Erik Graff's Reviews > The House of the Dead

The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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's review
Aug 10, 10

bookshelves: literature
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
Recommended for: everyone
Read in July, 1974, read count: 1

This may well be the Dostoevsky book I most enjoyed reading. Although a kind of novel, it is based on the author's own four years of experiences in Siberian exile and has the ring of authenticity to it.

Dostoevsky had been exiled for his participation in the liberal Petrashevsky circle, a period during which he wrote his realistic Poor People. A young man, he had been, as we now say, scared shitless by the intentionally misleading prospect of execution and had himself undergone a spiritual conversion while in exile. Sadly, this conversion led to his becoming very conservative, both politically and religiously.

I read this book while working as a security guard at the Women's Athletic Club on Ontario and Michigan in Chicago during the summer between college and seminary. The job was not demanding. Most of the day was well spent reading and writing.
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