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The Gambler/Bobok/A Nasty Story

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  496 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The stories in this volume demonstrate Dostoyevsky's genius for fusing caricature, irony and the grotesque to create a powerful dark humour. The Gambler is a breathtaking portrayal of an intense and futile obsession. Based on Dostoyevsky's own experience of financial desperation and the compulsive desire to win money, it focuses on the characters that take their places at ...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
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Roronoa Tsiakalos
The "A nasty story" is one of my favorite books,i think everyone has something in common with the protagonist and a similar experience.Its a story that teached me to expect the unecpected when i think everything is gonna be perfect.Nothing goes as we dream.
Simon Mcleish
Dec 15, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in August 2001.

Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler in three weeks to clear his debts. It is, like many famous nineteenth century Russian novels, partly autobiographical, but it paints a very different picture of that country's soul from any other. Almost uniquely, it is set abroad; the Russian countryside is completely absent.

The theme of The Gambler is addiction; its narrator starts playing roulette in a German resort, just as Dostoyevsky did, and is continually w
Greg Deane
May 05, 2013 Greg Deane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'A Nasty Story' by Fyodor Dostoevsky evokes the reader’s sympathy as well as his contempt as he presents a character who confronts his tragic failure to live up to his own expectations. Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky typifies the paternalism of the educated Russian towards the uneducated, and so demeans them further in his own mind and himself in their minds. A senior civil servant, Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky is on his way home after a night carousing with two colleagues. He has been pompously expounding on t ...more
Ben Crandell
Dec 05, 2015 Ben Crandell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book holds three stories of the type that involve contemplation. Reading Dostoyevsky is similar to running uphill. It is slower going, but it has rewards.
The first "The Gambler" is about the follies of gambling. Below the surface are characters whose philosophy about life are all together different, yet their fates hinge on money. Gambling seems the obvious cure, but is in fact a merciless destructive action. Good lesson. Great writing. Love and madness are weaved in there, too.
The second
بهمن بهمن
dastani foghol'adeh zayif.fagaht adam delesh misooze ,chon dastaievsky khodesh ham tooye hamin halate jonoon boode ke ino neveshte:(
Dr Nick
Nov 22, 2014 Dr Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not every writer that can take a break from writing a classic to pen an excellent novella but as we should know by now FD is not every writer. For this is exactly what he did with this work alongside one of his masterpieces Crime and Punishment. Apparently he wrote this in four weeks and in a very un Dostoevsky Hollywood moment he fell in love and married the young stenographer who helped him. This has been the subject of a pretty ropey movie with Michael Gambon - interspersed with the plot ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is a collection of three shorter pieces by Dostoyevsky, put together largely, I think, by virtue of being short and fitting nicely together in a paperback edition.

The first and longest piece is "The Gambler", a short novel with a fascinating history of its own - Dostoyevsky made a rash deal with a publisher that would have cost him everything if he couldn't produce a novel by a specific date - and by all reports including his own letters, he didn't start the thing until right before the
Erik Graff
Feb 13, 2011 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dostoevsky fans
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Shelves: literature
My first serious girlfriend being an expert, much inspired and informed by Dostoevsky, I devoted months to reading all I could find written by him. Fortunately, I was working as a security guard at the Chicago Women's Athletic Club on Ontario and Michigan at the time, a job which basically required that I sit at the service entrance and handle the occasional delivery. Mostly I read and wrote, eight hours a day at work, two in travelling to and from work--a very constructive time!

Of these three p
The Gambler---
On gambling and thus, addiction: "I wanted to astonish the spectators by taking senseless chances and - a strange sensation! - I clearly remember that even without any promptings of vanity I really was suddenly overcome by a terrible craving for risk. Perhaps the soul passing through such a wide range of sensations is not satisfied but only exacerbated by them, and demands more and more of them, growing more and more powerful, until it reaches final exhaustion." Emphasis mine.

Khenan Bragador
May 21, 2015 Khenan Bragador rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oldies
Must read more shorts! a great read.
Jul 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for Bobok, this might have been given 5 stars. The Gambler and A Nasty Story were quite good. Apparently, the author was a gambler, himself, and had to write a novella by a certain date to retain the rites to his works with his publisher. He wrote The Gambler, delivering it right on the deadline, and then was free to continue writing Crime and Punishment. A Nasty Story was just that, but makes its point quite well.
Jul 03, 2009 Briana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I didn't read "A Nasty Story" yet, but...I don't know if I want to get back to it very soon, if at all.
"The Gambler" was very good...I like how Dostoevsky conveyed the growing, consuming obsession and the fluctuating emotions that are caused by gambling/money.
"Bobok" was a clever little satirical work. Very timeless, as every society possesses pretentious, dissatisfied people...
Jeremy Loo
The Gambler was fast-paced, and had a mystery throughout the story, which was resolved at the end. The story ends without a happily-ever-after, making it much more real.

Bobok has potential as an idea, and I wonder why FD wanted to stop there.

A Nasty Story is desperate and shows the realism behind the duality of what one perceives of himself and what others perceive of him.
The Gambler shows how obsessive risk-taking pervades every aspect of one's life. It traps you in the head of someone whose reasoning is on the very limits of sympathetic understanding. Dostoyevsky describes the scenes in gambling with an authentic (and autobiographical) inner-ecstasy and gripping prose. One of his very finest works.
May 20, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Just reread it before seeing the opear at the MET. Amazing story about compulsion. Alexei's (the protagonist) desperation is incredible. Dostoevsky really tears into the bourgeois. A short piece for him, but with all the characteristics of his work. Good book to read if you haven't read his work already.
Mar 19, 2015 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, shortstories
The destructive force of gambling. Human passions and the difficulty of controlling them. This is the primary focus of The Gambler, a short novel with big themes by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. For a full review see
Sep 21, 2008 Lindsay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Gambler was alright, Bobok was interesting, and I didn't really like A Nasty Story either, although the characters that Dostoyevsky portrays are remarkable, the stories weren't enough to keep me very interested in the book and I'm glad to be done.
Jake Jones
Jan 03, 2012 Jake Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly wonderful. Gripping. Do not miss the chance to read these. Black humour, true wit and amazingly believable characters (you'll be screaming "I know someone just like that") make this little collection one of the best I've read in a while.
David Gross
Jul 25, 2010 David Gross rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"The Gambler" isn't much to get excited about, and it's the bulk of the book. "Bobok" is interesting, but seems like an unfinished sketch. "A Nasty Story," though, is very good and makes me want to hunt for more of Dostoyevski's short fiction.
Aug 25, 2008 Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century
My score:

The Gambler, 3 -- good characterizations and plot; a tad long

Bobok, 3 -- short, strange and entertaining

A Nasty Story, 5 -- A perfect example of the writer's unequalled mastery of the dramatic moment
Apr 27, 2011 Iuliana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Very good! I am a big fan of his anyway, so i thoroughly enjoyed it. The gambler is particularly interesting to read, since he is writing from experience after struggling with gambling for years.
Jul 21, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gambler was a bit frustrating for me, as I seem to prefer Dostoyevsky in either very long, or short doses. My favourite story in this collection was Bobok, it was concise and darkly funny.
Philip Bellew
Jul 08, 2011 Philip Bellew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'A Nasty Story' is hilarious, if you like your humour dark. Dostoevesky was a master at wringing comedy out of social humiliation, and never more so than in this absolute gem.
Jan 11, 2013 Phoenix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deep view into the mind of the mentally deranged and obsessed. No other writer I know of comes close in reflecting the imagery of the shadow world of the mad and insane.
Aug 24, 2009 Carminian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the gambler is a little slow, but the second two are great reads... Bobok is very short but really interesting. A Nasty Story is a scathing review of class... superb.
Paul Wilner
Jul 21, 2012 Paul Wilner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fyodor, he pretty good writer...Very funny, satiric sections in a book that otherwise could be taken sheerly as an account of obsession.
Sep 12, 2010 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three lesser known stories of the great Dostoevsky. Still dark, but with more humor than "Crime and Punishment."
Benjamin Farmer
Nov 24, 2012 Benjamin Farmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed all three stories. I do like a bit of Fyodor, yes I do.
Ahmed Xahabi
Mar 11, 2011 Ahmed Xahabi rated it liked it
a beautifully put description of the human greed and addiction by Dostoevsky
Aug 06, 2007 Sdugre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gambler and A Nasty story get four stars, and Bobok gets one star.
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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.

Dostoyevsky 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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