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Notes from Underground

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  79,114 ratings  ·  2,857 reviews
I am a sick man. ... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I ...more
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Published October 28th 2010 by New Century Books (first published 1864)
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Pope-punk it would seem to me a book about the psychology of being an asshole would be of great interest to you, my friend :)
DeanJean If you don't like being pointed out by Mr Dostoevsky as an asshole (and I can identify with some of the situations that he points out) - don't read…moreIf you don't like being pointed out by Mr Dostoevsky as an asshole (and I can identify with some of the situations that he points out) - don't read this book. You'll end up loathing him for 1) this reason, and 2) for the mind-twisting philosophies. It's like a metaphoric mirror being held up to the dark side of your character.(less)
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Community Reviews

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oh, dear. this is not a character that it is healthy to relate to, is it?? he is a scootch more pathetic than me, and more articulate, but his pettinesses are mine; his misanthropy is mine, his contradictions and weaknesses... i have to go hide now, i feel dirty and exposed...
Nate D
Apr 06, 2015 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who overthink, people who think.
Recommended to Nate D by: dfw
Shelves: read-in-2009, russia
1. Irritated by Underground Man.
2. Amused by Underground Man.
3. Sick of Underground Man.
4. Want to fly to St. Petersburg, travel back in time, and punch Underground Man right in the face.
5. Pity for Underground Man.
6. Horrified by Underground Man.
7. Further reading of Underground Man's monologue almost physically painful. I almost wanted to cover my eyes, but this would have posed problems for reading.
8. Glad to be free of the Underground Man, but glad to have known him, in the end.
I did two things after finishing with this book.
- 1)Strengthened my resolve to finish Crime and Punishment and read the rest of Dostoyevsky's works without any inner grumbling.
- 2)Looked up Albert Camus' background and profile on the internet.
Yes Dostoyevsky was one of Camus' influences. If you read Notes from Underground right after Camus' The Fall, it becomes all the more obvious.

Well anyway here's a word of advice.
Do not read this book on a cold, practical day. Do not read this on a day w
More than anything, this book should make you think. And not about trivial shit either, but about big, important conditions of life and how best to view and react to them. I have "should" italicized in that first sentence for a reason: If you don't give yourself time to think -- if just skim through the book quickly -- then you won't get anything out of it.

It's narrated by a guy living underground, in poverty. You are reading his notes. The first half, his ramblings, thoughts and philosophies of
Imagine 19th century Russian literature as a loud boisterous party. Here's Pushkin, basking in the center of attention, charming up all the ladies. Here are Chekhov and Gogol at the heart of a passionate intellectual argument. Here's Count Tolstoy, busily serving canapés while rejoicing in the pleasure of work, stopping only to chat about the pleasures of countryside with Turgenev.

But where's Dostoyevsky? Oh, there he is, sitting by himself in a dark corner, dead broke after a high-stakes cards
Nov 06, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers of truth rather than beauty
My edition of “Notes from Underground” includes a magisterial foreword by Richard Pevear that gives an extra dimension to the introspective musings of its sardonic anti-hero, bestowing them with the required intellectual authority to reproach the utopian socialism and the aesthetic utilitarianism prevalent in the Russia of the 1860s and offer responses to ideological, philosophical and moral paradoxes of a world in the threshold of progress and modernity.
The fact that Dostoevsky’s novella consti

Shall the world go to hell, or shall I not have my tea? I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

Thus Spoke Dostoevsky

There were many things for me to get excited about after finishing this novella (It’s a trap!) but the first and an essentially timeworn image which appeared in my mind was that of a small child, sitting in a corner after being rebuked by an elder for giving little or no thought about the world with its countless complexities and contradictions around her.
Stephen P
I am writing this review because I have just finished and writing is the only thing I can do at this moment. The book has shaken me where reading any other book in the future has come into question. Maybe I should have waited till the heat simmered and collected my thoughts but this too would counter what I have just read, experienced and been shaken by. Let's start with the simple and easy and get it out of the way. The book is told in first person by a narrator who was not raised by parents or ...more
David Lentz
Dostoyesky's anti-hero is the the first of a long line of existential anti-heroes who followed later in the 20th century. Clearly, here is an utterly loathsome man who is alienated from his brethren by virtue of his own worldview and is victimized by it. In his sublime genius Dostoyevsky sufficiently respects his readers to challenge them to find something, however dreadful it may be, to connect intellectually with a protagonist who is virtually impossible to admire. While so many novelists of h ...more
Paul Bryant
Literary Characters React to Notes from the Underground


This Accounts for a Good Deal. It Explains Everything. In Life, you see, we can't all, and some of us don't. Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush. This book is telling everybody “We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts in May' with the end part of an ants' nest. It's all the same to me." Amusing in a quiet way, but not really helpful.


