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Notes From Underground and The Double

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  3,944 ratings  ·  161 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
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Ian Klappenskoff
I Am the Lowest and the Worst

I am 40
I am naughty
I am sick
I am angry
I am ugly
I am superstitious
I am undesirable
I am different
I am indifferent
I am petty
I am nothing
I am unstable
I am rude
I am impudent
I am timid
I am frightened
I am vengeful
I am lazy
I am dirty
I am secret
I am wretched
I am self-loathing
I am humiliating
I am humiliated
I am nasty
I am irritable
I am irritating
I am snarling
I am spiteful
I am unseemly
I am disgusting
I am disgusted
I am repulsive
I am ignoble
I am immoral
I am evil
I am guilty
I am sha
...more
Barry Pierce
Notes from Underground

This was the more enjoyable work in this collection. I enjoyed the narrator's pithy voice while he went over the events which lead to his "living underground". It also contains Dostoyevsky's infamously morbid black humour which has you smiling at the most desolate of images. I strangely found myself relating with the narrator which probably says a lot about my outlook on life.


The Double

Good god this story is 150-pages long and it took me two months to get through. Se
...more
Poncho
If spite makes you unworthy of a single pound,
Try to write about your life in the underground.
If this makes life as cold as ice,
To read Dostoevsky is my advice.



Notes from underground.

The above quasi-verse was written by me, not the author of the book; so don’t be spiteful, gentlemen.

Apropos of the spite, what can I say about Notes from underground? It’s simply stunning. I would say that I can’t understand why some people wouldn’t like this book, but I do understand. Allow me to tell you my pers
...more
Wealhtheow
Hey wait, are you a misanthrope? Do you feel betrayed and disappointed with life? Are you a bitter, bitter man? Why narrator, I never would have guessed! Why don't you spend the next hundred pages telling me about it? That sounds like loads of fun.
Vanessa
3.5 stars.

These novellas were my first ever Dostoyevsky reads, and it was an interesting and somewhat challenging experience. For this review, I will be reviewing each story individually.

Notes from Underground - 4 stars.

This novella was the one I wanted to read the most by Dostoyevsky. I always thought it sounded very interesting, although some people had told me it was challenging. It is narrated by an unnamed protagonist, a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The novella is split i
...more
Sunil
A genius of a book written by a mind that can effortlessly delve into the nuts, bolts and avagadros of the psyche.


Regard this extract:

Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind. The mor
...more
Gina
I've only read Notes from Underground for class, so my review is restricted to that:

I immediately enjoyed this book more than Crime and Punishment. Maybe I should go back and read that again sometime to see if the distance of years and not being forced to choke through it would help, but that's beside the point.

Dostoyevsky really impressed me with this one. The character is so well fleshed out and he's such a cranky, arrogant jerk it's hard not to laugh as he spews all his opinions like a grump
...more
Almira
Damn it, this one gave headaches...and stomachaches - from laughing.

Dostovyesky's a man who likes to think so much, I think. His lead character has natural queerness, and we could be friends, in fact, best of friends.

If all men would think like this man, well I don't really know, I'll have a hard time picking who's the best lol.

Seriously speaking though, it's easy for him to be disagreeable, but at some parts, I can't help but agree in his views. The book didn't really follow a plot like the usu
...more
Olivia

The descriptions and blurbs tend to bill both Notes from Underground and The Double as “tragicomic”, and they are certainly right in doing that. Some of the stronger parts of the book are wonderfully funny, often in that horrible, stinging kind of way that almost seems like it could be trademarked by Russia and Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, those parts are interspersed with other, less interesting ones. As a matter of fact, I found both of these stories, but especially The Double, terribly unev
...more
Elliot Chalom
I never thought I'd read Dostoyevsky. Not because I didn't want to read him- I just never thought about it. I don't generally read classics, I don't read Russian lit, and the idea of reading "Dostoyevsky" frankly would intimidate me. Nothing about this author , this book (actually two books) or anything I'd heard about either changed my mind. Yet I found myself reading Notes from Underground & The Double. How did that happen?

My mother had an older cousin, almost more like an aunt to her, a w
...more
Mr.
Dostoyevsky's 'Notes from Underground,' is often called the first truly existential work of literature in the history of the west. Yet I think it is read today for the very seem reasons we always read Dostoevsky: for his command over intensity, his genuine and masterly sense of atmosphere, and his ability to psychologize those who are suffering. 'Notes from Underground,' is a true masterpiece in that it recreates the truth of genuine alienation and hatred. It laid the basis for all great works o ...more
Christina
9/3/11 Lightbulb: must remember to consider Dostoyevsky's time imprisoned in Siberia as more than a footnote finding mention in his novels. Probably life-changing to his views on FREEDOM, FREE WILL and determinism! Which, potentially completely changes my assessment of this work.

