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Bobok

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  811 ratings  ·  69 reviews
"Bobok" (Russian: Бобок, Bobok) is a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky that first appeared in 1873. The title can be translated from the Russian as meaning "little bean" and in the context of the story is taken to be synonymous with gibberish or nonsense.
Kindle Edition, 20 pages
Published June 3rd 2016 by Kypros Press (first published 1873)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  811 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Maria Espadinha
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smelly Souls


What a witty delicious kind of tale :)
Is this the Dostoyevsky we all know?!... The one from Crime and Punishment?!... Or a shrewdly disguised Gogol?!
It seems to me that our usually so dramatic Fyodor is sounding much more like the sarcastic Nicolai in this one! ...

Bobok is somewhere between a cartoon and a classical short story. Dostoyevsky makes fun of the russian society, comparing it with a bunch of smelly souls !

I always thought of humour and Dostoyevsky as an impossible blend, b
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Florencia
* This review may have a little spoiler *

I love short stories and novellas. It's fascinating how a writer can say so much in a few pages. Bobok is another excellent example of this writer's talent to describe people's virtues and miseries. He wrote major works concerning the human condition, and they all seem to have been written yesterday.
The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool — a faculty unheard of nowadays. In old days, once a year at any ra
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Sidharth Vardhan
The title means 'little bean' and it is to be understood as 'nothing'. The premise which sounds more Gogol with its supernaturality than Dostoevsky is that recently dead and buried don't lose their consciousness but talk to each other lying in their graves during nights. What will they talk about? I guess different authors will have them behave in different ways - some will have them repent. But Dostoevsky will have them talk about their sins and take pride in their base acts, all the more now t ...more
Renée Paule
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those who like to reflect on what happens to our consciousness after we die - Dostoyevsky gives us a lot to think about in this lovely short story.
Farya
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depravity exists even when you are dead.
Sergio R
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bobok by Fyodor Dostoevsky

When it comes to discussing truly great writers, one of the first names that inevitably come to my mind is Fyodor Dostoevsky. His extraordinary acumen of human nature and his wondrous ability to discern and vividly depict the psychological traits in human behavior are epitomized in his two best novels: Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. Nevertheless, many of his other less known works are just as insightful, poignant and more often than not, extremely engr
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Zayar
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nowadays humour and a fine style have disappeared, and abuse is accepted as wit.

I am thinking of making a collection of the bons mobs of Voltaire, but am afraid it may seem a little flat to our people. Voltaire’s no good now; nowadays we want a cudgel, not Voltaire. We knock each other’s last teeth out nowadays.

The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool — a faculty unheard of nowadays. In old days, once a year at any rate a fool would recognise t
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Harry Collier IV
Interesting ideas.
Despite having lived in Russia for over a decade I do not know enough of the pre-Soviet culture to get the references.
Still, the idea is a good one and I shall come back to this short story again.
Alexis Medina
Nice short story. The main character goes to the funeral of a friend, after the ceremony he remains in the graveyard, and then he hears the dialog between some dead at the cemetery. In the story, after someone dies, is given a little time to them to reflect about their lives. Their consciousness remains active, they can think, and talk to each other in the graveyard.
The point of the book is revealed at the conversation they'are holding, in the topics they're discussing: corruption, superficial l
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Vilius Karsokas
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating short read. Enjoyed it though i would have liked to explore the concept more. There could be some enlightening stuff here, but I need to sleep on it to think about it. Nonetheless it's entertaining piece.
Erlich Lõwi
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A witty short story that casts a satirical shadow of doubt on the common practice of respecting the dead solely for the fact that they are dead, regardless of their reputation in life. Indeed, are we right to see death as a spiritual and sacred event that solemnizes all earthly wrongdoings? Dostoyevsky depicts newly departed of various professions and backgrounds, in their tombs, conversing of largely trivial matters instead of seeking redemption for their sins or a higher meaning for the whole ...more
Descending Angel
A short story that has a really interesting idea ~ Ivan Ivanovitch attends a funeral and hears the voices of the recently deceased and buried. The dead entertain themselves by talking about stuff while waiting for whatever happens to them to happen, which takes about 3 months. Godd idea, but it didn't really do anything for me, it's too short and doesn't really go anywhere. It really pain's me to give Dostoyevsky this low a rating, but it's just a quick short story, worth reading but nothing spe ...more
Crina Bucur
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, classics
Depravity transcending death
Ruze
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I really enjoyed this short story. Funny, sharp and surreal.
Moses
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who talk to themselves.
This is my favorite Dostoyevsky book.
Saba R.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was absolutely hilarious.

