Joshua's Reviews > The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Jan 28, 08

bookshelves: classics, favorites
Recommended for: Anyone looking to expand what they thought they already knew
Read in January, 2000

When I first finished The Brothers Karamazov , I felt a tinge of sadness wash over me since this was Dostoevsky's last novel. Now I'm not an idiot, I can guess that by being born on 1821 that he just might be dead by now. Still, whenever I read an author's last work I feel as if a weight is placed upon my shoulders. Most author's final novels are created after a lifetime of working and refining their technique, growing into the wizened sages that we all hold our favorite authors as being. That said, their final work's tend to be that all encompassing culmination of their lives. Sadly, this is not always the case. Luckily, and gladly, this novel shows the master working at his greatest. While I do not believe this novel is as important to the Dostoevsky name as Crime and Punishment , I do believe that this novel is by far his most important work.
The story revolves around the Karamazov family, and the murder of the father by one of his 4 sons. The father is a sullen and debauched man unloved by his sons and the other people around him. Progressing the story, more and more evidence is laid out against the eldest son as the murderer. However, like most of Dostoevsky's novels, the truth is always more than it seems. As the novel unfolds, we learn about each of the brothers and how simple actions can lead to very Dostoevsky consequences and endings.
This is the novel where Dostoevsky's belief in murder comes to the forefront, that of whether or not any one man can be held accountable for the death of another, a belief that directly contrasts with a theme that is focused on throughout most of his novels, that of everyone is guilty for every crime.
This novel was very influential for many modern writers and philosophers, such as Freud, Vonnegut, Kafka... and myself (like that matters!!). One of the most important works of literature, and after reading it, it is not hard to see why. Highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Penny You do matter! I really enjoyed this review, I definitely want to read it even more now but as you know, my list is ever growing.


Tubs the saddest part about bros. k. being his last work? the fact that it was intended to have a sequel that would tell the rest of the story of the adult life of alyosha! unfortunately, dostoevsky died before he could write it.


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