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The Idiot

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  67,759 ratings  ·  2,417 reviews
Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic tale of Prince Myshkin, introduced by Anne Hruska with a translation provided by Constance Garnett.
Paperback, 696 pages
Published 2005 by Bantam Classics (first published 1869)
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Katerina Id say it depends why you didnt like it.
In this book the "hardness" is sometimes "covered" with a bit of humour. I mean I am Russian and there were…more
Id say it depends why you didnt like it.
In this book the "hardness" is sometimes "covered" with a bit of humour. I mean I am Russian and there were things which made me laugh ... But its like "tears through laughing" ....
If you like reading plays it is a good book too.

I suggest you read some 50 pages and you will know. (less)
Nishal . @Pat Turman- I find it quite interesting what you get from the book. I'm only a third through it myself, so cannot say much. Anyhow, I do think that…more@Pat Turman- I find it quite interesting what you get from the book. I'm only a third through it myself, so cannot say much. Anyhow, I do think that it's one of the few books from Dostoyevsky which can be read by totally making an abstraction of the russian societal context of the time. It is so relevant to any modern capitalist society. Human nature is exposed at its best and worst side by side. Evolution from the child to the adult happens at great cost. I do wonder about the implication though. Anyhow waiting to read the next two thirds!!! (less)

Community Reviews

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I’ve been trying to review this book for over a week now, but I can’t. I’m struggling with something: How do I review a Russian literature classic? Better yet, how do I review a Russian literature classic without sounding like a total dumbass? (Hint: It’s probably not going to happen.)

First I suppose a short plot synopsis should be in order:

The Idiot portrays young, childlike Prince Myshkin, who returns to his native Russia to seek out distant relatives after he has spent several years in a Swi
Petra X
There are many reviews of this book making out that Prince Myshkin was Christ-like, a truly good man who lived for the moment. A holy idiot, or more accurately, wholly idiot indeed is what he really was. Why did they think Dostoyevsky entitled the book, The Idiot if he meant 'The Man who was Innocent and Really Good" or "The Man who was like Jesus"? The title wasn't any kind of irony, it was about an idiot.

Prince Myshkin had spent years in a sanitarium for his epilepsy and returns to Russia wher
The Idiot is a remarkable literary feat; a true accomplishment. It not only shows and represents true human complexity, but it births it, both in the inner workings of its passionate characters, and in the overall story. It's replete with patient, mind testing issues that spring the reader’s level of understanding back-and-fourth; yet its emotional intensity is felt throughout. It speaks truth of our striving human conditions; our emotions which only know the truth of their existence in the mome ...more
Sep 08, 2008 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like long dialogue and larger-than-life characters
Are there countries in the world which are more likely to produce depressing literature than others? If so, Russia must be pretty much top of the list. I have yet to read a Russian novel which ends well for all the protagonists. I can only think of a few in which things end well for even a few of the protagonists. And Dostoyevsky of course loves his tragedies. The Idiot is one of them. While it's not as tragic as, say, Crime and Punishment, nearly all of its protagonists come to a sticky end, an ...more
Do you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions?

1. You ever sleep in another person’s house for the first time, not wanting to turn on a light to see your way to the toilet, and run into a wall?
2. You ever been in a public building at night and the power fails, and you run into a wall?
3. You ever been camping with an overcast night and straggle into the woods to take a pee, and run into a wall of shrubbery?
4. You ever been in a leadership reaction course, blindfolded, and run into a wall?
Henry Avila
Prince Myshkin, 26, arrives in St. Petersburg, Russia, by train, "The Beautiful Man", has too much compassion, for this cynical age. He believes every person, trusts all, feels the pain, of the suffering unfortunates, thus has no common sense. Simple? Gullible? An Idiot? Or a Saint? That question only you can decide. Set in the 1860's, the sick prince (he's an epileptic, like the author of this novel), alone, frightened, no relatives, or friends, or money, in the world, but with a desire, to see ...more
Here's Dostoyevski's mode of proceeding, and it's maddening. One, here's what I'm about to tell you; two, now here I am actually telling it to you; and three, now let's review what I've just told you. Every point is handled thus. The tedium! Nevertheless, it's D so I forced myself to read most of it. In the end the book fell heavily from my hands and I woke.
PGR Nair

