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Netochka Nezvanova

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,327 ratings  ·  388 reviews
Netochka Nezvanova - a 'Nameless Nobody' - tells the story of a childhood dominated by her stepfather, Efimov, a failed musician who believes he is a neglected genius. The young girl is strangely drawn to this drunken ruin of a man, who exploits her and drives the family to poverty. But when she is rescued by an aristocratic family, the abuse against Netochka's delicate ps ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 29th 1985 by Penguin Classics (first published 1849)
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Amina Sadr I would allow a teenager to read it, especially since the first part would be a great lesson on vulnerability of human talents and potentials for some…moreI would allow a teenager to read it, especially since the first part would be a great lesson on vulnerability of human talents and potentials for someone who is just starting to discover them in himself. But I would provide some guidance regarding certain parts which can be misinterpreted under influence of modern issues.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Netochka Nezvanova, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Chapters 1–3 are predominantly concerned with Netochka's recollections of her childhood with her mother and stepfather in St. Petersburg, up until the time of their deaths.

She begins with the background story of her stepfather, Efimov, a talented but self-obsessed violinist, whom she describes as "the strangest and most extraordinary person I have ever known" and a man whose powerful influence over her affected the rest of her life.

Efimov's madness brings
This was a strange little book. The story was very chopped up and quite bizarre for the time period. Some parts actually made my skin crawl. After doing some research I found out that Dostoyevsky started writing this book before his arrest and when he was released he never resumed work on this book. It shows. Not his best work, at all.
Basia Bocian
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
The most popular words in this book are: pale, blush and despair. I even performed some statistics on my kindle, the word "pale" appears 35 times, "blush" - 26 times and "despair" - 24 times while the word "girl" appears only 23 times (and it's a book about a girl who meets another girl at one point). Basically, what people do in this story is constant blushing and turning pale in turns. In the beginning the book was really promising, there was a great character of Netochka's stepfather, whose c ...more
MJ Nicholls
Linda Perhacs: An Anecdote in Sequence. 1) My father bought me the one album in existence by folk singer Linda Perhacs, Parallelograms, in 2004. 2) As a kid I was a whizz speller, but ‘parallel’ was one of those blind spot words, along with ‘bureau’ and ‘diarrhoea,’ so my father thought it would be witty to get me this album. 3) I call my father ‘dad’ in real life, but prefer the more formal ‘father’ for public usage. 4) My father, unknowingly, had bought one of the most delicious folk albums in ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: pub-1840s
There was a time when I would have never dared to criticize Dostoyevsky. But that was a long time ago; nothing is sacred to me anymore.
Dostoyevsky started off strong talking about genius, tormented artists and how talent needs hard work otherwise it will only lead you to ruin. This part that dealt with Netochka’s stepfather was really good but then he died and we were left with Netochka.
From then on, all the characters concentrate mostly on blushing, going pale, fainting, swooning, and taking t
Bryn Hammond
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early work, interrupted by prison in Siberia.

Child’s-eye-view is hard to do well, and now I read this again, I wonder why D. decided to write as a young girl, which he never did later on (unless there is a story I haven’t read). He likes to write children later on, but these are boys – although they always have sisters. He writes women who stand for me with George Eliot’s Dorothea and Turgenev’s several women mains, as actual 19th-century-written women who were real and significant to me. Maybe,
Netochka Nezvanova is Dostoyevsky's first, though unfinished, attempt at writing a novel. He was, sadly, exiled to Siberia while working on the book, thus leaving it incomplete even after his return.
This so called prologue to the actual novel was quite disappointing. It started off strong, Efimov's story and character were intriguing and interesting, whilst the descriptions of Netochka's psychology as a kid, and ultimately as an adolescent, were in accordance with the naturalistic model of the e
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any previous work by Dostoyevsky and I generally read crime thrillers so this is very much an outsiders view of Netochka Nezvanova. The book is well written + full of deep subtleties and sorrow. I was apprehensive about reading this book at first due to the fact it
was never completed but I'm very glad I did. It was quite a peaceful, easy read for me, the writing is consistent and gently guides you through Annetta's miserable life.

This book made me quite sad at points, although t
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
As in Fitzgerald's The Love of The Last Tycoon, it can be heart-rending to read an unfinished book. I feel satisfied though, as Netotchka concludes, however abruptly, at a reasonable stage in the main character's growth. Dostoevsky had plans to write a large novel with Netotchka's childhood and adolescence detailed here. Most critics pay little attention to this work, but I find it incredibly well-developed and original. This his first epic-style novel shows D's maturity and signature psychologi ...more
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: moral-social-com
You will forgive me. Oh, forgive me random internet person who wanted to read my review of Netochka Nezvanova! You see, I've read this too long ago and find myself unable to write anything that might remotely resemble a decent review. Instead, we will play something I like to call 'I remember!'. Are you ready? I know I am. Uno... Dos... Tres... Here we go! I remember this book had a: Russian Girl, Drunken Father, Adopted Russian Girl, Discovered Library and Inconclusive Sudden Ending. What? Who ...more
Moon Rose
At the very moment I reached the very last page there seemed to be a gridlock, I jaw literally fell to the ground...It is never my habit, when reading a new book, to turn immediately at the very last page to read the ending, nor for a classic such as this, to read introductory articles about it, to have an over view. In fact, when there is an introduction, I skip and just proceed to read the novel proper. You cant imagine my surprise when I realize FOR THE FIRST TIME that the work ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the saddest book I’ve ever read.

