Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Poor Folk” as Want to Read:
Poor Folk
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview read book* *Different edition

Poor Folk

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  4,157 ratings  ·  222 reviews
Poor Folk is an epistolary novel -- that is, a tale told as a series of letters between the characters. And oh, what characters these are! Makar Dievushkin Alexievitch is a copy writer, barely squeaking by; Barbara Dobroselova Alexievna works as a seamstress, and both face the sort of everyday humiliation society puts upon the poor. These are people respected by no one, no ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published 1846)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Poor Folk, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Poor Folk

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
66th out of 383 books — 1,420 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Best Books of the 19th Century
248th out of 616 books — 3,479 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The first works of Dostoyevsky were translations of French fiction. He was translating Eugénie Grandet, and, on an evening stroll, he has "the vision on the Neva".

Да! я могу это сделать!

In his mind he sees two sad and hopeless people that just break his heart. He sat down and wrote Poor Folk, his first novel. He did it in just nine months. And he never quite got out of Balzac's grip: obviously Puskin and Gogol too - but it was the inspiration from Balzac that got him to pick up a pen and write
This is a ridiculous book. It is the letters exchanged between a poor old man and a poor young woman who live in the same housing complex but who rarely see each other for the sake of propriety. It's basically something like this:
"Oh Makar this week I lost my job and I'm running out of cash and I'm feeling so sick that I just might die! Whatever shall I do!"

"Oh Varvara, you poor child. Let me, as a father figure, send you some flowers and linens even though I have no money and will probably get
Jul 25, 2012 Sasha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katch 22
Never have I been confronted with such an intimate portrayal of a love so chaste and pure doomed by the harsh realities of poverty. While a handful of Dostoevsky's books like Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and Notes from Underground did the job of delving into the inner depths of man's dehumanization and redemption, Poor Folk painted a more powerful testimony of Russia's sad history. I found myself sweltering in profound sorrow after reading the exchange of love letters between the ...more
NaÐa A. Muhammĕd
اكتر واحد اثر في نفسي جورشكوف ، كأنه انتظر استرداد كرامته ليموت ! ، الحياة الآخرى في روسيا ، الحياة التي هي بعيدة كل البعد عن البيوت الأنيقة وضحكات النفاق ، وحفلات الرقص ومآدب الطعام ، حياة آخرى أقسى حيث هؤلاء من لا يدخرون لغد ومن أين لهم المال للإدخار ؟ ، من أين لهم المال ليطعموا أنفسهم ويصلحوا أزرار قمصانهم ؟ .. النهاية الدرامية حيث تحسن حال ماكار ولكن القدر يبعده عن فارنكا .. هكذا هي لا تمنحك كل شىء .
Heba TariQ
جميلة بكل ما تحتويه الكلمة
من المقتبسات
اه من اولئك الذين يكتبون الحكايات و الروايات ! ألا يستطيعون أن يكتبوا شيئاً مفيداً نجد فيه السرور و المتعة ؟ لا ! إنهم بالضرورة يجمعون فى حكاياتهم التى يكتبونها كل القذارة و لا شئ سوى القذارة إننى أريد
أن امنعهم جميعاً من الكتابة .

