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An Accidental Review
on 10 March 2013
Dostoevsky's novel 'Podrostok' has been translated under several titles, including 'An Accidental Family'. It was highly accidental that I ended up with a copy of this excellent translation by Pevear/Volokhonsky because I had originally been put off reading the book by mixed, and some quite negative, reviews.
For what it is worth, my own opinion is that 'The Adolescent' is not in the same league as 'Crime and Punishment' or 'The Brothers Karamazov', though the writing is as stylish and well-crafted as anything I've read by Dostoevsky.
The plot is pretty wild (No bad thing necessarily!), even for Dostoevsky, and it moves along at a pace. He maintains a sense of mystery throughout, holding back a fair bit of information. For me, that made the book relatively difficult to read, but I expect some readers would enjoy that.
I would hesitate to recommend this book to many people. Ultimately, I'm not sure that it was entirely worth the effort, but I certainly think that it was meticulously written, and that parts of it will grab the attention of Dostoevsky fans.