I am selective in reading novels, particularly long ones, and I dither to dip my head into middling ones even if they offer some interesting perspectives on life, history or storytelling. I was wary when started reading The Idiot , since the drama spans over 660 pages. Having read the work, my feeling is –Give me another 600 pages of this signature! The Idiot has made deep imprint in my psyche and I am sure it is going to stay with me fore
May 16, 2007 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: idiots - know your role, i do
I love this book because it made me think. Hard.

According to my understanding of "The Idiot," Dostoevsky's definition of an idiot is someone who actually believes that everyone is trying to do their best and do no harm. This is in utter ignorance, usually, of everyone's tendencies to do harm to others, regardless of intent. Hooray for idiots!

Ippolit Terentyev, one of the minor characters, is a socialist, and a suicide. He has one of the great lines in literature, I think, and I will share it now
رضا امیرخانی، جایی گفته بود که "اگه قرار بود نویسنده ها پیامبری داشته باشن، پیامبرشون تولستوی خواهد بود." حرف درستیه، ولی این پیامبر از داستایوسکی وحی دریافت میکنه!

از بین رمان های داستایوسکی، بیشتر از همه عاشق "جنایت و مکافات" و بعد "ابله" هستم. در درجات بعد، قمار باز و برادران کارامازوف و همزاد و...
یادم نمیره. تابستون، ماه رمضون، بعد از سحر تا نزدیکای ظهر بیدار میموندم و یه کله "ابله" میخوندم. واقعاً میخکوبم میکرد. همزمان مادرم هم میخوند و با هم راجع بهش صحبت میکردیم. تجربه ی مشترک خوبی بود.

هذا الأبله ليسَ أبلهاً ..

أن تقرأ الأبله يعني أن تعيش حياته بتفاصيلها الدقيقة.. أن تتفرغ تماماً.
فكاتب عملاق كديستوفيسكي لا يمكن تجاهله بقراءة روايته بسرعة، بل تأني حتى تسبر أغوار الأحداث.
برأي الشخصي: الرواية دسمة وتحمل معاني كثيرة، فمن مرض بطل القصة النفسي إلى قدرته الخارقة على تحليل الأمور وحل المعضلات وإقتراح الحلول.. تجد مهارة الكاتب في حبك الرواية جيداً وبآلية تجعلك تشعر وكأنك تشاهداً فيلماً إستثنائياً = )

متأكدة بأنني سأعود لإكمال قراءة الرواية لاحقاً..

أنصح طلاب علم النفس ومحبي التفكير العم
I read The Idiot while I was in the hospital – in isolation, to be precise. What I remember is that the “idiot”, Prince Myshkin, lived in the moment; and that I became so absorbed in his ability to see good in others – no matter what they did – that I forgot where I was for long periods of time. I remember being very surprised – and thankful – for that. (Hence the 4 stars; not sure what I would give it if I were to read it again!)
Dostoevsky wrote in a letter to Apollon Maykov (poet and friend) that his idea with The Idiot was to create a "positively beautiful man." In another letter to his niece -- Sofya Ivanova -- he further writes:

"The main idea of the novel is to portray a positively beautiful man. There is nothing more difficult in the world and especially now. All writers, not only ours, but even all European writes, who have merely attempted to portray the positively beautiful, have always given up. Because the tas
At once 'The Idiot' is a complicated, beautiful and yet ultimately a somewhat flawed novel. Written shortly after 'Crime and Punishment', it seems like Dostoevsky wanted to invert Raskolnikov. Instead of a mad killer, Prince Myshkin the 'Idiot' is an innocent saint, a positive, a beautiful soul and holy fool motivated by helping those around him. He is a Christ in an un-Christian world, a tortured Don Quixote.

