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Notes From Underground and The Double

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  69,393 ratings  ·  2,402 reviews
A predecessor to such monumental works as "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov", "Notes From Underground" represents a turning point in Dostoyevsky's writing towards the more political side. In this work we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives withdraws from that society ...more
Nook, 0 pages
Published by Neeland Media (first published 1864)
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Pope-punk it would seem to me a book about the psychology of being an asshole would be of great interest to you, my friend :)
James Dere easy to read, potentially difficult to decipher the figurative language, or the underlying reasons for certain actions taken in the book. id suggest…moreeasy to read, potentially difficult to decipher the figurative language, or the underlying reasons for certain actions taken in the book. id suggest consulting your resources if at times you feel lost (i know i did), it's definitely worth it. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
oh, dear. this is not a character that it is healthy to relate to, is it?? he is a scootch more pathetic than me, and more articulate, but his pettinesses are mine; his misanthropy is mine, his contradictions and weaknesses... i have to go hide now, i feel dirty and exposed...
Nate D
Apr 06, 2015 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who overthink, people who think.
Recommended to Nate D by: dfw
Shelves: read-in-2009, russia
1. Irritated by Underground Man.
2. Amused by Underground Man.
3. Sick of Underground Man.
4. Want to fly to St. Petersburg, travel back in time, and punch Underground Man right in the face.
5. Pity for Underground Man.
6. Horrified by Underground Man.
7. Further reading of Underground Man's monologue almost physically painful. I almost wanted to cover my eyes, but this would have posed problems for reading.
8. Glad to be free of the Underground Man, but glad to have known him, in the end.
Samadrita
I did two things after finishing with this book.
- 1)Strengthened my resolve to finish Crime and Punishment and read the rest of Dostoyevsky's works without any inner grumbling.
- 2)Looked up Albert Camus' background and profile on the internet.
Yes Dostoyevsky was one of Camus' influences. If you read Notes from Underground right after Camus' The Fall, it becomes all the more obvious.

Well anyway here's a word of advice.
Do not read this book on a cold, practical day. Do not read this on a day w
...more
Ben
More than anything, this book should make you think. And not about trivial shit either, but about big, important conditions of life and how best to view and react to them. I have "should" italicized in that first sentence for a reason: If you don't give yourself time to think -- if just skim through the book quickly -- then you won't get anything out of it.

It's narrated by a guy living underground, in poverty. You are reading his notes. The first half, his ramblings, thoughts and philosophies of
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Nataliya
Imagine 19th century Russian literature as a loud boisterous party. Here's Pushkin, basking in the center of attention, charming up all the ladies. Here are Chekhov and Gogol at the heart of a passionate intellectual argument. Here's Count Tolstoy, busily serving canapés while rejoicing in the pleasure of work, stopping only to chat about the pleasures of countryside with Turgenev.

But where's Dostoyevsky? Oh, there he is, sitting by himself in a dark corner, dead broke after a high-stakes cards
...more
Dolors
Nov 06, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers of truth rather than beauty
My edition of “Notes from Underground” includes a magisterial foreword by Richard Pevear that gives an extra dimension to the introspective musings of its sardonic anti-hero, bestowing them with the required intellectual authority to reproach the utopian socialism and the aesthetic utilitarianism prevalent in the Russia of the 1860s and offer responses to ideological, philosophical and moral paradoxes of a world in the threshold of progress and modernity.
The fact that Dostoevsky’s novella consti
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Garima

Shall the world go to hell, or shall I not have my tea? I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

Thus Spoke Dostoevsky

There were many things for me to get excited about after finishing this novella (It’s a trap!) but the first and an essentially timeworn image which appeared in my mind was that of a small child, sitting in a corner after being rebuked by an elder for giving little or no thought about the world with its countless complexities and contradictions around her.
...more
Stephen P
I am writing this review because I have just finished and writing is the only thing I can do at this moment. The book has shaken me where reading any other book in the future has come into question. Maybe I should have waited till the heat simmered and collected my thoughts but this too would counter what I have just read, experienced and been shaken by. Let's start with the simple and easy and get it out of the way. The book is told in first person by a narrator who was not raised by parents or ...more
Paul Bryant
Literary Characters React to Notes from the Underground


Eeyore

This Accounts for a Good Deal. It Explains Everything. In Life, you see, we can't all, and some of us don't. Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush. This book is telling everybody “We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts in May' with the end part of an ants' nest. It's all the same to me." Amusing in a quiet way, but not really helpful.