-----------------------------------
Posted March 2011

(1) Why did the narrator consistently do everything AGAINST his own self interest? One finds throughout the novel that the narrator vacillates on almost every idea. Th
...more
Adrian Colesberry
I read this last year sometime in some electronic form or other. The slow deliberate exploration of character is amazing. Reminds me very much of the Kafka character in A Letter to My Father. Weak, aware of his own weakness, defiant of the culture that calls him weak, but still unable to rise above. Terrific character study.
James
4 stars for Notes from the Underground; 2 stars of The Double. I much prefer the Crime and Punishment and the Idiot.
David Sarkies
Apr 29, 2015 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of dark literature
Recommended to David by: I saw it in a bookshop
Shelves: dark
Two of Dostoyevski's shorter works
12 May 2010

I'm glad that I'm not the only person that found this book hard to follow at times, but since it is a collection of thoughts from a man who is trapped in his own feelings of self-worthlessness it is understandable. Dostoyevsky is a writer that one needs to be able to focus on to be able to read and understand clearly, if it is possible to clearly understand much of his writings. It is not to say that he is not fpr he seems to be able to catch the ess
...more
Chiara
In both stories his characters make huge mistakes they pay for for the rest of their lives.

Notes from Underground is about a man so bound by 19th c. societal standards that he will not allow himself to be with the woman he loves because she is a prostitute. The female character, Liza, is compelling, gentle, sadly naive, and deserving of success.

The Double, is about a lonely man trying to climb the social ladder in Moscow. He meets someone exactly like himself with the same name and likeness wh
...more
Steve Porter
Unable to recall if I'd ever read the second of these novellas (The Double), I decided to return to the world of Dostoevsky for the first time in many years. I still think of him as one of the true greats of world literature and my favourite Russian writer. He does psychological anguish better than anybody and gets right to the very 'soul' of his characters. The Double is no exception. The only thing that left me wondering a little is why Mr Golyadkin's doppelganger appears real to other charact ...more
Jeremy
Neurotic, Claustrophobic, Angsty, Vital. This novel shows just how Dostoevsky created such psychologically rich works, by moving between the mental extremes of marginalized figures. An incredible, short read.
Ashley
I found this book attractively repulsive. Loved it, the main character makes you irritated as he comes to life through the ironically crunchy pages drenching with his thoughtful ignorance.
Professor Childermass
I've read the Double, but not Notes from the Underground. The Double is a pretty amazing story, though like everything he writes a little challenging to wade through at times
A
Notes from Underground - 4.5/5
The Double - 3.5/5

Notes is objectively better, but I enjoyed both equally.
Edward
Translator's Introduction

--Notes From Underground
--The Double

Chronology
Geoff Sebesta
Notes from the Underground reads like a livejournal entry from a hundred and fifty years ago.
James
This volume combines two of the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky's iconic stories: Notes from Underground and The Double; both are thematically linked by their study of the human consciousness in a decidedly tragic-comedic fashion.

In the first novella, Notes from Underground, Dostoyevsky recounts in an extended monologue the thoughts and feelings of the eponymous Underground Man who rambles and rages against the oppressive society "above ground" with bitter irony and how, because he doe
...more
Victoria
There is little that the underground man said that I took to be true (in his fictional world that is). He had such a distorted perception of everything that even the clock seemed to personal joy in tormenting him. I think he was being most honest when he was speaking to Liza at his home. He says “I had been humiliated, so I wanted to humiliate somebody else” (115). The underground man feels as if everyone is humiliating him and looks down on him. He claims that his servant is resentful and his c ...more
Gregory
This is a very compelling book on mankind. I would look forward to re reading it too. I need to check the edtion which i have read...perhaps tis is not the same....


Notes from Underground & The DoubleNotes from Underground & The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a very compelling book on mankind. I would look forward to re reading it too. I need to check the edtion which i have read...perhaps tis is not the same....



View all my reviews
...more
Dr Nick
Did you ever have a moment in your life when you act in such a way that you dont recognise yourself - as if you were looking in from outside? Well old FD seems to have or rather young written alongside Poor Folk when he was 26. That very 20th century form the existential novel seems to have a forebear here in Dostoevsky's second work and first traditional novel.

It was a critical failure at the time apparently particularly amongst the left intelligentsia who had seen (and overstated I think) in D
...more
Gladys
Boy, oh boy, was this certainly painful to read. Not only was the constant contradictory ideology the main character kept switching about hard to read, but the amount of second hand embarrassment I went through was unbearable. (Or was that just me?)

Nevertheless, it reminded me a lot of Albert Camus's ,The Stranger. The character is obviously very conflicted and at times the reader might experience that loss at well. Either you love this character for his, ahem, uniqueness. Or, to place it mildly
...more
Jessica Lynne Gardner
"Notes From Underground" pretty much blew my mind. Probably one of the only classic satires that I've ever enjoyed. I can really appreciate what Dostoyevsky was doing with his double-speak and Irony in his references to the Crystal Palace and "toothache" of humanity because I like novels that make me work and if you are looking for a brain-puzzle, this is it. After awhile it does become predictable in its unpredictability--- his tools of social awareness become recognized for what they are...unt ...more
Tom Holt
I will need to read this book again. In "Notes from the Underground", the main character does not know himself at all, and yet knows himself perfectly at the same time. He is a depressed man who sadistically attacks his own self-image and attempts to nurse his self-inflicted wounds with short bouts of narcissism. He isolates himself 'underground' in his shabby apartment and cloisters himself off from any real human contact. He feels inferior to nearly everyone he encounters, including his own s ...more
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Buddy Read of Notes from Underground 7 7 Aug 11, 2015 03:08AM  
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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 Notes from Underground Demons

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