on 26 May 2009
There are seven stories in this collection and I'll venture to say the last three "Notes From The Underground", "A Gentle Creature" and "The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man" derserve 4 or 5 stars on their own. They encapsulate what is so gripping at times about Doestoyevsky, that is, his ability to delve into the human psyche and emerge with something wrenching and twisted leaving you gasping for light entertainment of any kind as relief. All the stories are delivered in an expansive monologue in the first person but the final three have a self-deprecating smugness of vile certitude that you're happy and sad at the same time when the narrator meets his nemesis.
The first 4 stories are dull. Sadly.
on 10 March 2016
I had thought that the big four novels contained everything. These short stories however - every one of them superbly translated by Magarshack - give us the very essence of Dostoevsky's world. Some harrowing, some gentle, moving, some deeply profound. Had he written nothing else but these tales he would still be a colossus in Russian Literature.