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Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  70,406 Ratings  ·  1,702 Reviews
A collection of powerful stories by one of the masters of Russian literature, illustrating the author's thoughts on political philosophy, religion and above all, humanity: Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead (150th Anniversary Edition)

The compelling works presented in this volume were written at dis
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Paperback, 233 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by Signet (first published 1864)
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Pope-punk it would seem to me a book about the psychology of being an asshole would be of great interest to you, my friend :)
DeanJean If you don't like being pointed out by Mr Dostoevsky as an asshole (and I can identify with some of the situations that he points out) - don't read…moreIf you don't like being pointed out by Mr Dostoevsky as an asshole (and I can identify with some of the situations that he points out) - don't read this book. You'll end up loathing him for 1) this reason, and 2) for the mind-twisting philosophies. It's like a metaphoric mirror being held up to the dark side of your character.(less)

Community Reviews

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Samadrita
I did two things after finishing with this book.
- 1)Strengthened my resolve to finish Crime and Punishment and read the rest of Dostoyevsky's works without any inner grumbling.
- 2)Looked up Albert Camus' background and profile on the internet.
Yes Dostoyevsky was one of Camus' influences. If you read Notes from Underground right after Camus' The Fall, it becomes all the more obvious.

Well anyway here's a word of advice.
Do not read this book on a cold, practical day. Do not read this on a day w
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Dolors
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Seekers of truth rather than beauty
My edition of “Notes from Underground” includes a magisterial foreword by Richard Pevear that gives an extra dimension to the introspective musings of its sardonic anti-hero, bestowing them with the required intellectual authority to reproach the utopian socialism and the aesthetic utilitarianism prevalent in the Russia of the 1860s and offer responses to ideological, philosophical and moral paradoxes of a world in the threshold of progress and modernity.
The fact that Dostoevsky’s novella consti
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Stephen P
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am writing this review because I have just finished and writing is the only thing I can do at this moment. The book has shaken me where reading any other book in the future has come into question. Maybe I should have waited till the heat simmered and collected my thoughts but this too would counter what I have just read, experienced and been shaken by. Let's start with the simple and easy and get it out of the way. The book is told in first person by a narrator who was not raised by parents or ...more
Vessey
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
To all, who would like to read opinion or analysis of “Notes from the Underground”. Stop here. The following is something quite different. The only thing it has to do with the book itself is that the man I’m mentioning is a bit like the protagonist. Self loathing and incapable of real love, but much more malicious than Dotstoevsky’s creature.

You are supposed to be gone. I don’t know whether you really are, or you go on being here using again a false identity. Even if you are truly gone, maybe yo
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David Lentz
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dostoyesky's anti-hero is the the first of a long line of existential anti-heroes who followed later in the 20th century. Clearly, here is an utterly loathsome man who is alienated from his brethren by virtue of his own worldview and is victimized by it. In his sublime genius Dostoyevsky sufficiently respects his readers to challenge them to find something, however dreadful it may be, to connect intellectually with a protagonist who is virtually impossible to admire. While so many novelists of h ...more
Riku Sayuj
Short, brisk, Scathing and dark as dark can be. I hope you experience some of the uplifting depression this book gave me... It does pull you out in the end but around the middle of the book, it buries you deeper than you ever thought possible.
Lyn
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first met the Russian on the loading docks. Filling trailers with freight out in the weather, in the humid heat and then again in the freezing cold was not a career, not a job anyone especially wanted, it was a job to fill in the gaps, work that paid a wage and filled a need as necessary as the empty trailers that backed into the dock one after the other.

I had seen him in the break room, out on the picnic tables - always alone. He scribbled incessantly in an old thesis book, would pause long m
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Seemita
I scribbled on my notepad, random words, stared at them, struck them and occasionally, tore the page to reveal a new one. The overcast sky was teetering at the rain’s behest and the drowning sun was not of much assistance either. I was wriggling my fingers between the spaces of the black wrought iron bench on which I had been sitting for over three hours now. My patience was about to surrender and I was in no mood to cajole it any further. I snapped shut my notepad, freed my fingers and was abou ...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Madness...This is madness, I tell you!

