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The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Dostoevsky’s towering reputation as one of the handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility has sometimes obscured the purely novelistic virtues–brilliant characterizations, flair for suspense and melodrama, instinctive theatricality–that made his work so immensely popular in nineteenth-century Russia. The Brothers Karamazov, his last and greatest novel, published ...more
Hardcover, 832 pages
Published September 12th 1990 by North Point Press
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This might still be the single greatest novel of all time. I'm open to suggestions but I don't know what can top it for philsophical suggestiveness, moral rigor, influence, entertainment value, poetry, drama....

Freud took the ideas of the id, ego, and super-ego from the sons of the sinister, leeringly sensual, masochistic patriarch Fyodor Karamazov.

The sad fact is, Dostevsky himself wanted to write a whole new (no doubt as lengthy) treatment of Alyosha, the saintly humble son as his effort to un
Jim Coughenour
I've read this book twice before. Each time it's been a different experience. This time I read it with a small group, and soon after I'd committed myself I had to wonder why. Dostoevsky the prophet, the mystical Christian, is insufferable; and my youthful enthusiasm for his celebrated "existentialism" has long disappeared, leaving only a tortured taste in my mind. I dreaded slogging through all that again.

What I'd forgotten was Dostoevsky's superb comic gift, which surfaces again and again in th
Mar 04, 2012 Phillip rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who can read
Recommended to Phillip by: margaret perrot, richard saunders
just found this hardcover edition of the pevear and volokhonsky translation and decided to read it again - it's been at least 10 years since i read it last time - very excited to set out on this particular journey.

took a few months, but i have just finished this book for the third time - over the course of 30 years. it would be an understatement to say that i feel this is one of the very greatest novels ever written - and one of my very favorite novels that i have ever encountered.

dostoevsky i
My Goodreads friend (and friend in real life) Marla, has a shelf called "Save For Winter." If ever there was a book to save for winter, it is "The Brothers Karamazov."

This is a BIG Russian novel. For me, the themes were: Family, Jealousy, Foolishness, Honor and Grief.

Dostoevsky published this as a serial in "The Russian Messenger." He wrote it while grieving the death of his three-year-old son, Alyosha. (The boy, like his father, had epilepsy.) Dostoevsky names his hero Alyosha, there is a funer
I really wanted to love this book. I started reading it in college in a Russian Lit class and had been planning to reread it for a long time. I wish I could be in that class again because Dostoyevsky has so much to say that his work needs to be discussed over a strong cup of tea.

This translation is a 1990 version. I have often wondered, with books originally written in another language, how much of the beauty in the writing is the author and how much the translator. The introduction to this vers
What makes a book a classic? There are those volumes which have withstood the test of time; Homer's epics, Shakespeare's plays, and Milton's poetry come to mind. Then there are those books which as one reads and rereads them grow richer, remain fresh and yield new discoveries with each rereading. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of these books. As his ultimate novel, capping a successful (in retrospect if not immediately upon publication) run of novels that included The Demons, ...more
Joshua Burns
I liked the story. There are some points when that felt a bit engaging, but I think the fact that it was written in different century can account for that.
The main problem I has was with the massive paragraphs. The record was 8.5-9 pages long. I will admit this may just be a taste thing for me, and I can't for other editions of this book.
Iain Hamill
Dostoyevsky masterfully blends narrative and philosophy to create a tale you would struggle to forget. At times placing you right at the beating heart of the story and at times elevating you far enough above the little Russian town to see the vast extent of the depravity and yearning for good that exists in the hearts of all mankind.
I've been reading this book for over a month and with, often, long breaks. The loss of continuity is why I gave it four stars instead of five.
Feb 13, 2014 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Human Beings
When deciding how to read this book, I gave myself three options:

A) read this book an hour or two each day and get through it in a month or two
B) start to read the book, than after one hundred pages, get annoyed at the length and say screw it. Lookup the book summary, watch philosophy professors deconstruct the themes and be glad I saved my time.
C) read this book in uninterrupted 6-8 hour blocks, skipping eating, skipping using the bathroom, and forgoing social obligations in order to consume th
A looooooooooong, long book that took me months to read. Some of the passages were so long winded that I needed to take a notecard and read them line by line. But once you got over that initial hurdle, there are a great deal of interesting things you learn from this book, which feels like a microcosm time capsule of Russia in the mid 1800s. Purification through suffering, parricide, faith and doubt, and shining moments of goodness and good feelings surrounded by an abyss of treachery and emotion ...more
At last! I have finished this book! What a slog. It picked up towards the end but a lot of it is monotonous rambling.

