Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

Crime and Punishment
This topic is about Crime and Punishment
76 views
Archive Hefty/Husky > 2018 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5389 comments Mod
Crime and Punishment (Russian: Преступлéние и наказáние, tr. Prestupleniye i nakazaniye, IPA: [prʲɪstʊˈplʲenʲɪje ɪ nəkɐˈzanʲɪje]) is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. Later, it was published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoevsky's full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing.

Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg who formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Before the killing, Raskolnikov believes that with the money he could liberate himself from poverty and go on to perform great deeds; but confusion, hesitation, and chance muddy his plan for a morally justifiable killing.


message 2: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
Is this an April book?


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
We plan to spend 3 months on each hefty book, so it is for April/May/June.


message 4: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
Oh along with War and Peace?


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Originally The Divine Comedy was the other selection, but it has been moved to our new Epic Poetry thread.

It is your choice which of the two hefty classics you read, or you can read both, if you feel like it.
They are both great books.
In my opinion, Crime and Punishment is a faster read, because it deals with one major character, Raskolnikov and other assorted characters. The plot is focussed mainly on his actions.

War and Peace deals with two families and Napoleon's Russian Campaign and is more of an epic nature.


message 6: by Vicky (new) - added it

Vicky Hunt (reason2believehim) | 20 comments I've read both, and Crime & Punishment is definitely faster. Also, though Dostoyevsky is notorious for having so many characters with the same names across several books, and calling them each by multiple names, lol, C&P, as Rosemarie said, is much simpler. Dostoyevsky is my favorite author, and I've read just about all his books, but I have been looking for an 'excuse' to re-read C&P. This looks like my excuse.

Of course, Tolstoy is great, too. I just read War & Peace last year and that's enough for this decade. It's colossal. C&P didn't feel hefty like that.


message 7: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
Crime and Punishment is definitely on my tbr list! I’m a little over half way with War and Peace now and I love it. C&P will be my April 1st read along with the Divine Comedy. Can’t wait!


message 8: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
I'm starting this on Monday! Can't wait!


message 9: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5389 comments Mod
Character List

Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov The main character who is alternately called Rodya, Rodenka, and Rodka.
Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikov Rodya's sister, alternately called Dounia.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov Rodya's mother.
Semyon Zakharovitch Marmeladov A drunkard who figures prominently in a bar conversation with Raskolnikov.
Katerina Ivanovna The wife of Marmeladov.
Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov Marmeladov's daughter and devoted step-daughter of Katerina Ivanovna, who prostitutes herself and later falls in love with Raskolnikov. Also called Sonia.
Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigaïlov Dounia's former employer who arrives in St. Petersburg.
Marfa Petrovna Svidrigaïlov's wife who dies and leaves Dounia a bundle of needed money.
Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin A rich man who thinks he can buy happiness for Dounia, his love. His name, comically, means "puddle."
Dimitri Prokofitch Razhumikin Raskolnikov's best friend and guardian of Dounia.
Andrei Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov A tenant in the same building as the Marmeladovs and a liberal.
Porfiry Petrovich The overseeing police officer on Raskolnikov's case.
Alyona Ivanovna The moneylender who Raskolnikov murders.
Lizaveta Ivanovna The simple-minded sister of Alyona and a friend of Sonya.
Praskovya Pavlovna Raskolnikov's complaining landlady who is owed back-rent.
Nastasya Praskovya's servant and a friend of Raskolnikov.
Amalia Fyodorovna The Marmeladov's landlady who causes a big scandalous fight at a dinner party.
Kapernaumov Sonia's landlady.
Zossimov A friend of Razhumikin and a doctor who cared for Raskolnikov.
Nikodim Fomitch Chief of the police.
Zametov A clerk in the police station and a fiend of Razhumikin.
Ilya Petrovitch A police official.
Nikolay and Dimitri The painters, one of whom admits to the crime.


message 10: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5389 comments Mod
About 58 pages a week for 12 weeks or 8 or 9 pages a day.

At the age of 28, Fyodor Dostoevsky, sentenced to death for revolutionary activities, stood before a firing squad. The young writer and agitator kissed a cross that was passed around among the prisoners. The Tsar’s soldiers raised their guns. Then a rider rushed into the square and announced a pardon: the condemned men, including Dostoevsky, were to be sent to hard labour in Siberia instead. When Dostoevsky returned from Siberia and wrote his great novels, his near-death echoed through his work.


message 11: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
Thank you for the information Lesle!