Or worse, it's philosophy, some sound, some twisted in counterintuitive logic.

In the first part of Notes for Underground the narration reads like the journal of a rambling genius or psychopath. It's difficult to decide. This section had my mind wandering in a whirl of amazement, boredom and confusion. If the entire book went on this way, as slim as it is, I doubt I would've finished it, or if I had, you'd not see a four star rating up there.

The second part
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Original Review

Notes from Underground is a small but influential work.

In particular, it is the inspiration for the Howard Devoto (of Magazine fame) song "A Song from under the Floorboards" from "The Correct Use of Soap" (later covered by the solo artist Steven Patrick Morrissey).

The song begins, "I am angry, I am ill and I'm as ugly as sin", which is partly based on the first paragraph of the novel.

The name of the novel takes a bit of a liberty with the original Russian title.

In the English, it
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Mohammed
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
يقول دوستويفسكي في أحد قصص هذا الكتاب متحدثاً عن أيامه في السجن :"أردت أن أدرك المستويات المختلفة من الأحكام والعقوبات, وكافة أشكال العقاب وموقف المساجين منها. حاولت أن أضع نفسي في في الحالة الذهنية للمساجين الذين ستُطبق عليهم العقوبة...".
من هذه المقولة وغيرها يمكننا الجزم بأن دوستويفسكي لم يحمل القلم ليعبر عن الربيع, عن المرح, عن مباهج الحياة. كلا, بل هي المعاناة البشرية التي شغلت ذهنه وسخر قلمه لوصفها واضعاً أياها تحت المجهر ليراها ويشعر بها أسعد القراء طراً. كما أن البؤس الموزع بسخاء في طيات
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Seth Peterson
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Possibly my favorite book ever. Bitter, depressing, cynically hopefull and hopelessly ignorant, the Underground Man is every part of myself that I wish wasn't there. The first part is a dizzying philosophical meandering; the second a train wreck of a life captured in one devastating story. A must-read.
Tom
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: writers and poets
Notes from Underground is one of the most challenging little books I've read since my stint with Faulkner a few years ago. Dostoyevsky demands your complete attention. This book is no typical fun, summer read. However, if you stick with it, some of Dostoyevsky's insights into the human condition will not only make you say "that's me!" (though you probably won't admit it), they might even make you laugh.

One of the reasons this book is so difficult is due to the narrator. He is obviously a genius
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Jan
I accidentally stumbled across Notes from the Underground in my early 20s and was stunned. I had never read anything like it before. I reread it about 30 years later and all the power was still there.

I believe the first part probably was a reaction to the spread of Western rationalism as exemplified by the Crystal Palace in London. Dostoevsky’s Underground Man argues (although inconsistently and contradictorily) for exercising free will or even whim, so therefore any planned utopia could never b
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Anne
Update, as of Jan. 22, 2016: As I was sifting through my bookshelves, I realized that I still haven't written a proper review (if you can even call it that) for this one. I read this almost three years ago and since then it has been in my favorites. Since then I had fallen in love with Dostoyevsky's writing. I've read it more than once already--at least thrice--and it's a shame that I haven't written a better review (I mean, my current "review" is something I wrote years ago and is quite horribl ...more
Poet Gentleness
Nov 06, 2014 added it
Recommends it for: philosophers, serious thinkers
Recommended to Poet Gentleness by: My daughter
I’m pretty sure this is my worst review ever, and I apologize in advance.