This translation doesn't help. The prose is ungainly. The narration and dialogue both include digressions and quirks which imply a naturalistic style, but there's nothing natural-sounding about what the translator actually gives us here.

I couldn't get any sense of a coherent narrative. The novel is full of tangents and digressions and subplots. The characters are mostly caricatu
Zachary Sterling
One of the biggest worries I have about reading books with reputations like the Bros. K. is that I'm going to fool myself into liking them because I "should". While there are highs and lows throughout the read, I genuinely fell in love with Dostoyevsky's masterpiece and I feel like I've been through one of the most vast literary journeys of my life because of it.

I won't waste time explaining every last detail of the book, or give an elevator pitch to get the Bros. K. more readers. What I will sa
After reading Crime and Punishment and enjoying that immensely, this was quite a different experience. Firstly, The Brothers Karamazov does seem not as focused and sometimes this can lead to rambling discourse amongst characters that for the actual purpose of the story probably could have been shortened or left out, particularly the long speech made by Dimitri's lawyer towards the end of the book.

That said, it is still an enjoyable book that mixes political and sociological concerns of the time
Rory Armstrong
It was good, but difficult to read due to the translation. It was David McDuff's version.
However the notes were at times excellent which increased the understanding and enjoyment, and at other times lacklustre (which may be a good thing as it means more time actually reading).
The story was long with many threads. Not epic in the scale of some recent fantasy novels, but epic in regards to the analysis of the characters, their motives, ideas, and fears. The contrast between the three brothers is f
Kevin Cawley
The Brothers Karamazov was much easier to read than I expected. Other reviews described it as bleak and gloomy, but I Dostoevsky actually included a lot of humorous passages. This book stands as a testament to the writing of Dostoevsky; I found myself actually understanding and empathizing with characters created nearly 150 years ago in a different language and country. In fact, there were many parallels that can be drawn with the Karamazov family and the mindset of the majority of America today ...more
Fyodor obviously had a LOT of time on his hands. I doubt this book could be written in an age of TV, computers, radio and Starcraft 2. The book is brilliant to the point of being humbling and polished beyond anything I have ever read.

As I listened on double speed I was challenged by the many unfamiliar Russian names and the various nicknames assigned to each character. If I read this again, I will go to Wikipedia and familiarize myself with the various characters and their names beforehand.
I think this is the best book I've ever read. It is a murder mystery and it's long but also Dostoyevsky touches on pratically every human condition that are the most crutial to everyday living; from father son relations, religion and God, romance, selfishness, greed, mercy, sowing young oats, pride, piaty and much more. One reviewer said "Everything you need to know about life is in this book" and I agree. This was Dostoyevsky's last work and by his own admission his crowning achievment.
This edition is very difficult. It may or may not be a good translation (not sure, as I don't speak or read Russian), but it is definitely intricate. I just finished a re-read, using a Kindle-fied Modern Library edition, and cannot really recommend that translation either. The language was greatly simplified and it was a much easier translation, but I a lot of subtlety was lost and the translation was frankly not very good. The book itself, however, remains fantastic.
I tried to read this a few times and couldn't get into it. Then one day I started reading it again and this time I couldn't put it down. It was like a religious experience. I've never read a book that has so continually caused me to brim over with joy and sorrow, so strongly challenged my perceptions, and at the same time displayed such dynamically engaging storytelling technique. This is easily my favorite book so far.
I don't know what to say about this one. It's been a while since I finished it and I still don't's my second time reading it if that tells you anything. People say it is a book about the existence of God, but I don't think it is. It's about whether or not you accept God's world, a much better question, if you ask me.
Beth Tobin Allen
Couldn't get thru it all....I tried! I liked what I read but not enough to slodge thru the entire book.

I will try again at a later date! Too many other good books I need to read!
I did not like this book at all. The author didn't get to the plot until 2/3 of the way through the book and I honestly don't understand how this is a classic with such a high rating.
this book is is one of my favorites. the only downside is that it is really long, so you can't read it over and over again.
I was continually amazed by this book. We are lucky to have recent translations of Pevear and Volokhonsky.
It was lengthy but it was a classic. Good read.
Jan 18, 2008 Jennie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I swear I'll read this someday
As good the second time.
Carolyn marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
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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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“Ah, Misha, he has a stormy spirit. His mind is in bondage. He is haunted by a great, unsolved doubt. He is one of those who don't want millions, but an answer to their questions.” 17 likes
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