كأنهم يخشون أن تنقشع آلام الفقر عن حياة الفقراء , و كأنهم يخافون أن ينجلى بؤس الفقر عن حياة الفقراء . إنهم يراقبونك دائماً ليروا ما إذا كنت تضعين قدمك فوق الأرض و إنتِ ذليلة أم لا , و يدققون نظراتهم
Dec 07, 2012 Riya rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: russia
This is a short novel about poverty and the effects it has on a person - emotionally and physically. The two main characters are both poor and write letters to each other describing the hard life they both experience, along with the affection they feel for each other. Basically, the message that I got from this book is: being poor sucks - people will despise you and look down on you, you will be made fun of and disrespected, you will most likely get sick over and over again, and you will look li ...more
Masoomeh Tavakoli
Aug 30, 2014 Masoomeh Tavakoli rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Masoomeh by: محمّدعلی
از نظر ارزش ادبی و خصوصاً در قیاس با سایر آثار داستایفسکی، لابد باید بهش سه ستاره داد یا حدّاکثر سه تا و نصفی. امّا خب...
کاری که این کتاب با من کرد این بود که ابتدا جگرم را شرحه‌شرحه نمود، پس از آن پاره‌پاره‌های جگرم را سوزاند، درنگی کرد، مرا در سپاسگزاری‌ای عمیق و نفرتی عمیق‌تر غوطه‌ور ساخت و سرانجام در ایستگاه اندوهی کشنده پیاده‌ام کرد...
این که حیث التفاتی هر کدام از این احساسات چه بوده است و سپاسم از که و برای چه و نفرتم شامل جال چه کسانی و اندوهم برای چه چیزی، بماند برای خودم.
من به قول ماکار
Yakup  Öner
Çoğunluğun sınıfı olan 'alt sınıfı', tüm gerçekliğiyle ve olağanca sergileyen önemli bir klasiktir.Bu sınıfın kaygılarını, sevinçlerini, haykırışlarını, afacanlıklarını ve hınzırlıklarını bir kar topu yapıp suratlarımıza fırlatır. Böylelikle biraz acıtır.Okur kitabı okudukça, karakterlere bakıp şunu diyebilir; ''bu ben değilim.'' fakat ''bu şahsiyetler bize hiçte uzak değillermiş.'' diyeceklerdir.
شنیدم این داستان اولین اثر داستایفسکی بوده که منتشر شده و تحسین همه رو برانگیخته. کل داستان شامل نامه هایی میشه که بین یک مرد میانسال فقیر و یک دختر بسیار جوان خیلی فقیر رد و بدل میشه.
تصور این اندازه از نداری و فقر برای هرکسی خیلی ساده نیست و به نظرم این اثر نویسنده گواهی بر این موضوعه که داستایوسکی از میان مردم اومده و از حرف دل اونها و مشکلاتشون صحبت میکنه.
مرد فقیر به خاطر سر و وضع و لباس و پوتین مندرسش مدام توسط همکاران و عابران خیابان تحقیر و مسخره میشه و همیشه بابت کرایه اتاقش با صاحبخونه
Written as letters between Makar and Barbara, one an old man, the other a pretty young orphan with terrible health, this is a pretty short book.

And it can be prety well summed up by this:

"My dearest, darling Barbara, I sleep in the room in the kitchen, because it's smaller and taxes less upon my money— so I can have tea and sugar every day! I'm sending you some bonbons through Thedora."

"Dearest Makar, HOW could you send me these bonbons, when you are living in the kitchen! You are sacrificing yo
I wanted to ease myself into Dostoevsky, as I have begun a few others of his and become discouraged. While I was able to finish this one, I had to force myself. I understood that he was trying to show us the plight of the poor during this time frame, but the characters he used to do this were maddening!

First, it's back and forth, I love you, but not THAT way, no you mustn't, I can't help it, I'm IN love with you, I'm too old for you, on and on until I felt like smacking them. When they finally s
Erik Graff
Mar 17, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Dostoevsky
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
I read Poor Folk (aka Poor People) in the Constance Garnett translation while studying Russian history in college. In it Dostoevsky tries to do fictionally what Friedrich Engels did journalistically in The Condition of the Working Class in England. I liked it because it gave a concrete picture of how the poor lived in pre-revolutionary Russia, if only from the perspective of an aspiring writer of the intelligentsia. I liked it also because it was so very different than the rest of his writing: m ...more
time for some more dostoyevsky. read here that this was his 1st novel? written as letters? heh! yes. there's a bit of hilarity at the start, makar alexievitch writing to his barbara and they are communicating w/windows.

no, not windows 98, 92, or iTeeth 2012...heh heh! when the curtains are arranged in a certain way it means one thing or another. 1st person...

...and...he writes to barbara alexievna who lives within sight of his window. heh! imagine if he had an iMac?

update at the 44% mark, kindle
Oh poor people "Makar" and "Barbra"!
You're very rich in love.

As usual with my all time favorite writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I travel to another world.
This novella is surely one of the best.
Perfumed love letters between two rich lovers (I refuse to call them poor, they are very rich in my eyes, richer than any of us). Really painful love letters they are! They open your eyes. They introduce you to people so damn poor (in money) that they spend most of their days hungry and longing for anything
This is a rather sad work which reflects on the humiliation of poverty and the fragile soul of man.