I’m tired. And I’m sure my liver is sick and rotten, because there is so much bile in my mouth and acid in my stomach that it can't be working properly.
Me, after reading NFU

With real sufferings and struggles of my own, no rage against the world, and each and every day searching for enlightenment and compassion, I was in a state of shocked disgust when I finished the book.
I have a tendency to get too emotionally invested in
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Duane
This is my first Dostoyevsky and I chose it because it is short, but that doesn't reduce it's value or place in the literary world. I want to read Crime and Punishment and I wanted to know what to expect. This was a tough read for me, that was a long 100 pages. It's not hard to understand, it's just unrelentingly bitter. It's the Underground Man's rant against Russian society, and he is determined to make himself and everyone around him miserable. He succeeds on both counts. In a Tolstoy novel h ...more
Muhammad Arqum
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The more I read Dostoyevsky the more I am convinced that nobody on earth understood human nature and the labyrinth that a human mind is more than he did. Kafka said a book should be the axe for the frozen sea within us..Well Dostoyevsky's insight is a chainsaw, a bulldozer, an excavator at the same time. Like I always say, if somebody patiently reads his work he cannot, cannot NOT contemplate about life and its rather acrid ways.
It takes a lot to open up and expose the most gloomy terrains of o
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Emad (TheBookCritic)

description

The general idea of this fascinating novella is about a man who is ashamed of everything in his life. He thinks that he's walking under a clouded sky and through a dark road in which he can't see anything clearly, but deep inside his soul he knows that it will end badly! He has a very complicated mind.
In the middle of that dark road he meets a girlish sad star that looks like him. He hopes he could find peace with her for company, but eventually he continued that dark full-of-shadows road alone
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Mamdouh Abdullah
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
أقرأ اقتباسات عديدة لدوستويفسكي في تويتر ومنتديات مختلفة. الأمر الغريب أن النسبة العظمى من هذه الاقتباسات من نص واحد فقط. هذا النص يمثل قمة القلق الوجودي في أدب دوستويفسكي. وهو نص مذكرات من تحت الأرض أو ما يعرف بترجمة سامي الدروبي: في قبوي. يزعم بعض النقاد أن هذا النص هو أحد أكمل نصوص دوستويفسكي شكلياً وفنياً. هذا الرأي سيجد له دعم من الغرابة في النص، وهي غرابة سوف يستشعرها القارئ لأن النص بلا شك خطر جداً. يبدأ دوستويفسكي من عمق الأسفل ويرتفع إلى الأعالي، ثم يسقط سقوطاً مريعاً متقلباً ما بين الأ ...more
Gautam
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
" Gentlemen, you must excuse me for being over philosophical; it's the result of being 40 years underground. "

According to me,a novel starts once you finish it. I have every reason to believe NFU is not a one sitting read. It should be read in a piecemeal manner, and when you are in a trans-state devoid of all mental constraints ,to assimilate it wholly.

Notes from the Underground is a quagmire of thoughts and dreams accumulated by a socially inert person, who tries to creep out of the mire by j
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Imane
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ادب-روسي
في الجزء الاول يتحدث الكاتب عن النفس البشرية و تناقضاتها و دوافعها عن نظرة الانسان عن نفسه فهو يحس ان الناس الطبيعيين لا يفكرون في طرح الاسئلة يعيشون حياتهم ببساطة لذا يعتبر نفسه اكثر ذكاء فهو يملك ادراكا عاليا لما يدور حوله عن الحياة عن العذاب عن حرية الاختيار هو يطرح اسئلة وجودية و يعتبر ان الانسان ليس مجرد مفتاح بيانو لا يمكن فهم الطبيعة الانسانية بالعقل فقط فالعقل لا يستطيع ان يفسر لماذا يبحث الانسان دائما عن التجديد و حتى لو وفرت جميع ظروف العيش الكريم له فهو يبحث عن حريته لا يريد ان ينقاد ...more
Sumati
A DYNAMITE OF A BOOK
How much I loved the book?? How much?? I clutched the book to me for 15 - 20 minutes after turning the last page,then again leafed through to re-read the pages I marked or underlined and believe me the entire book is marked leaving only a meager percentage of unmarked portions. I could see the book and it's pages in my dreams as well like I was reading subconsciously. Whew!! such were the effects. Seriously,it got imprinted on me.

