Devils (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 7 Oct 1999
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"We are indebted to Michael R. Katz for an accurate and imaginative new rendition of the greatest political novel ever written."--Maurice Friedberg, University of Illinois"I am delighted to have this new translation available for students -- a highly readable translation and an affordable edition. This is long overdue!"--Byron Lindsey, University of New Mexico
About the Author
Michael Katz is Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and East European Studies at Middlebury College.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is much to commend in this novel, including Dostoevsky's usual superb mastery of characterization. In this instance too, this Russian master makes each character come alive on the page.
One of Dostoevsky's unique qualities is his ability to create diverse, volatile, personalities who are fated to meet at the most inopportune times and in the most combustible circumstances. He builds suspense by characterization, rather than plot, then throws his combatants together in the most marvellous group scenes in literature. In The Brother's Karamazov, such a scene occurs at Zosima's Monastery, in Crime and Punishment, at the wake, in The Idiot, at Natalia's birthday party, and in The Possessed, this attribute is displayed better than ever, but particularly in the scene where Nicholas Stavrogin and Pyotr Verkhovensky make their first appearances (yes, it is almost half-way through the novel that the main characers are introduced!). Dostoevsky constructs tension as well as any novelist who ever lived.
What is often overlooked in Dostoevsky discussions, however, is the fact that he is a great comic writer, in the tradition of Gogol. If one goes by Auerbach's definition of comedy, for instance, (that a happy ending determines whether a work is tragic or comic) then Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamozov would indeed fall under this rubric.Read more ›
'The Devils' is Dostoevsky's reactionary novel. He had little truck with the radical intellectuals springing up around Russia, and his contempt for them and their ideals is portrayed in this book. The title comes from a biblical story in which a devil is cast out from a possessed man and enters a herd of swine, who are then driven to destruction. Verkhovensky is the possessed, and his band of revolutionaries are the swine. Like all of his long novels, 'The Devils' is peopled by a wonderful, believable cast of characters and dramatic set-piece scenes. There is sense of breathlessness throughout the book and, despite being long, I read it very quickly, unable to put it down for long stretches. There is also heart-rending sadness and a typical, shocking conclusion, all of which gave 'The Devils' the feel of a thriller, albeit one built on a weighty premise and dealing with serious issues. This is the seventh Dostoevsky I have read, and it is as good as any of the others, which is about as strong a recommendation as I can give.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Difficult novel but worth persevering with. The Oxford edition has a good introduction and helpful notes. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peter Henry
KUDOS TO OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS FOR BRINGING OUT SCHOLARLY TRANSLATION OF FYODOR'S NOVELS; THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF FYODORS'S NOVELS BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS ARE REALLY... Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2009 by C. L. Muralidharan