Help, help! A hexistentialist! A horrible
Riku Sayuj
Short, brisk, Scathing and dark as dark can be. I hope you experience some of the uplifting depression this book gave me... It does pull you out in the end but around the middle of the book, it buries you deeper than you ever thought possible.
MJ Nicholls

“ . . . we’ve all grown unaccustomed to life, we’re all lame, each of us more or less. We’ve even grown so unaccustomed that at times we feel a sort of loathing for real “living life,” and therefore cannot bear to be reminded of it. For we’ve reached a point where we regard real “living life” almost as labor, almost as service, and we all agree in ourselves that it’s better from a book. And why do we sometimes fuss about, why these caprices, these demands of ours? We ourselves don’t know why
النسخة التي عندي مترجمة تحت عنوان "في سردابي" لعبد المعين الملوحي..._و هي معنونة في قبوي ترجمة سامي الدوربي و دار ابن رشد، أو الانسان الصرصار(أو رسائل من أعماق الأرض) في ترجمة ثالثة لا أدري لمن_ نسختي كانت _قبل أن أبيعها_ نسخة قديمة مصفرة الأوراق مطبوعة عام 1956... و قد اشتريتها من على بسطة الكتب القديمة...0

رواية عن رجل يتحدث عن نفسه بصيغة المتكلم قد قرف المجتمع و زيفه...0

هل أستطيع أن أدلي باعتراف صغير هنا... لطالما أحببت دوستويفسكي... لكن في روايته هنا أحسست به يعرفني منذ أمد بعيد

لا أحد يشك بأ
I scribbled on my notepad, random words, stared at them, struck them and occasionally, tore the page to reveal a new one. The overcast sky was teetering at the rain’s behest and the drowning sun was not of much assistance either. I was wriggling my fingers between the spaces of the black wrought iron bench on which I had been sitting for over three hours now. My patience was about to surrender and I was in no mood to cajole it any further. I snapped shut my notepad, freed my fingers and was abou ...more
Ian Agadada-Davida
I Am the Lowest and the Worst

I am 40
I am naughty
I am sick
I am angry
I am ugly
I am superstitious
I am undesirable
I am different
I am indifferent
I am petty
I am nothing
I am unstable
I am rude
I am impudent
I am timid
I am frightened
I am vengeful
I am lazy
I am dirty
I am secret
I am wretched
I am self-loathing
I am humiliating
I am humiliated
I am nasty
I am irritable
I am irritating
I am snarling
I am spiteful
I am unseemly
I am disgusting
I am disgusted
I am repulsive
I am ignoble
I am immoral
I am evil
I am guilty
I am sha
Never be fooled by book size when it comes to Dostoevsky! This novella was just under 100 pages long so I figured it would take me just a couple of hours to read. I was obviously wrong but I enjoyed the read. The prose is extremely dense so I had to read it slower than I read other books. The protagonist was fascinating (peculiar, even) and I enjoyed reading his introspective thoughts about different issues. I will definitely be re-reading this one.
Jason Koivu
Madness...This is madness, I tell you!

Or worse, it's philosophy, some sound, some twisted in counterintuitive logic.

In the first part of Notes for Underground the narration reads like the journal of a rambling genius or psychopath. It's difficult to decide. This section had my mind wandering in a whirl of amazement, boredom and confusion. If the entire book went on this way, as slim as it is, I doubt I would've finished it, or if I had, you'd not see a four star rating up there.

The second part
Ian Agadada-Davida
Original Review

Notes from Underground is a small but influential work.

In particular, it is the inspiration for the Howard Devoto (of Magazine fame) song "A Song from under the Floorboards" from "The Correct Use of Soap" (later covered by the solo artist Steven Patrick Morrissey).

The song begins, "I am angry, I am ill and I'm as ugly as sin", which is partly based on the first paragraph of the novel.

The name of the novel takes a bit of a liberty with the original Russian title.

In the English, it
ایدههایی ناآزموده در باب کتابی که هرگز نمیتوانم تمامش کنم

فقط تا صفحهی 120 تونستم پیش برم. شاید اگه سه چهار سال پیش بود با سماجت پیش میرفتم. اما این روزها زمانم کمتر از چیزی هست که بخوام سر سماجت تلفش کنم

تقسیمبندی رمان بسیار خیرهکنندهست. عنوان بخش اول -تاریکی- طعنهای هست به دنیای امیدوار عصر روشنگری و عنوان فصل دوم -روی برف نمناک- گریزی زده به پروژهی مخالفخوان اون روزهای عصر روشنگری؛ یعنی رمانتیسم. شخصیت اصلی رمان تکافتادهی منفعلی هست که از فضای فکری پیرامون خودش احساس تشنج میکنه. هیچ اندیشهای
Barry Pierce
Notes from Underground

This was the more enjoyable work in this collection. I enjoyed the narrator's pithy voice while he went over the events which lead to his "living underground". It also contains Dostoyevsky's infamously morbid black humour which has you smiling at the most desolate of images. I strangely found myself relating with the narrator which probably says a lot about my outlook on life.