Quick rundown of the story: Guy finds he can hear the conversations of a bunch of dead people while they’re in their tombs. How this happens? As one dead person in Bobok explains, consciousness is retained in the body for a period after death.

On a creepier note, the Quran speaks of an intermediate state between death and resurrection (afterlife) known as Barzakh. In Barzakh, the soul and body become separated, but the soul is invested into another kind of body.
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Samuel Rooke
A zippy little atmospheric short story, perhaps inspired by Dostoyevsky’s own writing difficulties at the time.

The irony of the protagonist literally being surrounded by stories ripe for the writing, yet dismissing them as nonsense and wondering where else to get inspiration, seems to key into some of the psyche around writer’s block.

Even setting aside any greater meanings like that, it’s a neat atmosphere in the graveyard and with the spookiness of the talking ghosts and the “inertia of consc
...more
Sheyda Shahriari
Bobok gives us a lot more to think about, Dostoyevsky is so great at telling short stories and to make us think twice about the consequences of our actions, and it can tell us how small human beings can be.
Мануэль
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"On the tombstone there lay a half-eaten sandwich--stupid and out of place."
Daniel Callister
Fun story in which a man in a cemetery overhears the conversation of several deceased and buried individuals below him.
Suzan
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad
Sarah Awad
Bobok in Russian roughly translates to "a bean" which in context means jibber-jabbery nonsense, and that pretty much sums up the whole story- all 14 pages of it.
Ourania
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Dying doesn't change who you are. A clever, funny short story about the depravity of humanity.
Barbara Hansen
This reminds me of Lincoln in the Bardo, or is it the other way around?
Ângela
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics

This was a fun and satirical story, where the characters (all dead and buried) discuss the everyday problems and scandals of the Russian society.
Christopher
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not your normal Dostoyevsky, its a bit honey and comical and very entertaining.
Anunknowngirl
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great ambience "straight from the crypt",with a bit of surrealism and humour.A rather delightful slice of (weird) life captured in about 30 pages.Loved it.
Jamie Campbell
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anybody looking to start on Dostoyevsky, Bobok makes for a decent taster of his work. Brisk yet striking, the story depicts an alcoholic aspiring writer who ends up dozing in a church graveyard after a funeral ceremony. There he finds himself listening in on a bizarre spiritual gathering - a group of recently deceased from various walks of life, rambling over a game of cards and anticipating the 'awakening' of newly deceased additions to the graveyard.

The quality of writing is immediately ob
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Emy
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow that was quite an unusual ride! ....a story from under the grave,a story that makes us think thoroughly about the significance of life ,and the mystery of the hereafter ,and mostly about the inevitability and unexpectedness of death .Dostoyevsky's short story invokes prominent philosophical reflextions, tinted with the readers' own religious perceptions of death ,and life after death. However,it's true that it leaves so many questions unanswered ,but it manages to make us cherish life more a ...more
Maan Kawas
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent witty short story by Dostoevsky, which imposes deep existential questions! I read this fascinating short story from an Existentialist perspective, and it left me with many questions. For example, how our personal existence would change in a different context or setting as well as between the realms of life and death? If there is only a short concentrated consciousness, what can be considered as one’s essence?

I was impressed by Dostoevsky’s talent to write and say a lot in this shor
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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 psyche 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 dea
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“To be astonished at everything, of course, is silly, while to be astonished at nothing is much more handsome, and for some reason is recognized as a good form. But surely it's not like that in reality. In my opinion, it's much sillier to be astonished at nothing than to be astonished at everything. And what's more: to be astonished at nothing is almost the same thing as to respect nothing. And a silly man is not capable of showing respect.” 0 likes
“Acho que o mais inteligente é quem ao menos uma vez por mês chama a si mesmo de imbecil — capacidade de que hoje não se ouve falar!” 0 likes
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