The Gambler/Bobok/A Nasty Story
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The Gambler/Bobok/A Nasty Story

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  401 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The stories in this volume demonstrate Dostoyevsky's genius for fusing caricature, irony and the grotesque to create a powerful dark humour. The Gambler is a breathtaking portrayal of an intense and futile obsession. Based on Dostoyevsky's own experience of financial desperation and the compulsive desire to win money, it focuses on the characters that take their places at...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 27th 1966 by Penguin Books
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Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2001.

Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler in three weeks to clear his debts. It is, like many famous nineteenth century Russian novels, partly autobiographical, but it paints a very different picture of that country's soul from any other. Almost uniquely, it is set abroad; the Russian countryside is completely absent.

The theme of The Gambler is addiction; its narrator starts playing roulette in a German resort, just as Dostoyevsky did, and is continually w...more
Roronoa Tsiakalos
The "A nasty story" is one of my favorite books,i think everyone has something in common with the protagonist and a similar experience.Its a story that teached me to expect the unecpected when i think everything is gonna be perfect.Nothing goes as we dream.
Marie
So this is a collection of three shorter pieces by Dostoyevsky, put together largely, I think, by virtue of being short and fitting nicely together in a paperback edition.

The first and longest piece is "The Gambler", a short novel with a fascinating history of its own - Dostoyevsky made a rash deal with a publisher that would have cost him everything if he couldn't produce a novel by a specific date - and by all reports including his own letters, he didn't start the thing until right before the...more
Greg Deane
'A Nasty Story' by Fyodor Dostoevsky evokes the reader’s sympathy as well as his contempt as he presents a character who confronts his tragic failure to live up to his own expectations. Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky typifies the paternalism of the educated Russian towards the uneducated, and so demeans them further in his own mind and himself in their minds. A senior civil servant, Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky is on his way home after a night carousing with two colleagues. He has been pompously expounding on t...more
Erik Graff
Feb 13, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dostoevsky fans
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: literature
My first serious girlfriend being an expert, much inspired and informed by Dostoevsky, I devoted months to reading all I could find written by him. Fortunately, I was working as a security guard at the Chicago Women's Athletic Club on Ontario and Michigan at the time, a job which basically required that I sit at the service entrance and handle the occasional delivery. Mostly I read and wrote, eight hours a day at work, two in travelling to and from work--a very constructive time!

Of these three p...more
A.K.
The Gambler---
On gambling and thus, addiction: "I wanted to astonish the spectators by taking senseless chances and - a strange sensation! - I clearly remember that even without any promptings of vanity I really was suddenly overcome by a terrible craving for risk. Perhaps the soul passing through such a wide range of sensations is not satisfied but only exacerbated by them, and demands more and more of them, growing more and more powerful, until it reaches final exhaustion." Emphasis mine.

Are...more
Jennifer
If not for Bobok, this might have been given 5 stars. The Gambler and A Nasty Story were quite good. Apparently, the author was a gambler, himself, and had to write a novella by a certain date to retain the rites to his works with his publisher. He wrote The Gambler, delivering it right on the deadline, and then was free to continue writing Crime and Punishment. A Nasty Story was just that, but makes its point quite well.
Briana
Actually, I didn't read "A Nasty Story" yet, but...I don't know if I want to get back to it very soon, if at all.
"The Gambler" was very good...I like how Dostoevsky conveyed the growing, consuming obsession and the fluctuating emotions that are caused by gambling/money.
"Bobok" was a clever little satirical work. Very timeless, as every society possesses pretentious, dissatisfied people...
Jeremy Loo
The Gambler was fast-paced, and had a mystery throughout the story, which was resolved at the end. The story ends without a happily-ever-after, making it much more real.

Bobok has potential as an idea, and I wonder why FD wanted to stop there.

A Nasty Story is desperate and shows the realism behind the duality of what one perceives of himself and what others perceive of him.
Liam
The Gambler shows how obsessive risk-taking pervades every aspect of one's life. It traps you in the head of someone whose reasoning is on the very limits of sympathetic understanding. Dostoyevsky describes the scenes in gambling with an authentic (and autobiographical) inner-ecstasy and gripping prose. One of his very finest works.
Paul
I love this book. Just reread it before seeing the opear at the MET. Amazing story about compulsion. Alexei's (the protagonist) desperation is incredible. Dostoevsky really tears into the bourgeois. A short piece for him, but with all the characteristics of his work. Good book to read if you haven't read his work already.
Terri
Jan 17, 2013 Terri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
The destructive force of gambling. Human passions and the difficulty of controlling them. This is the primary focus of The Gambler, a short novel with big themes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. For a full review see http://the-iceberg.blogspot.com/2013/...
Lindsay
The Gambler was alright, Bobok was interesting, and I didn't really like A Nasty Story either, although the characters that Dostoyevsky portrays are remarkable, the stories weren't enough to keep me very interested in the book and I'm glad to be done.
Jake Jones
Truly wonderful. Gripping. Do not miss the chance to read these. Black humour, true wit and amazingly believable characters (you'll be screaming "I know someone just like that") make this little collection one of the best I've read in a while.
David Gross
"The Gambler" isn't much to get excited about, and it's the bulk of the book. "Bobok" is interesting, but seems like an unfinished sketch. "A Nasty Story," though, is very good and makes me want to hunt for more of Dostoyevski's short fiction.
Tyler
My score:

The Gambler, 3 -- good characterizations and plot; a tad long

Bobok, 3 -- short, strange and entertaining

A Nasty Story, 5 -- A perfect example of the writer's unequalled mastery of the dramatic moment
Iuliana
Very good! I am a big fan of his anyway, so i thoroughly enjoyed it. The gambler is particularly interesting to read, since he is writing from experience after struggling with gambling for years.
Tara
The Gambler was a bit frustrating for me, as I seem to prefer Dostoyevsky in either very long, or short doses. My favourite story in this collection was Bobok, it was concise and darkly funny.
Philip Bellew
'A Nasty Story' is hilarious, if you like your humour dark. Dostoevesky was a master at wringing comedy out of social humiliation, and never more so than in this absolute gem.
Phoenix
A deep view into the mind of the mentally deranged and obsessed. No other writer I know of comes close in reflecting the imagery of the shadow world of the mad and insane.
Carminian
the gambler is a little slow, but the second two are great reads... Bobok is very short but really interesting. A Nasty Story is a scathing review of class... superb.
Paul Wilner
Fyodor, he pretty good writer...Very funny, satiric sections in a book that otherwise could be taken sheerly as an account of obsession.
بهمن بهمن
dastani foghol'adeh zayif.fagaht adam delesh misooze ,chon dastaievsky khodesh ham tooye hamin halate jonoon boode ke ino neveshte:(
Caitlin
Three lesser known stories of the great Dostoevsky. Still dark, but with more humor than "Crime and Punishment."
Benjamin Farmer
Thoroughly enjoyed all three stories. I do like a bit of Fyodor, yes I do.
Ahmed
a beautifully put description of the human greed and addiction by Dostoevsky
Sdugre
The Gambler and A Nasty story get four stars, and Bobok gets one star.
Sergio H.
The same story that ever was. But this is a collection.
Julie
Skipping The Gambler this time.
Mahdi
Mahdi marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
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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
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