Violet's Reviews > Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Apr 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-for-school, books-to-film-and-plays, classic, realistic-fiction
Read from March 07 to April 25, 2011

This is the longest book I've read for school, and probably one of the best. I have no doubt as to why its such a classic. I mean there's just so much going on and so much meaning and depth in here, that it just has to be a classic. I liked it very much.

Now before I start on the actual story, I would like to say something about the Translators. Now we all know that this book was originally written in Russian, right? (Anyone that doesn't know that should be knocked up side the head and sent back to elementary school.) Anyway, the Translators that translated my copy (Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) are the new Translators of Crime and Punishment. Now I haven't read the original Translator's version (Constance Garnett's version), but my English teacher did talk about her version. She added a whole paragraph in first chapter that basically changed the meaning of the book. Now that's just a little wrong in opinion, and therefore would like to put my hand up in favor of this translation. But like I said, I haven't read the other version so I can't say much. Still, based on what I've heard, I like this version better anyways.

Okay, where to start, where to start. Like I said before there's just so much to this book. So much meaning, so many characters, so much depth. There's almost too much to talk about in one review....I guess I'll just pick my highlights...

I'll start with the villain...or really one of the villains: Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigailov. To sum him up in the a few words, you can say he's a womanizer, a pedophile, a murderer, an "extraordinary" man (more about that later), a stalker, and a symbol of the Devil. Yes, folks he is one of the worse villains you will ever met in any book you read. On more than one occasion, he literally made shivers run up my spine. He is the creepiest, most vile person ever to be created in the literary world. And the cool thing about it is that he is one of the most complicated characters that I've encountered. Chapters 5 and 6 of part 6 (sixes...coincidence?), are probably my most favorite chapters of the whole book. They're just so captivating and so deep. It's just so interesting to see a whole nother side to such a vile man. And that's what makes this book SO wonderful and such a classic.

In fact now that I think about it, every character was 3-D, meaning that practically everyone had more than one side to them. Its amazing and so wonderful and brilliant. Its adds so much to the book and its probably why its so dang long!

Okay, there's this another highlight I want to talk about. Its my second favorite chapter: chapter 5 of part 3. Its about Raskolnikov's theory about the two different kinds of people: the "ordinary" and the "extraordinary." The "ordinary" people are the majority who's only purpose in the world is to continue the race. The "extraordinary" people are the Napoleons of the world who bring about a new tomorrow and are above normal moral standards and therefore without guilt. This is the watered down explanation (you really have to read the chapter to get it). I liked it because again it was so captivating and so interesting. It was an intriguing concept and so original and so thought provoking. You can't help but think things like, "Who today is 'extraordinary?'" and "Can people really by grouped like that?" and "Are the 'extraordinary' evil or not?" and more. I absolutely love this part of the book.

I mean as classics go, this one was pretty good (as stated many times before, and yes I know I repeat myself). I think the reason why it was so good was because it was very intriguing. You actually wanted to know what was going to happen to Raskolnikov and the others, and you don't get that with many classics. I mean yes, it was quiet monotonous at times, but overall it was captivating. And what was different (and fitting to your classics) is that the action wasn't so much like the type of action you get in a thriller, but it was mostly psychological actions. That's basically what this book is about really: the psychological motivation and impact of a murderer. And you would think that would be boring, but its surprisingly not!

Alright one more thing, I have to say here. Its about America...meaning what it was a symbol for in the book. America was basically hell. When someone killed themselves in the book, their last words were that they were going to America. Now before you get confused, just remember that Dostoyevsky was of course Russian, and didn't must like all the freedom in America. In his view, even a murderer could get away there. He really didn't like the country at all. Its quite funny and interesting being an American myself and all....I just wanted to comment about that cool little fact.

I could go on, but then my review would be a mile long. Like I said before, there's just so much in here! But I think I've covered what I liked the most...well not really....but that's okay. My fingers are starting to hurt anyways....
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