Dostoevsky is able to use Prince Myshkin's spiritual intelligence and Rogozhin's passio
Dove finisce Nikolaj Stavroghin e dove inizia invece il principe Myškin? A chi si trovi ad approdare alla lettura de L’idiota dopo quella de I demoni o viceversa salterà subito agli occhi quanto, seppur diversissimi tra loro (per l’appunto: opposti), i due protagonisti abbiano, nell’economia dei rispettivi romanzi, ruoli identici.

Come Stavroghin, il principe Myškin è un esule nella propria patria e completamente alieno a tutte le questioni del “bel mondo.” Nella sua aura finiscono a gravitare pe
Another fantastic work by Dostoevsky that takes people from seemingly ordinary circumstances and weaves around them the most intricate webs of moral and ethical dilemma. In The Idiot, the protagonist (Prince Lyov Nikolayevitch Mishkin) is portrayed as a truly good person. The theme of the novel is to examine the question of whether or not a deeply kind individual can actually survive in a world of vice. Myshkin is at all times open hearted about his feelings and honest with all about his convict ...more
I love how Dostoevsky's plots are driven not by external circumstances but by the internal workings of his characters' minds, and the choices they make.
There were a few times when I actually slammed my book angrily against a table or wall and yelling "you stupid a** what did you do that for???" paperback is now a little worse for wear.

People in this book make stupid choices, and their misery is primarily a result of these stupid choices. "The Idiot" refers not to The Prince's intellectual
Роман «Идиот» превзошёл мои ожидания, хотя я и ожидал от автора высочайшего литературного мастерства.

И дело не в самом сюжете романа, а как всегда в безупречных сценах, их тончайшей описью, психологических аспектах персонажей и множества важных мелочей. Здесь и взгляды автора на важнейшие человеческие ценности, взгляды на жизнь, отношение к людям, об уважении и сострадании, о любови, о разрушительной ревности, грязные интриги, глупые авантюры и невыносимая агония главных героев романа.

Но кроме в
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I can count the number of "classics" I've enjoyed reading over the years on the fingers of one hand. I often struggle with the archaic writing style of such books, and the outdated beliefs of the authors who wrote them. I'm happy to say that The Idiot counts among the very few that I have enjoyed. Fyodor Dostoevsky's philosophical ponderings are as relevant today as they were 150 years ago. As were his cynical observations regarding human nature and behavior. I'm not sure if credit should go to ...more
Below you will find some thoughts on how I felt while reading this book, which I really truly loved. Here are my thoughts on concluding the book.

I simply love how Dostoyevsky writes. I love his intelligent, humble, self-deprecatory humor.

I love his characters. They are messed up, emotionally instable people that are as three-dimensional as any real human being. We human beings spend our lives trying so hard to understand each other, to do the right thing (hopefully) and yet are continually str
E' con un incredibile sollievo che ho finito questo romanzo. La sensazione fisica che mi ha accompagnato nella lettura si era fatta troppo insistente e da fastidiosa era divenuta addirittura dolorosa. Thomas Mann disse che "L'idiota" è "il romanzo dell'anima". Mai definizione fu più azzeccata, visto che Dosty ha avuto la capacità di infilare una mano nella mia schiena a livello dei lombi ed afferrare la mia spina dorsale, scuotendola fin nel midollo. Non so se il midollo è l’area in cui risiede ...more
I’m a very cynical man. I wish I wasn’t, to be honest. I wish I could accept things, accept people, on face value. My life would likely be happier that way. As it is, however, I see duplicity and selfishness [not to mention stupidity] in everything. Take the recent attacks in Paris. Terrorism is disgusting, of course, and I would never seek to justify such actions, but also disgusting, to me, was the reaction from the general public and their democratically elected leaders. I just wish we could ...more
Ruba AlTurki
الأبله ،رواية من الأدب الروسي لفيودور دوستويفسكي .
تدعوك الرواية للتفكّر بعمق ، الواقع والمنطق والأخلاق ،سيطرة المجتمع على الفرد والقيود الإجتماعيةالتي جعلت من الصعب على الإنسان التعرّف على المشاعر الحقيقية لمن هم حوله .
أنا وغيري الكثير -على ما أعتقد- يمثلنا "الأبله" حين نفقد السيطرة على الـ"قناع" أو على المظاهر الخارجية .
الترجمة كانت مقبولة نوعاً ما ،تمنيت لو قرأتها بترجمة أخرى أو حتى بالإنجليزية
وأعتقد أن الروايات الروسية عموماً تفقد الكثير بعد الترجمة لأي لغة .