The story is told in the letters between Makar Alexievitch and his love, Varvara Dobroselova. Makar is a poor, humble copyist who lives in a tiny corner of a kitchen in a grimy boarding house, yet he seems satisfied with his life. Despite his poverty and Varvara's cautions, Makar continues to buy things for her and go into debt. Soon he can't pay his rent, his clothes are in a dreadful state and he
I read this directly after the amazing House of the Dead, which may not have been the best idea. Poor Folk was good enough, but pretty much pales in comparison to House. I feel like I didn't give it a fair enough chance; it's also really not the kind of book I really get into, though. I liked the epistolary style, but the unceasing declarations of love between the two main characters just had me yawning and rolling my eyes and caused me to overlook a lot of Dostoevsky's intended statements about ...more
I've always said that a writer has done a really good job if years after you've read his book you'll still remember the feelings it has given you. Dostoyevsky did an amazing job.

Only now I concluded that It deserves 5 instead of 4 stars. What was I thinking?
I read this one a long time ago. I loved the atmosphere so very much! Maybe it's just reminds me of nostalgic times and makes me feel sympathy for it, but the narrative sweeps you with it's pleasant stream.
There was something unusual in this
Bahaddin Çolak
İnsancıklar olarak Türkçe'ye çevrilen Dostoyevski'nin ilk romanı. Kitabı özellikle yavaş okudum çünkü daha sonra bir dehaya dönüşen genç Dostoyevski'nin 'ilk' ne yazdığını merak ediyorum. Poor Folk, yazarın daha sonraki büyük romanlarının baş kahramanlarının hiç olmasa bir kısmının taslaklarını içeriyor. Suç ve Ceza'nın Raskolnikov'unu ve Öteki'nin (Double) Bay Golyadkin'ini bu romandaki karakterler arasında silik de olsa seçebiliyorsunuz... Belinski'nin dediği gibi, 20'li yaşlarının başlarındak ...more
A series of letters between two who love each other. They are both so poor they do not believe they can marry. They have no one's respect. They do not even respect themselves. A view of how people in poverty view themselves and how others perceive them. This book made me feel grateful I have family that loves me, food to eat and a warm place to sleep.
راهب الفكر
ياله من بؤس
إنها رواية البؤساء في روسيا
لقد كان الفقر في روسيا لا يحتمل
فالثورة نتيجة طبيعية لا مفر منها
كتبها ديستويفسكي كرسائل بين رجل كبير السن مع فتاة قريبة له يحبها ويعطف عليها
اسلوب الرسائل كان في القدم أسلوباً جديدا ساحراً .. أما اليوم فهو ليس بهذه الروعة
Maria João Fernandes
"Por que não sou ave de rapina?"

"Gente Pobre" é uma história sobre um caso amoroso entre um copista de meia idade e uma jovem mulher, que vivem a poucos metros de distância um do outro. A sua relação é exposta através da sua troca de cartas, que gradualmente revela a sua dependência emocional e financeira.

"Tenho a minha fatia de pão; é verdade que o meu pão é singelo, às vezes até é seco, mas tenho-o, ganho-o com o meu trabalho, como-o com legitimidade e sem pecado."

O tema principal não é a paix
Ramin Ahmadi
i had a relationship with a girl and that book reminds me of her
how i was relying on her and how she left me without no word
Poor Folk was Dostoyevsky's first novel, written in the form of correspondence between Makar and Barbara, a poor government clerk, and a seamstress who are in love, but too poor and downtrodden to do anything about it.

