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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  32,330 ratings  ·  1,249 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0679734511. (ISBN13: 9780679734512)

Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horrified Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a "novel-pamphlet" in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny maste
Paperback, 733 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Vintage (first published 1872)
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Karen Michele My son just recommended that I make sure to get the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. We both read and enjoyed their translation of…moreMy son just recommended that I make sure to get the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. We both read and enjoyed their translation of The Brothers Karamazov.(less)
Rebecca P+V translate everything really literally. To the point where things make no sense in English sometimes, which is fine. Any translation except Garnett…moreP+V translate everything really literally. To the point where things make no sense in English sometimes, which is fine. Any translation except Garnett is fine.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.26  · 
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 ·  32,330 ratings  ·  1,249 reviews

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MJ Nicholls
Popular Culture: An Alphabetical Contempt. a) Let’s not mince words. All populist entertainment is repulsive, useless, dangerous and witheringly anti-intellectual. b) Except maybe Doctor Who. But that’s hardly Beckett, is it? c) I first became an intellectual snob in my late teens. I witnessed first hand the slow declension of burgeoning intellects through a routine of television, video games and a fear of reading books. d) How did I escape this declension? e) I learned words like declension. I ...more
“At the inquest our doctors absolutely and emphatically rejected all idea of insanity.”

I open with the closing lines, on the brink of exhaustion, not sure of my own state of sanity.

Reading Dostoyevsky is a bit like spending time with close family members with a diametrically opposed worldview: I love them dearly, unconditionally, but I don’t LIKE them at all.

As I am slowly working my way through Dostoyevsky’s works, starting with the whisperings of a man taking notes from the underground, moving
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, aere-perennius
“Full freedom will come only when it makes no difference whether to live or not to live. That’s the goal for everyone.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons


[Review in limbo]

I loved the Devil(s) out of the Possessed

How the Hell do I adequately review this? Once someone hits a certain genius with writing (or other forms of art), it is impossible to really grade their art. How could one grade Beethoven's great symphonies? Is Demons/Devils/the Possessed better than Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karama
Ahmad Sharabiani
Бесы = Demons = Devils, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Demons (Russian: Бесы, Bésy) is a novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1871–2. It is considered one of the four masterworks written by Dostoyevsky after his return from Siberian exile, along with Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Demons is a social and political satire, a psychological drama, and large scale tragedy. Joyce Carol Oates has described it as "Dost
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Si usted supiera, Sónechka, cuánto cuesta ser escritor, es decir, ¡cargar con la suerte del escritor! Mire usted: yo estoy seguro de que si dispusiese para escribir una novela, de dos a tres años —lujo que pueden permitirse Turguéniev, Gonchárov y Tolstoi— me saldría una obra de la que se hablaría aún pasado un siglo.”

Con esa carga de preocupación que en una carta Dostoievski le escribe a su sobrina, Sofía Aleksándrovna Ivánovjmir, en agosto de 1870 antes de comenzar a escribir Los Demonios nos
Henry Avila
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Winds of change are finally sweeping Czarist Russia , in the 1860's. Ideas good or bad , arrive too, they have been around for decades in the rest of Europe, this land is no longer isolated ... Socialism is the new fad for the intellectuals. The serfs have been freed by Alexander the Second, courts democratized, the death penalty seldom carried out, people can speak and write freely, up to a point. There is still Siberia for those who go over the line a little. And all the new railroads, will ge ...more
آبتین گلکار
داستایِفسکی در این رمان هم پرسشی ابدی را مطرح کرده که هنوز دغدغه انگیز است و به شکلهای مختلف در زندگی شخصی و اجتماعی ما رخ می نمایاند. پرسش این است: آیا به نام هدفی متعالی می توان دست به جنایت زد؟ یا به بیانی کلیشه ای و نازل تر: آیا هدف وسیله را توجیه می کند؟
داستایِفسکی این رمان را در واکنش به رخدادی واقعی نوشت که در تاریخ روسیه به «قتل دانشجو ایوانوف» مشهور شد: سِرگِی نچایِف، رهبر گروه انقلابی ـ تروریستی «انتقام مردمی»، به دنبال اختلاف نظرهایی با ایوان ایوانوف 23ساله، از اعضای گروه خود، تصمیم ب
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dostoyevskinin siyasi ve felsefe konularını en derinden işlediği kitabıdır..
Maloja Snake
Τα 5 αστερια ειναι πολυ λιγα για να περιγραψουν τους συγκλονιστικης δυναμης και απαραμιλλου βαθους Δαιμονισμενους του αγαπημενου μου Ντοστογιεφσκι.Εχοντας επηρεαστει απο την πρωτη πολυκροτη πολιτικη δικη που συγκλονισε την κοινωνια της Ρωσιας στα μεσα του 19ου αιωνα,πλαθει ενα ποικιλομορφο μωσαικο πληρως αντιπροσωπευτικο των ανθρωπων της(και οχι της τοτε μονο εποχης).Ως φοντο λειτουργει η πολιτικη αναστατωση και η αφυπνιση καποιων μεριδων της κοινωνιας που αναζητουν την αλλαγη διακρινομενοι σε σ ...more
Elie F
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: russian, socialism
Seeking for God through demons