لئو میشکین آدمی نیست که هر جایی پیدا بشه ولی همه مون فکر می کنیم خیلی شبیهشیم

That tragic solemnity hidden behind the strident, aggressive, crazy scenes in The Idiot has always made me think of Ancient Greek mysteries - the Eleusinian mainly, but also the Dionysian ones. Firstly because of the exemplarity of the main character, secondly because of the artificiality of the world that surrounds him: a frenetic, delirious, demented world that indulges in the voluptuousness of the ridicule, of the villainy, on the principle that if you acknowledge your flaws and weaknesses ev
I was right, this is my favourite Dostoevsky yet, and there isn't that much more for me to read! Dostoevsky fascinates me with his ability to portray characters of a wide spectrum not only believably but also so that each character represents various relevant factors in society. Myskin's innocence, naivety, and compassion that resulted in his alienation from others in the upper class of society leabes a profound impact on the reader. As always with Dostoevsky's longer works, there is treachery, ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
The tragedy of being too good

An ideal idiot

Most of my favorite characters are either pure evil or complex anti-hero type; the stereotype hero seems quite boring; however Prince Muishkin, the idiot in the novel, is now going to be an exception.

He has suffered from idiocy all his childhood and early youth. Perhaps it was due to this idiocy that he has not adopted the common sense – the ‘normal’ way of looking at the world which is formed by slow corruption of our sense of compassion.

P. is full
Após Crime e Castigo, pensei nunca mais ter coragem para voltar ler algum livro de Dostoiévski. Enganei-me. Reconciliei-me com o autor ao ler O Idiota, uma das suas mais distintas obras.

Por onde começar? Pelo protagonista, o idiota que lhe dá o título. Lev Nikoláevitch Míchkin. Este príncipe é sem dúvida uma das sublimes criações literárias. Uma personagem tão marcante, complexa e única que só poderia partir do génio de Dostoiévski, que tem em seu poder uma vasta compreensão da condição humana.
Mad Dog
You could play a drinking game where you take a drink every time someone (during a conversation in this story) "blushes", "trembles", "quivers", "becomes pale", etc. But you would get drunk pretty fast. This is a book full of drama kings and queens. Everybody is so concerned with what 'so and so did' and who 'so and so talked to'. These characters need to center themselves, maybe they all need to attend yoga classes.

I have always stated this as my favorite book (and Dostoevsky as my fave author
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Is there any point in reading further? 31 418 Jan 13, 2015 02:49PM  
What do you think about "the idiot"? 24 333 Oct 12, 2014 03:11AM  
How The Idiot by Dostoyevsky messed up diplomatic releations between USA and Russia 3 142 Oct 12, 2014 02:53AM  
Do you think Prince Myshkin ever felt 'romantic' love? 33 377 Aug 11, 2014 04:31PM  
The Idiot: Part Four: Chapters 7-12 7 14 Jun 21, 2014 12:44PM  
The Idiot: Part Two: Chapters 7-12 3 7 Jun 12, 2014 04:38AM  
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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.

Dostoevsky 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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“Beauty will save the world” 493 likes
“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.” 442 likes
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