Overall, it's a very depressing read (unsurprisingly). Makar is so desperate for money that he walks on the toes of his boots to save the heels, and a button comes off his jacket when he is in a meeting with his superior. Even the neighborhood moneylender sees Makar as a bad risk.
This will go down as the book I read on my Kindle while I tried to rock my newborn baby to sleep. Perhaps a weird choice. I recall reading Grimm's Fairy Tales while holding my first child, though I think I read some of those out loud, perhaps scarring her for life. Also, not necessarily a wise choice as Dostoyevsky is not a fast-paced author. So at 3:30 in the morning while I am half-awake, trying to get a baby to sleep but needing to keep awake so I don't drop the baby, would Dostoyevsky make m ...more
Ghanem Abdullah
رواية دويستوفسكي الأولى، وهي مكتوبة على نمط رسائل يتبادلها رجل بسيط وفقير في العقد الرابع من عمره، وفتاة فقيرة تعيش على مقربة منه، في بداية العقد الثاني من عمرها، الرابط بينهما أنهما من الفقراء المساكين.
بطل الرواية "ماكار" موظف حكومي بسيط، يعمل في ما يشبه الآن وظيفة الطبّاع في الدوائر الحكومية، وهو يعيش في غرفة حقيرة، ضمن فندق متواضع يضم فئات أخرى بائسة من وجوه المجتمع الروسي الفقير.
أما الطرف الآخر فهي الفتاة "فارفارا" اليتيمة، والتي تعيش هي الأخرى في غرفة متواضعة في الجانب المقابل من الشارع، وه
Carsten Thomsen
There is a crack in my soul, and I can hear it trembling, quivering, stirring deep inside me.
Makar to Varvara

This is Dostoevsky’s first novel, written when he was 25. It’s a short epistolary novel and I think a good introduction to this russian literary giant. It’s essential Dostoyevskian in style and theme - the random thoughts and extreme emotions - the exploration of the destitute people - the solitary underground man who seems on the brink of insanity.

We follow the correspondence between tw
Il fatto è che io, nonostante legga un buon numero di libri l'anno, sono ancora -e penso che a questo punto rimarrò per sempre- una lettrice sprovveduta. Posso atteggiarmi a cinica quando leggo i dialoghi tra due innamorati che si appellano "passerottino" e tentare di prendere più sul serio un romanzo come Delitto e castigo, più duro, logico, intellettuale forse, ma è una posa la mia. Preferirò sempre la storia di due "mediocri" reietti (empatia!), alle vicissitudini di chi la storia vuol cambia ...more
“Gente pobre” é o primeiro romance de Dostoievski. Motivado pelo livro de Bakhtin sobre ele (que não cheguei a completar), decidi comprá-lo e lê-lo.
Curiosamente, é um romance epistolar, mas a troca de cartas é entre dois personagens miseráveis, financeira e existencialmente.
O interessante é que percebe-se já, aqui e acolá, traços do “Homem do subsolo”, e, também, de Sônia.
Mas não é um grande romance, apesar de oferecer uma leitura vertiginosa. Os diálogos são febris. Mas, como disse Fátima Bi
Gehan Salem
Sometimes I have these minutes when i'm glad to be alone, to be sad alone, to pine alone, without sharing it, and such minutes are beginning to come upon me more and more frequently.

There is something in my memories so inexplicable for me, that carries me away so uncontrollably, so powerfully that for several hours at a time i can be senseless to all my surroundings, and i forget everything in the present.

What an amazing book
Mohammed ELSaeed gomaa
رواية لطيفة ، رائعة كبداية لدستوفسكي .. هو أول عمل يكتبه .
بالطبع لا يمكن أن نحكم بها على ذلك العظيم ، أعظم من كتب الرواية في نظري ، .. هناك الأبله ، والجريمة والعقاب ، والإخوة كرامازوف ، ومذكرات من منزل الموتى ....
ولكن أقدمت على قراءتها كي ألمح التطور في ادب دستوفسكي عن طريق مجمل اعماله من جديد ، ومنذ البداية ....
دستوفسكي ، عالم آخر !
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Fyodor Dostoy...: 'Poor Folk' Member Reviews 1 6 Jan 08, 2014 07:29AM  
The Fyodor Dostoy...: 'Poor Folk' Common discussion thread (Spoilers) 1 5 Jan 08, 2014 07:26AM  
  • The Squabble
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • Master and Man
  • On the Eve
  • The Captain's Daughter
  • Cursed Days: Diary of a Revolution
  • My Universities
  • Farewell to Matyora
  • Lady Macbeth De Mtsensk (Clasica)
  • The Same Old Story
  • Peter the First
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...
Crime and Punishment The Brothers Karamazov The Idiot Notes from Underground Demons

Share This Book

“And though I suffer for you, yet it eases my heart to suffer for you.” 12 likes
“I don’t even know what I’m writing, I have no idea, I don’t know anything, and I’m not reading over it, and I’m not correcting my style, and I’m writing just for the sake of writing, just for the sake of writing more to you… My precious, my darling, my dearest!” 10 likes
More quotes…