Dostoevsky's Demons reminds me a bit of the spirit which Socrates sees love as in The Symposium: halfway through gods and man and serving as a ladder in between.

At first glance Demons is a anti-nihilist anti-Western pamphlet novel preaching a certain Russian Christianism that is essentially religious nationalism. The charismatic (and demonic) characters can be regarded as spokesmen for different ideologies that are gripping on the Russian mind. Each of these ideolo
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ομολογώ πως έχω ολοκληρώσει το μυθιστόρημα εδώ και λίγες ημέρες, αλλά όλο ανέβαλλα να το περάσω στα read μου και να γράψω λίγα λόγια για αυτή την αναγνωστική εμπειρία. Νομίζω πως τώρα, λίγο πριν εκπνεύσει ο Απρίλης, είναι πια καιρός να το πάρω απόφαση.

Δεν θα κρύψω πως με δυσκόλεψε αρκετά η ανάγνωση των Δαιμονισμένων. Εκτός από το μέγεθός του, η νοηματική του πυκνότητα και ένταση με ανάγκαζαν να προχωρώ με αργούς ρυθμούς. Φυσικά πρόκειται για αριστούργημα της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας, ένα έργο κλα
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Dostoevsky’s novel, Demons (often falsely translated The Possessed, thereby erroneously stressing the object rather than the subject), is one of his most powerful books, a socio-political work exploring 19th century ideas (the “demons”) current in Russia at the time, specifically European liberalism and nihilism in contrast to what was most important to Dostoevsky, Russian Orthodoxy, and in this sense the author seems a forerunner of Solzhenitzyn a century later, in our own time. At times the no ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My favorite extended quote from Demons:

“Having devoted my energy to studying the question of the social organization of the future society which is to replace the present one, I have come to the conclusion that all creators of social systems from ancient times to our year have been dreamers, tale-tellers, fools who contradicted themselves and understood precisely nothing of natural science or of that strange animal known as man. Plato, Rousseau, Fourier, aluminum columns—this is fit perhaps for
Luís C.
The Demons is a thought-provoking book that captures the attention of the reader by the richness of detail, the engaging and differentiated narration. The narration is done through chronicles, where the chronicler narrates the facts that are happening, other times he reports what happened as he also acts as a character witnessing what happened. This process of narration makes reading dynamic and engaging. It is important to emphasize the philosophical and socio-political content of the dialogues ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
١ اين كتاب تقريبا هشت سال قبل از برادران كارامازوف نوشته شده و كاش كاش كاش كسي بهم ميگفت كه بايد اين رو قبل از برادران كارامازوف خوند، ايدوئولوژي ها و مسائلي كه مطرح ميشه يك مقدمه ي بي نظير براي برادران كارامازوفه، پيشنهاد من اينه كه اين كتاب رو قبل از اون بخونيد اينجوري بخش هايي از كتاب به خصوص قسمت هاي مذهبي كتاب برادارن كارامازوف كه ممكنه كمي گنگ به نظر بياد رمزگشايي ميشه
٢ دو تم اصلي كتاب مسئله ي وجود خير مطلق و عدم وجود خير مطلق (ايمان و كفر اما نه به اون معناي سطحي كه ما ميدونيم)و خودكشيه
Vit Babenco
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s portrayal of human nature is so idiosyncratic that he simply can’t be surpassed by anybody in this art.
There always are some fashionable ideas and human beings, who can’t think indepedably, prefer to follow this fashion blindly and those people are eventually used by the others… They just become cat’s paw.
“And you know it all comes from that same half-bakedness, that sentimentality. They are fascinated, not by realism, but by the emotional ideal side of socialism, by the rel
Nelson Zagalo
"Demónios" (1872) não é um romance, não é também um romance histórico, é um trabalho de puro ativismo social mas que nunca se subjuga ao mero panfleto, assume o fundo realista para se debruçar sobre as especificidades do realismo social e psicológico, ou seja, debate as questões que faziam mover a sociedade russa na segunda metade do século XIX, procurando compreendê-las a partir das motivações psicológicas dos seus principais atores. Ao fazê-lo Dostoiévski dava conta do que acontecia e do poten ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lett-russa
Un romanzo complesso, impegnativo, anche pesante a tratti, ma Dostoevskij – come sempre – pur raccontando una storia particolare, con personaggi delineati nitidamente, riesce a parlare di qualcosa di universale, che riguarda l’umanità tutta e ogni uomo, qualcosa che riguarda me.

Albert Camus, che per vent’anni ha lavorato ad una riduzione teatrale di questo romanzo, dice:
“I demoni è un romanzo profetico non solo perché annuncia il nostro nichilismo, ma anche perché mette in scena anime dilaniate
Konstantina August
Ένα διαμάντι της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας μα συγχρόνως το πιο κουραστικό βιβλίο του Ντοστογιέφσκι που έχω διαβάσει, με ατελείωτους, εξαντλητικούς διαλόγους μεταξύ δυτικιστών, αθεϊστών και μηδενιστών. Άμεση ειρωνία και κριτική ιδεολογιών που ο Ντοστογιέφσκι ήθελε να πραγματοποιήσει, επιλέγοντας συνειδητά το καλλιτεχνικό κομμάτι να έρθει δεύτερο, ώστε πρωτίστως να εκφράσει έμπρακτα τη μεταμέλεια του για τη συμμετοχή του σε επαναστατικό κύκλο στα νιάτα του. Η μετάφραση εκπληκτική, με έκανε να αισθανθ ...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
I was savoring every single page , but the library deadline suddenly forced me to plough through the second half in a single day. I shall not review this book until I have thoroughly re-read it, but the pages I read attentively were truly inspiring and posed the moral dilemmas that Russian literature and especially Dostoyevsky himself is famous for.

Also a technical fact that made me worship the book was the simple fact that Dostoyevsky had used the characters' full names EVERY SINGLE TIME. As a
I wish I was eloquent enough so I could talk about Demons. I'm not. I severely lack the necessary intellect that would allow me to analyze it or even say a few things worth mentioning, the way they should be said.

I will, however, state the obvious. Demons has great, limitless philosophical value. It's not a novel meant to be read as a pastime activity. It's demanding of one's full attention and capacity and still, it might be necessary for one to go back several times in order to not lose grip
The quality and mastery of Dostoevsky’s vision, and his use of character and plot and pacing, are all on display in this marvelous work. It’s true that perhaps it doesn’t hold together as strongly as some of his other works; but it’s not true that this is a poor example of his work. In some ways, it exceeds all of them, particularly through voice and narrative instability.