There are books which you love for entertain
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Vikas Lather
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Dostoyevsky has described our own story with a better vocabulary, more honesty and sophisticated style. He has disseminated output of inner war of literature and philosophy by explaining with great intelligence about a certain structure of our instability. This book is an impressive look into humanity.
One of the top ten books I have ever read.
Sai Kashyap
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional.
Sumirti Singaravel
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philosophers, deep thinkers, anyone who wants to have a deep introspection on himself/herself


As I read through this book, I was imagining, which followed me as a motif until the end, the figure of Dostoevsky laughing heartily, with his heart filled with infuriation, and his eyes studying me, steadily and gracefully, at the way I got transfixed with his ideas and prose; the way I was shuddering and smattering to pieces, yet remaining hapless; the way he has made me go naked by telling the truth about myself(and everyone of us); and above all, how in spite of all his attacks and concrete
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Hadrian
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Hosen
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
فکر کنم دو ماه یا شایدم بیشتر این کتاب دستم بود :) 50 صفحۀ اولش رو پنج شش باری شروع کردم ولی کشش نداشت. هی منبر الکی میرفت و حوصلم نمیکشید. کلن هم فکر نمی کردم اصلا درگیرش بشم. ولی از نیمۀ دوم کتاب یک مسئلۀ زیستۀ خیلی ویژه یعنی مسئلۀ "حقارت" یا به تعبیر دیگه مسئلۀ "اعتبار اجتماعی" رو در عریان ترین صورتش گذاشت جلوی چشمهام؛(این دو تا واژۀ اعتبار اجتماعی و حقارت رو به عنوان اصطلاحاتی علمی بکار نمیبرم بلکه همون درکِ زیسته ای که هممون ازین دو تا داریم مد نظرم هست.)
عایدیِ این رمان برای من فقط آشناییِ
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hope mohammed
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
فكلما تركتمونا لوحدنا ،دون كتب ، الا وارتبكنا ،وتهنا لن نعرف بعد ذلك ابدا مالذي ينبغي ان نستند اليه ولابماذا ينبغي أن نتمسك ولا ما الذي ينبغي ان نحب ونكره ونحترم ، ونزدري ...
#مذكرات_قبو #دستويفسكي .

هذه الرواية صفعه في وجه المثالي والمتصنع والمتفائل هي القشرة التي تغشى الزائف ونسميها بتحذلق حقيقة ... . عن العزلة هي وقد عزلتني في صفحاتها ممارسة علي سلطة الكلمات التي يتفوه بها صاحبها ، عن شخص واحد قد تصبح صورة عنه في النهاية
..

أقرا وانا أبتسم خاصة وانا اكتشف انها ليست المرة الاولى التي اقرا فيها هذ
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Abeer Abdullah
"Real life oppressed me with it's novelty so much that I could not breath"
notes from the underground is, exactly what it's name implies, notes from the underground.
It follows the narration of an incredibly isolated individual with paranoid and hysterical tendencies who is immensely loathsome and miserable. Deep in his own hole in the underground he shares notes on what it's like to be alive and isolated and human. He is spiteful and hateful and an insufferable person. He is ill that is for sur
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readers advisory ...: 'I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man' 22 178 Dec 15, 2015 07:36AM  
Film Meets Litera...: Notes From The Underground 1 8 Sep 23, 2015 05:47PM  
Notes From Underground v. Crime and Punishment 7 303 Mar 15, 2015 02:23AM  
Film Adaptation notes from underground 4 157 Mar 14, 2015 02:24PM  
The Fyodor Dostoy...: NFU Common discussion thread (Spoilers) 3 44 Jul 16, 2014 05:43AM  
The Fyodor Dostoy...: * NFU Member Reviews 4 54 Feb 18, 2014 04:24PM  
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27,087 followers
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoyevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death
...more
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.” 2348 likes
“Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human” 2007 likes
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