Piglet

Help, help! A hexistentialist! A horrible
...more
MJ Nicholls
New:

“ . . . we’ve all grown unaccustomed to life, we’re all lame, each of us more or less. We’ve even grown so unaccustomed that at times we feel a sort of loathing for real “living life,” and therefore cannot bear to be reminded of it. For we’ve reached a point where we regard real “living life” almost as labor, almost as service, and we all agree in ourselves that it’s better from a book. And why do we sometimes fuss about, why these caprices, these demands of ours? We ourselves don’t know why
...more
Riku Sayuj
Short, brisk, Scathing and dark as dark can be. I hope you experience some of the uplifting depression this book gave me... It does pull you out in the end but around the middle of the book, it buries you deeper than you ever thought possible.
Salma
النسخة التي عندي مترجمة تحت عنوان "في سردابي" لعبد المعين الملوحي..._و هي معنونة في قبوي ترجمة سامي الدوربي و دار ابن رشد، أو الانسان الصرصار(أو رسائل من أعماق الأرض) في ترجمة ثالثة لا أدري لمن_ نسختي كانت _قبل أن أبيعها_ نسخة قديمة مصفرة الأوراق مطبوعة عام 1956... و قد اشتريتها من على بسطة الكتب القديمة...0

رواية عن رجل يتحدث عن نفسه بصيغة المتكلم قد قرف المجتمع و زيفه...0


هل أستطيع أن أدلي باعتراف صغير هنا... لطالما أحببت دوستويفسكي... لكن في روايته هنا أحسست به يعرفني منذ أمد بعيد

لا أحد يشك بأ
...more
Ian Klappenskoff
Original Review

Notes from Underground is a small but influential work.

In particular, it is the inspiration for the Howard Devoto (of Magazine fame) song "A Song from under the Floorboards" from "The Correct Use of Soap" (later covered by the solo artist Steven Patrick Morrissey).

The song begins, "I am angry, I am ill and I'm as ugly as sin", which is partly based on the first paragraph of the novel.

The name of the novel takes a bit of a liberty with the original Russian title.

In the English, it
...more
Rowena
Never be fooled by book size when it comes to Dostoevsky! This novella was just under 100 pages long so I figured it would take me just a couple of hours to read. I was obviously wrong but I enjoyed the read. The prose is extremely dense so I had to read it slower than I read other books. The protagonist was fascinating (peculiar, even) and I enjoyed reading his introspective thoughts about different issues. I will definitely be re-reading this one.
Emilian Kasemi
Dostoyevsky was the first to analyze the human soul. He realized the importance of an aspect of the personality that a few years later Sigmund Freud revealed it was the case of an element so darkly,yes, but knowable, that is the unconscious.
The underground as the title suggests doesn't describe a social condition (even if miserable), but instead represents the soul of the narrator. His unconscious, his weaknesses, his frustrations, his neuroses.
Dostoevsky, a master on investigating the darkest
...more
Arnie
Oct 01, 2014 Arnie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone paying attention
When I read it at the height of my existential angst college days, I felt I had never identified with a character so strongly. I don't underline books, this might be the only one, I underlined about 90% of it.
Glenn Russell
Dostoevsky leads us into the deepest recesses of human consciousness, a mire of stinky sewers, feted pits and foul-smelling rat holes -- . novel as existential torment and alienation. Do you envision a utopia founded on the principals of love and universal brotherhood? If so, beware the underground man. And what is it about the underground? Well, ladies and gentlemen, here are several quotes from the text with my comments:

"I would now like to tell you, gentlemen, whether you do or do not wish to
...more
Jason Koivu
Madness...This is madness, I tell you!

Or worse, it's philosophy, some sound, some twisted in counterintuitive logic.

In the first part of Notes for Underground the narration reads like the journal of a rambling genius or psychopath. It's difficult to decide. This section had my mind wandering in a whirl of amazement, boredom and confusion. If the entire book went on this way, as slim as it is, I doubt I would've finished it, or if I had, you'd not see a four star rating up there.

The second part
...more
Seemita
I scribbled on my notepad, random words, stared at them, struck them and occasionally, tore the page to reveal a new one. The overcast sky was teetering at the rain’s behest and the drowning sun was not of much assistance either. I was wriggling my fingers between the spaces of the black wrought iron bench on which I had been sitting for over three hours now. My patience was about to surrender and I was in no mood to cajole it any further. I snapped shut my notepad, freed my fingers and was abou ...more
Ahmed Oraby
حسنًا حسنًا، دويستويفسكي العظيم من جديد
هذا الرجل المحير للغاية مرة أخرى، يجذبك بأسلوبه وبكلماته العميقة البسيطة، في آن واحد، لتكمل قراءة الرواية لآخرها.
رواية أخرى لا يسعنى بعد الفراغ منها إلا أن أقف مشدوهًا أمام قدرة هذا العبقري
ها هنا، يتجلى دوساويفسكي في أبهى صوره؛ في صورة الفيلسوف، بالطبع.
صدقًا، هذا الرجل ملئ بالمفاجآت، فلرواياته طعم خاص ولون مغاير للغاية، عن أي ما ستقرأ مستقبلًا
ولرواياته ألوان عديدة ومختلفة، فقلما تجده يكرر نفسه وأسلوبه.
عند أول عهدي به، مع روايته الجريمة والعقاب، ما وسعني إلا
...more
David Lentz
Dostoyesky's anti-hero is the the first of a long line of existential anti-heroes that followed later in the 20th century. Clearly, here is a man who is alienated from his bretheran. He has burrowed so deep internally that he can not connect with outsiders. He is trapped by his superior intellect and his heightened consciousness showers him with agony. He has no clue how to relate to men and women of any social status. He is alone. He foreshadows the players in the dramas of Samuel Beckett and S ...more
Seth Peterson
Possibly my favorite book ever. Bitter, depressing, cynically hopefull and hopelessly ignorant, the Underground Man is every part of myself that I wish wasn't there. The first part is a dizzying philosophical meandering; the second a train wreck of a life captured in one devastating story. A must-read.
Alex
Feb 28, 2008 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: civilization's discontents
Shelves: favorites
Dostoevsky's Underground Man promises to be the life of any party.

