Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The house of the dead

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 277 pages
  • Publisher: W. Heinemann (1948)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007JGL16
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At the beginning of 1850, Dostoyevsky began a four year penal servitude term in a remote Siberian prison for his part in a political conspiracy. He describes the conditions and his fellow convicts in meticulous detail under the guise of narrator , Alexandr Petrovich Goryanchikov . The detached and controlled tone in which he does this offers an insight into the core of the criminal mind slowly turning the crisis of his internment into a re-discovery of his own personality.
Not for the faint-hearted, these pages depict the struggle of one man to understand his fellow convicts, and impart an accurate image of the claustrophobic, relentlessly lonely
coffin which was a ten year stretch in a freezing, filthy hell.
Not quite as striking as Crime & Punishment or melodramatic as The Idiot, but infinitely rewarding, nonetheless.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
House of the Dead is an account of the ten years that the narrator, Alexandr Petrovitch, spent in a Siberian prison but is clearly inspired by the four years that Dostoyevsky himself passed in Katorga prison. An excellently balanced novel, it focuses on the things that were revelations to Alexandr, concentrating on his first year in incarceration rather than giving a blow by blow, chronological account. This works well because it means that the pace of the work is quite steady and we are constantly being introduced to new ideas and feelings.
The work centres on a number of key concepts:

1) The relationship between the convicts and the factions that they immediately divide themselves into.
2) The idea that those unaccustomed to hardship will, innately, find prison life more difficult and that it can be, therefore, a disproportionate punnishment.
3) The barbarising effect of power on some of those in authority.
4) The level of degredation imposed on the prisoners and whether it is just.

In all of Dostoyevsky's works, the details are brilliantly sketched but this is especially true of House of the Dead due to the author's first hand experience of the nightmare of life in Siberia. It is not my favourite of his books, due in the most part to the quality of others such as The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punnishment, but the writing simply cannot be criticised and leaves one attached to the characters involved.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
________________________________________
I picked up Dostoyevsky's The House of the Dead in a charity shop in Epsom, where I had half an hour to idle away before the next bus. I was so gripped by the opening that I continued reading the next 30 pages on and off for the rest of the day. After a week I've finished it, to the exclusion of other pressing engagements and books on the pile, some recently bought.

What it is about this author that has always stirred my spirit I can't exactly say. I've read The Idiot, Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov (twice) and all have haunted me. I've still got The Possessed, The Gambler and the short stories to read one cold gloomy winter when the heating fails and I'm in bed with a fatal illness.

He's not exactly a barrel of laughs, is he, Dostoyevsky! But what a writer to get under your skin and make you feel this is my story, everyman's story. Solitude, self-loathing and despair at the sheer cruelty of man's fate are his common themes. In The House of the Dead, the hero or victim is sent to Siberia to live in fearful conditions amongst men who are often cruel, loathsome, self-seeking, cunning, always filthy, and always dreaming of escape. We meet a cross-section of the criminal class, some of whom are utterly despicable, but yet understandable. Floggings - sometimes up to 5000 lashes happen continuously, but even worse, it seems, is the spite, bitterness and hatred between convicts.

The story is semi-autobiographical, for Dostoyevsky himself was sent to Omsk for 4 years of penal servitude.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The House of the Dead is not so much a novel, rather more a documentary account of the years Dostoyevsky spent in a prison camp as sentence for his involvement in a political conspiracy. The narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich, is little more than a front for the author; a few seeming inconsistencies in his story make the book seem even more like autobiography. But this is a direct and and interesting study of the brutal prison regime, of the narrator's slow recovery from despair at his predicament, and of the characters of his fellow convicts, some of whom he eventually concludes, "were quite remarkable". This is the first book by Dostoyevsky I've read and has left me looking forward to more.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 22 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Fydor Dostoyevsky when a 27 year old author working on Netochka Nezvanova was arrested for belonging to a young socialist group. He was tried and condemned to death, but at the last moment he was reprieved and his sentence was commuted to prison in Siberia. He spent five years in the penal settlement at Omsk before being transferred to the military. It was via this book, isolated amongst the convict community analysing minutely events and thoughts and meditation of past life that transformed the writer without question into the genius he is regarded as. He captures their corpse like pallor and enigmatic mannerisms, evoking the life that was and the punishment at hand for others eternity. The scolding clarity of the whip, the 1000 lashes so severe that a capacity to remain conscious is too much for many, perhaps luckily. Splinters of the rods broken into their backs by a licentious lieutenant. The lips tremble so greatly that many prisoners bite them till they bleed. The rods excite the nervous system beyond measure. All this Dostoyevsky endured in soul "for as I move among these recollections of a dreadful past the old suffering revives and all but strangles me". Among this palisade of forced association lies a sickening reality cured by an aspiring spirit that for a few ascended into darkness. Our narrator by virtue is not one of these and at last the shackles are released, free to join the living, to become an equal, a writer of extrodinary gifts, resurrected.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback