Conrad’s review of The Brothers Karamazov > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I have got to reread this. I too read it in high school, and I remember having a real "thing" for Ivan at the time. I wonder if maturity would mean I now have the hots for a different brother K?

I am still planning to name my firstborn "Grushenka."

Nice review.


message 2: by Conrad (new)

Conrad Thanks to both of you!

Jessica, Grushenka's a great name! Isn't it a diminutive of "Agrafena," though? A little bit less attractive, sorry to all the Agrafenas out there...


message 3: by Conrad (last edited Apr 29, 2008 05:12PM) (new)

Conrad Tracy, Moby Dick overwhelms me every time I try to read it. I have some other stuff on queue (Darkmans, All the Pretty Horses, and Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt) and I'm planning on getting to a shorter work of Melville's, The Confidence-Man, sometime early this summer. I'm not going to die without finishing Moby Dick, that's for sure, but the time hasn't been quite right yet.


message 4: by Taylor (new)

Taylor I've never read this and keep hearing fantastic things about it, this review included. I should probably add it to my list, already.


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom I agree with you: Zosima's key section is more interesting than the famous Grand Inquisitor section. Not just intellectually, but emotionally, as well.

For all you Bros K lovers, I recommend the 5th and final volume of Joseph Frank's colossal bio of Dostoyevsky, "The Mantle of the Prophet," which includes detailed critical reading of Bros K. A most worthy companion to the novel.


message 6: by Ixan (new)

Ixan I read this in school, that was in my Russian period. I don't know if I could get through it now but your review was great.


message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason thanks tom, conrad.


message 8: by Candace (new)

Candace Hey Conrad,

When I was updating my reading on this book I couldn't help but notice your review. Dostoevsky is literally my favorite author, my grandmother has ranted and raved about him FOR YEARS and I finally broke down and read The Idiot. Remarkable.

I am still early in the story of this book, so I couldn't say who my favorite brother is... but I like your reasoning with the choice that you went with. I'll have to keep a close eye on Dmitri.


message 9: by Conrad (new)

Conrad Candace, I hope you enjoy it! Let me know which brother is your favorite once you're further in.


message 10: by Candace (new)

Candace Conrad, I'll for sure let you know. You might have to be willing to share Dmitri in the end. But like I said its anyones race at the moment.


message 11: by Candace (new)

Candace Still reading... ha ha.. and reading. I did however find the perfect theme song for Dmitri, that you'd probably argee with... Sometime Around Midnight-Air Borne Toxic Event. The visual of him running around in a frenzy and this song pretty much sums everything up. He just has to see her.


message 12: by Candace (new)

Candace Hey Conrad,

I finished the book in June, but it took me up till now to finally decide as to who my favorite brother is and that title and award goes to... Ivan. His character for me went through the most (insightful) development. They gave him a bad rap for being most like his father, which I thought was totally bogus, he was willing to take Dmitri's place and pin the murder on him, where as old man Karamazov was completely selfish and would soon rather have Dmitri dead.

Ivan despite his intellectual pride loved his brothers and would have done anything to help them, had he not cared I don't think the story would have affected me the same.



message 13: by Greg (new)

Greg Interesting review Conrad, but I never felt that Dostoevsky made any outright references of Smerdyakov actually being one of the brother's, but merely hinted at it.

I'd have to say that Alexei was my favorite brother because I identify with him more than the others, but I would say that Ivan was most interesting to read about. As a matter of fact my favorite part of the whole book is when his head fever overwhelms him, and he hallucinates a conversation with the devil.

If you haven't read it, I would recommend Crime and Punishment since you liked The Brothers Karamazov so much.


message 14: by Nick (new)

Nick "Dostoevsky gives his characters all the space to talk like gods, clearing pages upon pages for their reasoning and dialog."
That neatly sums up my enthusiasm for Dostoevsky's deep characterisations, and if I wasn't reading it already, that point alone would make me want to start.


message 15: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Dixit Reg. your favorite character, just curious as to why Alyosha wasn't it. Was it just because Dmitri suffered more?


message 16: by Conrad (new)

Conrad Aditya, it's not so much Alyosha's character I don't like, it's that he gets off so light. In general, his choices involve doing the nice thing or the really nice thing, or at worst the honest thing or the nice thing, so I don't think we ever see how he behaves under real pressure. Dmitri and Ivan, on the other hand...


message 17: by Adam (new)

Adam Rauch Am interested in the Hubert Dreyfus talk(s) you referenced... Which one(s) correspond to the book? On a quick search, I didn't see it.


message 19: by Juliet (new)

Juliet I totally agree that this isn't a bleak book. I think it's actually very joyous. I also agree that the passages with the elder Zosima are jaw-droppingly insightful. I start out liking Alyosha the best and then switch to Dmitry. Ivan leaves me cold. But then I feel guilty for disliking him because I know Alyosha would believe better of him!


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Curcione Nice review. This book is definitely in my top 20. So much to like.


message 21: by Anne (new)

Anne Ruan Thanks for the review. It was helpful.


message 22: by Marta (new)

Marta Awesome review! I'm pretty sure I read this as a teenager it's time to re-read. Thanks for posting, will look at your other books now too.


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