettling substance lying just below. For me this is a highlight and it serves to magnify the complexities of the human condition in enthralling fashion. Here and elsewhere in the book the treatment of personalities and the exploration of behavioural complexities are of great interest.

I am giving this book a `Three` rating. There is some inspirational material, but it is in my opinion too highly diluted with rather mundane melodrama. It may well be that it worked better as a serial - released at intervals in smaller fragments because as a book it seems to resemble a kind of patchwork of slightly ill-fitting pieces. I am also beginning to realise that translated work in general is always going to be second best to the original in its native language. I know that language in many ways reflects the personality of a people. You might almost say that to translate is to corrupt. Especially when handling a work such as the one in question. Then we are at the mercy of the translator. Personally I now feel less inclined to reach for translated creative writing. I want to read the words of the author. So in a way I am looking forward to now concentrating on English literature in the broad sense. And there is more than enough to choose from!

I was a little bemused to discover while looking through the blurb online, that it is the favourite novel of both Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush. And that they both cited the Grand Inquisitor as their main focus of interest. Hmm… interesting! `Since its publication, it has been acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in literature`. Source - Wikipedia. For me this sounds a little hollow, and I am more convinced than ever that we should take a free spirited approach when choosing what we read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the greatest books ever written, 27 Sep 2003
By A Customer
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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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, brooding and deep., 13 Feb 2001
This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous translation, at least, 2 Dec 2010
By 
J. L. Harper (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (Paperback)
A heavy, weighty masterpiece that is totally worth buying and reading. It is greatly helped by the translation which is excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An all time classic, 14 Dec 2013
By 
This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (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.

The characters of the brothers and the events of their lives made for the complex and fascinating story of exceptional proportions, where faith, meekness, atheism, indifference and slavery to negative instincts and impulses are often in conflict. Faith and atheism or disbelief in God is taken to epic proportions in Ivan's encounter with the devil.

Dostoevsky stated that, "when there is no God, all is permitted.". That assertion is reinforced in books like The Union Moujik, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment. The absence of God or lack of faith in man makes it possible for man to thrive in his worst animal instincts. Even when man starts with good intentions, the absence of faith usually derails him to the point where the good intentions are overshadowed by the negative effects of his actions. My conclusion is that this is a rare masterpiece.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent as a present, 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Brothers Karamazov (Paperback)
The recipient of a present was really pleased but I couldn't help to notice how thin the pages were and what a poor cover this book has. It's worth its value but probably not a good present.
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The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman's Library classics)
The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman's Library classics) by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Hardcover - 1 May 1997)
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