Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin comes back to Russia, or to be more exact, to St. Petersburg after spending four years in Swiss sanatorium. Brilliant!
Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin comes back to Russia, or to be more exact, to St. Petersburg after spending four years in Swiss sanatorium. He hardly knows anyone from his country and he has only one distant relation to Lizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchin, so he decides to make acquaintance of her and her family. On the train journey to Russia he meets Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin, a man who tells him about Nastassya Filippovna, femme fatale of St. Petersburg. Prince Myshkin is very interested in the subject from the start. He talks to Rogozhin untill they arrive to the station and it is pretty clear from the start that Nastassya Filippovna will be the reason for drama that obviously awaits the young Prince.
It's hard to summarize what comes after that. All I can say that Prince Myshkin took me to a strange journey through St. Petersburg, as well as Pavlofsk and it's many peculiar residents. It was a real pleasure to meet him and the others (especially Lizaveta Prokofyevna) and to be the witness of their dramatic relationships and actions. I am still not sure if I liked the Prince or not. At first I felt strongly for him because of his goodness, but as the story went on, I wasn't sure anymore… Lets just say that now I realise where the title came from. Prince was a disaster waiting to happen from the start. I mean, it is obvious that someone so innocent, good and naive can't find their place in the world obsessed with money and power.
F. M. Dostoyevsky is truly the Master of characterization. I am still amazed by his talent to show deepest corners of every single character – it doesn't matter if it's the main character or just one of those who show up in only few chapters. Some of them are easy to like, others are just people with both good and bad sides, and some of them are the worst examples of those characteristics that most of us despise. Either way, they are all interesting to read about. After reading three books by Dostoyevsky, I can honestly say that his characters have a certain ''vibe'' that makes them both interesting and unforgettable, and that he truly is one of the best writers ever. He goes deep and reveales many different types of human behaviour, which is amazing. Every spoken word, every thought, every action is significant not only for knowing what's going on, but for realising why is everything the way it is. It brought me closer to better understanding every character and their actions, but also it made me think about my own attitude toward some aspects of life that Dostoyevsky brought up in this brilliant novel.
The atmosphere surrounding this book is hard to describe in just a few sentences, but it leaves very, very strong impression. Writing is amazing. I had to take a lot of breaks from reading because it was very detailed. There are so many thoughts and events on every page and I had to let them sink in and try to understand them before moving on. The Idiot is not easy to read, but it's worth the effort. I enjoyed every single part of it.
In this novel Dostoyevsky explored many different subjects of life in general. There is too much to think about and it feels impossible to review it and say everything that needs to be said about it. Life in general, patriotism, nihilism, power, greed, suicide, crime, execution, marriage, friendship, love, human behaviour, different types of characters… The Idiot is a novel about all that, and more. The ending is great.
Now I'm off to watch the mini series based on The Idiot. If it's even half as good as the book, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.