In Netochka Nezvanova, Dostoyevsky relates the development of a daughter tormented by poverty and the “special” circumstances that revolve around her parents. Thus, understandably, the psychological dimension Dostoyevsky is notorious for is relevant from the start, despite the fact that the book makes for the writer’s first attempt (that went unfinished) at writing a novel before he was captured and exiled to Siberia in 1849.

Netochka tells her story in th
عماد العتيلي


“You sensed that you should be following a different path, a more ambitious one, you felt that you were destined for other things but you had no idea how to achieve them and in your misery you began to hate everything around you.”

What a wonderful heartbreaking novella!
It shattered my heart into pieces, then it crushed all of those pieces by being unfinished!

It is a real gift to know and read Dostoyevsky.
He leaves me speechless everytime!



Highly Recommended :)
Big Al
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
The opening 60 pages of this unfinished novel are incredible, but this novel loses its power as it progresses. I'm curious as to where Dostoevsky was going with this novel, but hey, at least we got a female protagonist out of it! ...more
Giorgi Komakhidze
Sep 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: russian
Couldn't finish with adequate reaction, Worst one Dostoyevksy could have written.
Sotiris Karaiskos
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The early years of the writing career of the great Russian writer were characterized by experimentation with literary forms of well-known writers of the time, in this novel, however, things seem to be different as for the first time we recognize the well-known voice of his great masterpieces. Of course, the novel is incomplete because of the intervention of superior forces, and we only have a few chapters in the as the author not wanted to continue it later, but what we have is enough for us to ...more
Filipe Dumas
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
These are some of the quotes that truly touched me, whether by its beauty and poetry or by its smothering atmosphere.

«But it was not music... I remember everything distinctly; to the end I can remember everything that caught my attention. No, this was not like the music I later came to hear. They were not the notes of a violin, but the sound of a terrible voice that was resounding through our room for the first time. Either my impressions were incorrect ou delirious, or else my senses were so th
Erma Odrach
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was to have been Dostoevsky's first novel, which he started in 1846 when he was in his mid-twenties. But it was never completed because in 1849 he was imprisoned for revolutionary activities and sentenced to death.

Netochka Nezvanova "Nameless Nobody" is the story of a young impoverished girl, who encounters crises after crises, meeting up with loneliness, guilt, alcoholism, suffering, madness, abuse and more. The book works at a frenzied pace, with already such signature Dostoevsky lines p
David Shakespeare
A very early, uncompleted novel; the first two sections are adequate, with the descriptions of the narrator's father and his delusional lifestyle. After that, though, it turns bizarre, with Dostoyevsky's lurid fantasies coming out in the relationship between the two girls. ...more
Jozef Melichár
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Little tasting of Dostojevskij with too much sadness on small space and too little psychology for me.
Dana Jerman
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hi! Ok, Dostoyevsky... I generally consider him a master, yet altogether too depressing to read, but I thought I'd give this one a go, so here goes:
Major Drama! Fainting, blushing, breakdowns galore and lots of understated gayness!
A total pleasure to read and perhaps a short novel that might well earn its way onto a fresh list of classics for young people (move over, To Kill A Mockingbird.), not to mention a fantastic translation.
His first novel! 7 beautiful chapters and magnificent prose.
Pandit Trouble  Jr.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I red the Malayalam Translation by Thomson Frederick titled 'Aarumillatha Oral'... ...more
J.M. Hushour
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's too bad Dosty got sent to exile in Siberia, because he never finished this, his first novel. Although the scrap that he did publish, little more than 100 pages, is what is considered a mere prologue to a larger work, it really does stand out as an oft-cited precursor to his later, colossal works.
I say 'colossal' not because of length (the size hardly matters) but because you get the real first glimpses of Dosty's gargantuan attempt at understanding the zaniness of human nature and its foibl
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Netochka Nezvanova, Dostoyesky's incomplete first attempt at writing a novel, is worth reading for its dramatic and profound examination of egomaniacal delusion in the person of Efimov, a failed musician who believes he is a neglected genius. His ruinous relationships with his stepdaughter and his wife open a door of perception through which Lolita would be ushered a century or so later by another Russian great. Comprising the first part of the manuscript, this section might well stand alone in ...more
Jessica Gordon
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I didn't realize until after I finished reading it that this was one of Dostoyevsky's unfinished novels. I was reading the last page and the story abruptly stopped, right in the middle of the action. I kept examining the book to see if there were missing pages. Then I read the introduction which explained how he started to write this but never returned to it to finish. I always read the intros last as I don't think you can really appreciate criticism until after you have read ...more
A very strange little book that foreshadows many of Dostoevsky's themes and concerns over the course of his career. I hadn't realized before picking it up that it was an unfinished fragment, hence I was a little surprised at the way in which it simply stops with so many loose ends dangling. Suffering is a major concern, as are the sins of the past, and the many ways in which humans tend to lead to conclusions about each other on the flimsiest of evidence are also foregrounded. ...more
John Hatley
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with almost equal amounts of humour, passion, tragedy and intrigue, this is an excellent representative of Dostoevsky's work. What makes it special in my opinion is that it was one of the first things he wrote and published after his many years in exile in Siberia. What a brilliant author! ...more
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
if only he had finished this novel... quite unlike any other dostoevsky that I've read at least in the subject of the novel (being a young girl). I was just getting really into it when it ended. ...more
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
First, this is not even finished so it shouldn't be judged too harshly. To me this was more than enough, the main character annoyed me too much. ...more
Salma Dahab
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
first I gave it 4 stars as it's an uncomplete novel .. then I think what have written is brilliant and really deserves 5 stars .. however the end ..! ...more
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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk (1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, ...more

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