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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobic insight into a complex mind, 16 May 2010
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I'll start this review with a disclaimer: if you're looking for something that's easy to read, this book isn't it. It's a stifling, sometimes claustrophobic, insight into a complex mind.

The story itself is quite simple. A self-obsessed young student named Raskolnikoff makes a theory about how some men are above the law due to their contribution of new ideas that will benefit the world at large, which makes them exempt from punishment from deeds that are usually considered evil. The book is more of a psychological study of the motivations and stream of thoughts behind the characters' acts.

The characters were what made this book enjoyable for me. Dostoyevsky manages to make us feel like we're inside their heads, walking in their shoes, feeling their anguish. It was just really fascinating to get such an in-depth understanding of such a complex situation. I am by no means an expert on criminal psychology, but I am aware of the fact that we are usually given (and usually look for) rather simple explanations for criminal acts - passion, poverty, madness, etc. This book demystifies that idea completely.

Overall, I found it quite enjoyable and interesting, and happily recommend it.
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