The House of the Dead/Poor Folk
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The House of the Dead/Poor Folk

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  786 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The House of the Dead and Poor Folk, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
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Paperback, 443 pages
Published April 25th 2004 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published 1861)
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What always strikes me about The House of the Dead is the journalistic style. You don't see much of it from Dostoevsky, though I am looking forward to his Writer's Diary that I recently purchased. The succession of the plot is told, not by dated entries, but by topic – ie, "The Bathhouse," "Prison Animals," "An Escape," etc. This allows him to divulge varying lessons and even psychological analogies on every facet of the prison experience. The psychology of each character, convict or officer, is...more
This is an interesting book which follows Dostoevsky's time in a Siberian labor camp. It doesn't really have a story-line, so much as its a series of recollections and anecdotes. This book often goes on tangents, and Dostoevsky feels entirely free to do so. For example, several chapters on his time in the hospital are mostly about corporal punishment.

In his novels and stories Dostoevsky often described states of utter destitution and squalor in detail, this book is no exception. He describes in...more
The book was great, or shall I say the both stories were great. I have to admit it took me longer to read because The House of the Dead portion, was very detailed. If you wanted a picture of what a Siberian labor camp was like, trust me you'll get your fill. At times I found it hard to keep reading for long spurts of time.

The second story Poor Folk, I loved the layout. The format of letters I found was appealing, I think you can imagine yourself pouring your sentiments into a letter and hoping t...more
The House of the Dead is a semi-autobiographical accounting of his time in the Siberian prison. While many of the stories, experiences, and even the people are true-to-life, Dostoevsky created a fictional narrator, Alexandr Petrovich, who is serving ten years for murdering his wife. By creating a fictional character, Dostoevsky was able to insert biting political and social commentary into his writing; quite the brave thing to do after he had already been imprisoned for disagreeing with the gove...more
Picked up Dostoevsky this past year. After reading a few books only one thing has stuck with me. That happiness, no matter how intense, is superficial and momentary. It is only a matter of time before reality sets in, before the flaws and defects of the world envelop everything. If true, maybe Dante got it wrong. Maybe he overlooked the question of how God fearing people are to reconcile their belief in God's wisdom and goodness with the tragedy of human life. Maybe he missed something. Maybe th...more
Aug 27, 2010 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
It took me a long time to read the house of the dead. I finished it last year, and have yet to move on to poor folk. I remember liking the house of the dead, but of course i like all dostoevsky.

I'm not quite sure how I felt about Poor Folk. I couldn't relate to a lot of it, but some parts were quite heart rending (if that's the right phrase)

I really liked the story in the Appendix though. It was written by Dostoevsky about an experience he had. It was short, but interesting to read something aut...more
I do not recommend the translator Constance Garnett, but the two stories in this book act as a modest introduction to Dostoevsky. The House of the Dead lacks action because it reads like a concentration camp novel as it describes the prison camps during Tsarist Russia. Poor Folk was Dostoevsky's first story which comes in epistolary form. Neither are exceptionally outstanding works, but they do make one appreciate Feodor's other writings more.
The House of the Dead is quite similar to Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. While the latter told of only one day in the labor camp, the former relates an entire year's existence in that environment. It is interesting to learn of the prisoner's mental and emotional changes as his term plays out. The privations in this book did not seem quite so extreme as in Ivan Denisovich. This is a real insight into 19th century Russia.
I give Dead house a 5 and Poor Folk a 3. So it ends up as a 4. You can see the radical development of Dostoyevsky by reading both of these books. Poor Folk was written before he was in Russian Goulog, and Dead house was after. Regardless he is a masterful writer even in Poor Folk. But Dead House set a genre of Goulog Literature.
A bleak but in ways, morally uplifitng look at life in a Siberian prison. Dostoyevsky wrote in fiction about his real life experiences as a political prisoner. Obviously, this is not light reading but it is absolutely one of Dostoyevsky's most accessible stories. I will return to read Poor Folk at some other point.
read for my nation, empire, and literature class. often surprising semi-fictional memoir of dostoevsky's time in prison. worthwhile.
I didn't read Poor Folk, but House of the Dead is awesome!! I read it for a Soviet Lit class. I <3 Dostoevsky :)
Fictionalized memoir of Dostoevsky's time in the Gulag. His most accessible work. Great stuff.
Fyodor is my man! Not my very favorite of his, but it's still a pretty fair read.
One of his most amazing and intelligent books.
Jesus Ambriz
Read: "Poor Folk" (2 stars).
Aug 10, 2013 Nini added it
amazing ...
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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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