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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic story
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...
Published on 1 Aug 2005 by Sergey Vasilev

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5 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Silly ...
and sentimental mush. I admit that some parts of this work are excellent, but overall it is weak.
It is interesting that Dostoevsky is so highly revered in America and the West as a great writer, but his status in Russia is (and has been)that of a "mystic." Russians regard the works of Tolstoy, and even Turgenyev, Chechov, and Gogol superior to those...
Published on 24 July 1999


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic story, 1 Aug 2005
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brothers K is the best novel I've ever read, 6 Dec 1998
By A Customer
I started reading this book and slowly, through the course of a year, drank every word and let it sit on my soul. I have yet to see any other piece of writing come as close to perfection. It delves into the human soul so much more deeply than "just philosophy" and it is certainly the best developed novel imaginable. Every character has his or her place and the action is believable because we know just how murky our own minds are! Nothing can compare to the intensity of this novel and the way it works with the mind. And it is all drawn together with characters, each one is a foil to the others. You cannot read it without being affected because we all recognize that the brothers lurk within.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Novel for Life, 30 July 1998
By A Customer
Built around the idea of parricide - Dmitri would think and do it; Ivan would think but perhaps is incapable of doing it; Alexei would neither think nor do it - this classic tale is a veritable encyclopeadia of human emotions. The author himself declares Alexei to be the hero of the novel, but I rather think it is Ivan. One suspects he is most like Dostoevsky himself, embodying the author's profound ambiguity about the existance of god, about the nature of good and evil. With Dmitri-the-parricide at one end, and Alexei-the- saint at the other, Ivan is perfectly positioned to explore man's psychological and spiritual dimensions. To call it the greatest novel ever written seems petty academic quibbling. Suffice it to say it is a novel for life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As engaging and engrossing as possible, 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This book, perhaps the greatest novel all time, and certainly the greatest I have ever read, encapsulates such an immense base of emotion and appeal. The ways in which Dostoevsky incorporates true aspects of the human existence and experience, and the questions raised from it, all combine to make this book a "cannot not" read. It is deep on so many levels, you won't be able to put it down! Especially great for the aspiring existentialist. Enjoy, and peace be with you! Remember, the world is all about LOVE, and your definition of this word will certainly be changed after reading this masterpiece.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One day I will understand it all - a book for thinkers, 30 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I read this book in a bit of a hurry about three years ago, and regret doing it that way. This is because it did not end up being the profound read that many of my friends said it was. In fact, I would go so far as to venture that Dostoevsky is not completely, or at least easily, accessible to people without a background in literature. It's not an impossible task though, and during the past three years I have found myself appreciating this masterwork more and more.
In fact, some parts of the book are breathtaking. Some basic, blunt, questions about life are asked and then answered. You may or may not like Dostoevsky's worldview, but you have to admit that he does make you think. For example, how many Christians have ever asked: "What if I die, and find out, after a lifetime of believing, that there's nothing, nothing, after death?" This question is asked and answered in the book, as are so many others that so many of us are afraid to ask.
Even if you don't have the patience to slog through the 700+ pages of the novel, at least borrow a copy from someone and read the chapter entitled 'The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor.' You cannot call yourself truly read until you have gone through these 20 or so pages that are possibly the greatest ever written in literature.
A last word of warning. If you do get the Bantam Classic version of this novel (i.e. the one with the purple cover), do NOT read the critique beforehand! Like many critiques, the writer feels obligated to give away the plot ahead of time. In this case, it is the name of the character who commits the murder. Since the book is really more about philosophy than plot, this ruined what little plot there was for me. The critique is a good one though, and should be read after the novel itself.
All said, I still highly recommend this book to anyone searching for either a good read or the meaning of life. Just make sure you are in a quiet place where you can really think!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novel's i've read so far, 23 April 1999
By A Customer
The first thing one experiences when taking a look at the book is that it is long. The second thing, when starting reading it, is that it is good. The third thing, when you've finished reading, is that it is much too short. This book is the summary and the synthesis of all his ideas and beliefs as a writer. In Aljoscha, we find the naive, but loving character of Myschkin from "The Idiot. Iwan Fjodorowitsch is in some ways (especially his "euclidian" way of thinking)Radion Raskolnikoff. If you'd like to understand Dostojewski as a writer, read this book and you know what he represents. BUT, and this is very important, it is NOT a book written to convert atheists into christians. This is a naive way of thinking. NO author wants his readers to follow in his footsteps. This to some of the recent reviews: Find your own beliefs and don't let any book change your way of living by converting into a religios person!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love those Russians!, 20 Sep 1998
By A Customer
My second favorite novel, right behind Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. Powerful, moving, intellectual provocative and timeless all describe The Brothers Karamazov. Doestoyevsky's best book in my opinion, although they are all worthy. Forget Tolstoy, he's a bore compared to Fyodor Doestoyevsky. Other russians to read Gogol and Turgenev-both are excellent.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most dynamic book I'd ever read, 12 Jun 1997
By A Customer
Even if you've never met a person even remotely like a Dostoyevsky character,you always swear that you know some of these people as you read them,or maybe it's because you're so familiar with them in your own consciousness.The vulgar gallantry of Dmitri,Ivan who lives on the respect of his intellect and on saving face,the precocious precociousness of thirteen-year-old Kolya,and the purity and simple wisom of the beautiful,beautiful Alyosha who is probably the most enchanting creation in literature,along with many,many other fascinating characters.The collision of all these personalities is both intense and enthralling,and in many ways this book seems to answer all of life's questions.I fully agree with Vonnegut who once wrote "Everything I needed to know in life I learned from The Brothers Karamazov"
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the translation..., 30 July 1999
By A Customer
Standard comments on The Brothers Karamazov usualy range from "the only novel you'll ever have to read" to "everything--*everything*--is in this book."
I agree, and I'm not going to pretend I can say it any better. But don't go for the cheapie $5 mass market paperback, people. I bought it the first time I read this novel (I now own four different copies/translations), and the spine broke immediately after I opened it, the ink on the page runs if you place your finger on it, and the paper is cheap as all heck. There's a reason for it... this is a long, long book, and they had to keep the printing costs low. The extra money for a better verison is worth it just for the better printing and binding.
The translation for the Bantam Classics version, however, is not great. It's definitely readable, but not all that near the original. Or so I've been told by several Russian-speaking folks (several of whom are professors who've dedicated their lives to Dostovesky). It's a toss-up between the standard Constance Garnett translation (most editions have this one) and the new Pervears/Volkonsky translation under Vintage Classics.
Personally, I enjoyed the Vintage version the best: the binding and printing is excellent, and the translation is lively, readable, and about as close to the original as you can get in English. Garnett is a little archaic these days. Either way, however, don't go with Bantam Classics--if The Brothers Karamazov isn't worth a few extra bucks in this world, I don't know what is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's THE book, 17 Jan 1999
By A Customer
[insert rants and raves in favor of Dostoevsky that have been covered already in previous reviews]... Now, for my real grievance: I am going to cry if anyone again dares mention Ayn Rand in the company of greats like Dostoevsky again. For some reason, two reviews already have compared Atlas Shrugged with The Brothers Karamozov and it truly frightens me. One is a book of indelible beauty, one is best used for dog training read them both [if you have time to waste on rand] and see which is which
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Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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