The beginning is very interesting. Im surprised at the depth of Rodion's character so far!


message 12: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new) - rated it 3 stars

Patrick | 651 comments Mod
The dream with the horse was rough.


Inkspill (runinkspill) I've been meaning to read this one for ages, I'm hoping to start reading this next week 🙄, Ummmm, really hoping.


Inkspill (runinkspill) read part one - sharp portrait of a troubled mind


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Dostoevsky is good at showing us his characters' inmost thoughts and feelings.


Inkspill (runinkspill) Hi, just want to check my understanding - pt 2 ch 5, where Petrovitch says:

"New valuable ideas, new valuable works are circulating in the place of our old dreamy and romantic authors. Literature is taking a maturer form, many injurious prejudices have been rooted up and turned into ridicule.... In a word, we have cut ourselves off irrevocably from the past, and that, to my thinking, is a great thing..."

Is that a reference to the Russian Revolution ?


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
The Russian Revolution occurred in the 20th century. The first and unsuccessful one ocurred in 1905,and the big one was in 1917.
However, there was a lot of unrest during the latter half of the 19th century among the students, certain writers, teachers, etc.
Dostoevsky spent some time in Siberia because of his opinions against Tsarism and was fortunate not to be executed.


Inkspill (runinkspill) Crumbs - that's an experience to go through - explains the dark nature of the novel, and wouln't have guessed with how beautifully it's written.

I'm almost at the end of third part, it took me a while to realise the characters are addressed in more than one way in the text but I'm really enjoying it

Pt 3 Ch 5 - oh, talk about simmering tension


Inkspill (runinkspill) I got a bit lost in the first chapter of part 5, with the discussion about progressive ideas. Sometimes, this feels more like a philosophical text than a novel, I kinda get the gist, Hmmm, I think 🤔, well, maybe ☺


message 20: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
That is what Dostoevsky often does, head off into discussions, but he does go back to the plot as well. As long as you get the big picture, you're okay.


Inkspill (runinkspill) you're right, back to the drama now, things are getting really tense for Raskolnikov


message 22: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8756 comments Mod
Towards the end of the book, the focus is more on the plot and less on the discussions.


message 23: by Nikita (last edited May 18, 2018 10:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nikita | 5 comments Inkspill wrote: "Hi, just want to check my understanding - pt 2 ch 5, where Petrovitch says:

"New valuable ideas, new valuable works are circulating in the place of our old dreamy and romantic authors. Literature..."


Hi Inkspill, I am a history major and so could tell you specifics of this sentence. The novel was published in 1866. It was real churning period in Russia's history comparable to the 20th century communist revolutions. 1861 the Emperor through Emancipation Proclamation abolished surfdom. This decade was also the period of gradual industrialization (railroads being laid) with the help of foreign capital. So with European money, ideas also came & intermingled. The Tsar was unsuccessfully attempting to liberalize through piecemeal reforms. Nihilistic movement was ongoing. Etc.

I admire that you concentrate & reflect on specific views of the characters.


Inkspill (runinkspill) Thanks Nikita, this is really helpful. I try, but don't always succeed, to see the world through the character's eyes ☺

Throughout the novel it makes references to many things, I definitely don't fully understand it all but it hasn't taken away the enjoyment to read this.

Not far from the end now, and you're right Rosemarie it's back on the story -- I can't wait to see how this end 😯


Doreen Petersen Ironically I'm reading this one now. Kinda hard to concentrate tonight because the Red Sox game is on.


message 26: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Piyangie | 846 comments Mod
I finished this few days ago. I enjoyed the plot as well as the "discussions" on the ideas of progressive movement. To my understanding these discussions were essentially part of the plot as Raskolnikov was mostly weighed down by progressive ideas.

But what touched me the most in this book is Dostoevsky's compassionate writing on human suffering, both physically and mentally. He writes at a time where middle class and lower middle class societies were facing an economic crisis and this led to many social problems as are discussed in the book. And this very condition supported the progressive movement to socialize their ideas and quite a number of intellectuals were becoming aligned with them in order to make change. I really enjoyed reading all these aspects while enjoying the plot.


back to top