Over the course of this thin little book, the unnamed protagonist swirls through self-conscious agonies and flights of egotism, never afraid to contradict himself or lay bare his own self-loathing. One part book-bound Don Quixote, and one part George Costanza, this insecure little bureaucrat rages against his lot as one of the rabblement, but is completely impotent to meaningfully exercise his will. Through the intellectual labyri
...more
Lyn
I first met the Russian on the loading docks. Filling trailers with freight out in the weather, in the humid heat and then again in the freezing cold was not a career, not a job anyone especially wanted, it was a job to fill in the gaps, work that paid a wage and filled a need as necessary as the empty trailers that backed into the dock one after the other.

I had seen him in the break room, out on the picnic tables - always alone. He scribbled incessantly in an old thesis book, would pause long m
...more
Felisberto Barros
Dos livros mais difíceis de escrever e pontuar…

Ler sobre o ser-humano faz disto e, pior ou melhor, é que considero que numa 3a, 4a ou 7a leitura do livro iria sentir o mesmo. Por isso, vou procurar não estender-me em demasia nesta partilha.

Ora bem, escrever sobre um livro desta profundidade é sempre um abismo; um abismo que cresce à medida que se reflecte sobre o livro. Somos impelidos a pensar e repensar e repensar novamente a condição humana no seu desvario e desacerto na vida, nas suas conqui
...more
Mohammed
يقول دوستويفسكي في أحد قصص هذا الكتاب متحدثاً عن أيامه في السجن :"أردت أن أدرك المستويات المختلفة من الأحكام والعقوبات, وكافة أشكال العقاب وموقف المساجين منها. حاولت أن أضع نفسي في في الحالة الذهنية للمساجين الذين ستُطبق عليهم العقوبة...".
من هذه المقولة وغيرها يمكننا الجزم بأن دوستويفسكي لم يحمل القلم ليعبر عن الربيع, عن المرح, عن مباهج الحياة. كلا, بل هي المعاناة البشرية التي شغلت ذهنه وسخر قلمه لوصفها واضعاً أياها تحت المجهر ليراها ويشعر بها أسعد القراء طراً. كما أن البؤس الموزع بسخاء في طيات
...more
Tom
Jan 29, 2008 Tom rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers and poets
Notes from Underground is one of the most challenging little books I've read since my stint with Faulkner a few years ago. Dostoyevsky demands your complete attention. This book is no typical fun, summer read. However, if you stick with it, some of Dostoyevsky's insights into the human condition will not only make you say "that's me!" (though you probably won't admit it), they might even make you laugh.

One of the reasons this book is so difficult is due to the narrator. He is obviously a genius
...more
Jim Coughenour
"I am a sick man... I am a wicked man. An unattractive man. I think my liver hurts."

I first read Notes from Underground as a very serious college student; then in my 30s in my merry flaneur stage. Reading it a third time in Pevear and Volokhonsky's excellent translation has been a bit of a shock. What I first read as a profound existential tract now strikes me as a cartoon. Still, Dostoevsky's parody of an impoverished resentful intellectual ("a foul, obscene fly – more intelligent, more devel
...more
Jonathan
I first read this novel in college during a period of especially intense teenage intellectual angst. I don't remember why I picked it up; it was a whim. Immediately I recognized the narrator.

Dostoevsky's unnamed narrator/protagonist is intelligent, sensitive, idealistic -- and morally paralyzed. His intellect and pride, rather than freeing him from the grubbiness of society, have trapped him inside himself. He is unwilling to share his life with less thoughtful people, but this has just made him
...more
Richard
I am trying to live my life as if I believed the protagonist of this book is deluded.
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  • Virgin Soil
  • The Cossacks
  • Petersburg
  • The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
  • The Foundation Pit
  • The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales
  • The Case of Comrade Tulayev
  • The Collected Stories
  • Ward No. 6 and Other Stories
  • Pnin
  • Hunger
  • Oblomov
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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
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky...
Crime and Punishment The Brothers Karamazov The Idiot Demons The Gambler

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“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.” 1844 likes
“Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human” 1817 likes
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