The Double

Good god this story is 150-pages long and it took me two months to get through. Se
Emilian Kasemi
Dostoyevsky was the first to analyze the human soul. He realized the importance of an aspect of the personality that a few years later Sigmund Freud revealed it was the case of an element so darkly,yes, but knowable, that is the unconscious.
The underground as the title suggests doesn't describe a social condition (even if miserable), but instead represents the soul of the narrator. His unconscious, his weaknesses, his frustrations, his neuroses.
Dostoevsky, a master on investigating the darkest
Oct 01, 2014 Arnie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone paying attention
When I read it at the height of my existential angst college days, I felt I had never identified with a character so strongly. I don't underline books, this might be the only one, I underlined about 90% of it.
"Because I only like playing with words, only dreaming, but, do you know, what I really want is that you should all go to hell. That is what I want. I want peace; yes, I'd sell the whole world for a farthing, straight off, so long as I was left in peace."

I ponder his words as I sit in his disturbed and confused underground mind, this mind supposedly brilliant, yet also a heap of self-destruction; these words which offer some profundity, some lackluster chit-chatter. It makes me consider how we
Glenn Russell
Dostoevsky leads us into the deepest recesses of human consciousness, a mire of stinky sewers, feted pits and foul-smelling rat holes -- . novel as existential torment and alienation. Do you envision a utopia founded on the principals of love and universal brotherhood? If so, beware the underground man. And what is it about the underground? Well, ladies and gentlemen, here are several quotes from the text with my comments:

"I would now like to tell you, gentlemen, whether you do or do not wish to
Sara Alaee
Obsessive, sick, horrific, painful… Did I like it?!...Should I like it?!...
Dostoyevsky depicts one of the most disturbing and unsettling images of a human being in this book. I don’t get it!… Not that I don’t get what he says. I do!… It’s just that I don’t want to see the world through a lens of despair that presents a disillusioned version of reality. “If the heightened consciousness showers one with agony and self-loathing, frustration and humiliation, then what is ignorance!?” I clearly don’t
Ahmed Oraby
حسنًا حسنًا، دويستويفسكي العظيم من جديد
هذا الرجل المحير للغاية مرة أخرى، يجذبك بأسلوبه وبكلماته العميقة البسيطة، في آن واحد، لتكمل قراءة الرواية لآخرها.
رواية أخرى لا يسعنى بعد الفراغ منها إلا أن أقف مشدوهًا أمام قدرة هذا العبقري
ها هنا، يتجلى دوساويفسكي في أبهى صوره؛ في صورة الفيلسوف، بالطبع.
صدقًا، هذا الرجل ملئ بالمفاجآت، فلرواياته طعم خاص ولون مغاير للغاية، عن أي ما ستقرأ مستقبلًا
ولرواياته ألوان عديدة ومختلفة، فقلما تجده يكرر نفسه وأسلوبه.
عند أول عهدي به، مع روايته الجريمة والعقاب، ما وسعني إلا
I am a man. I am forty. I am sick. My soul is sick. My thought is sick. My conscience is sick. My desires are suppressed. I am undesirable. I am unchangeable. I am unrecognizable. I am nothing. I am a typical man. I fell in love twice. I fell in love because of ennuie. I am not social. I inhabit my literary world. I hate my stupid friends. I suffer.

And, indeed, I will ask on my own account here, an idle question: which is better—cheap happiness or exalted sufferings? Well, which is better?

Seth Peterson
Possibly my favorite book ever. Bitter, depressing, cynically hopefull and hopelessly ignorant, the Underground Man is every part of myself that I wish wasn't there. The first part is a dizzying philosophical meandering; the second a train wreck of a life captured in one devastating story. A must-read.

اعطي هذا الكتاب 5 نجمات لما قدمه ديستويفيسكي من تصوير رائع لحياة هذا الإنسان المسكين المغلوب علي أمره في هذا العصر
فهذا الإنسان كما قال ديستويفيسكي موجود في كل مكان
حولنا دائماً نراه كثيراً كضحية لعصر أصبح الإنسان فيه مثل الألة التي لا شعور فيها ولا إحساس
هذا الإنسان المسكين الذي يرسل لنا مذكراته من تحت الأرض
مثله كمثل الحشرات تحيا تحت اقدامنا تهرب من مكان لمكان بلا انتماء ولا أمان ولا هدف
فقط حياتها في الهروب
حتي الهروب من الأفكار والأحلام وحتي محاولة الهروب من تحقيق الأحلام أو تحقيق
أي سعادة في
Feb 28, 2008 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: civilization's discontents
Shelves: favorites
Dostoevsky's Underground Man promises to be the life of any party.

Over the course of this thin little book, the unnamed protagonist swirls through self-conscious agonies and flights of egotism, never afraid to contradict himself or lay bare his own self-loathing. One part book-bound Don Quixote, and one part George Costanza, this insecure little bureaucrat rages against his lot as one of the rabblement, but is completely impotent to meaningfully exercise his will. Through the intellectual labyri
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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoyevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky...

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“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.” 1931 likes
“Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human” 1848 likes
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