There perhaps is some reticence to include it amongst the ‘greats’ due to politics and religion, both then and now. Dostoevs
amin akbari
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به نام او

یکی از بهترین آثار فیودور داستایفسکی بود با احتساب شیاطین (جن زدگان) تنها اثر مهمی که از داستایفسکی نخوانده ام برادران کارامازوفه که آن هم امیدوارم ترجمه از زبان اصلیش به زودی زود منتشر بشه.
شیاطین با سایر کارهای داستایفسکی تفاوت عمده ای داره. داستانهای او بیشتر حول محور یک شخصیت می گرده و بیشتر ذکر حالات خصوصی و نفسانی آنهاست.
ولی داستایفسکی در شیاطین به سراغ نفس اماره جمعی میره و هیولای سربرآورده از آن رو مورد بررسی قرار میده به همین خاطر شیاطین اثر متفاوتی ست و به همین خاطر شاید کمتر ا
Melika Khoshnezhad
این کتاب برای من خیلی متفاوت بود با کتاب های پیشینی که از داستایوفسکی خونده بودم به این دلیل عمده که ساختار داستان (شاید متناسب با محتواش) ساختار درهم برهمی تری داشت نسبت به برادران کارامازوف یا جنایات و مکافات. نه اینکه مثل داستان های مدرن نوشته شده باشه، نه، اما شخصیت ها پیچیده بودن و تا اخر هم نمی تونستی درست و حسابی از شخصیت و گذشته شون سر دربیاری. که البته من فکر می کنم این اتفاق از عمد بوده، یعنی به خاطر اینکه داستایوفسکی تمرکزش در این کتاب روی بُعد شیطانی آدم ها بوده، اینجوری می خواسته کم ...more
Mar 16, 2008 rated it liked it
all dostoevsky's usual tricks are here: his dense, documentary-like prose, succession of dialogue-heavy scenes leading up to a huge scandal, all his idiots and villains and beggers, his dark and keen psychological insight... yup, it's all in demons, but, goddamn, did i find this a chore to read. the characters, to me, felt too much as stand-ins for (albeit, insightful and interesting) ideas, and the plotting was laborious and repetitive... that said, it's amazing how the man laid out the breadcr ...more
Tayebe Ej
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
بهتر از داستایوسکی داریم مگه اصن؟
Sidharth Vardhan
Wanna start with a 1984 like quote:

'He suggests a system of spying. Every member of the society spies on the others, and it's his duty to inform against them. Every one belongs to all and all to every one. All are slaves and equal in their slavery. In extreme cases he advocates slander and murder, but the great thing about it is equality. To begin with, the level of education, science, and talents is lowered. A high level of education and science is only possible for great intellects, and they
Andrei Tamaş
Acest roman s-ar fi putut la fel de lesne numi "La originile SOCIALISMULUI". Conceptul nu trebuie interpretat însă în sens ideologic (originile sale ar putea fi dibuite chiar în Grecia antică: Pericle, de pildă, chiar de nu își sistematizează crezul, transpune, prin politicile sale, premisele fundamentale ale socialismului), ci strict istoric. Nici dracu' nu știe când a fost înființată prima Internațională. Datele istorice nu interesează, deoarece la început aceasta s-a confundat cu un nucleu co ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The likeness of the events in this novel to events that have happened recently, such as the shooting of the policemen in Dallas, or the attempted coup in Turkey, is incredible. It seems to me like the people whom this novel revolves around are misguided, they are idealists, and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. What is so interesting is that the ideas that they initially had, were sometimes good ones, the problems arised when people were starting to misinterpret ideas, or changing ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Come si può commentare un libro di una complessità tale come I demòni?
La critica letteraria dell’ultimo secolo ha scritto una mole di opere sulla figura del grande scrittore e sui suoi scritti.
In qualità di semplice lettrice, mi limito a parlare dei momenti più alti, nella loro tragicità, del libro, momenti che raffigurano, ai miei occhi, la grandezza e il genio di Dostoevskij. Meriterebbe di essere letto solo per queste pagine. Essi sono rappresentati dalle due lettere scritte da Nikolaj Stav
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  • Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector,  Selected Stories
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  • Petersburg
  • Soul
  • The First Circle
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  • Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881
  • The Fall of the Athenian Empire
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  • The Complete Short Novels
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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
“If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.” 437 likes
“There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it's heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: 'Yes, this is true, this is good.' This . . . this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don't forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don't really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What's most frightening is that it's so terribly clear, and there's such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn't endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it's worth it. To endure ten seconds one would have to change physically . . . .” 97 likes
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