Saturday 12 March 2011

Crime and Punishment

Finished March 9
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
This is a classic that I had never got around to reading until now. I was lucky enough to catch a blog that was discussing it to get some added direction on themes and commentary. Raskolnikov is not a sympathetic character. He definitely has his issue of poverty, but falls into depression and navel-gazing, blaming others rather than trying to pull himself forward. Throughout the book, one never gets the sense that he develops in this regard, staying very self-involved. His sister Dounia seems made of sterner stuff, rebuffing inappropriate advances and yet caring for those around her, even when her own plans are fast changing.
Raskolnikov never seems to be really sorry for his crime, and I found the epilogue to feel like a piece added on, and not a piece that flowed from the story.
There is a lot of social commentary here, and a good picture of the time in which the book was set. The author was careful to set the novel in real places, and apparently even now there are tours of the various places referenced in the book.
The themes around relationships are also interesting. Most seem troubled to some extent, and the discussions by very characters offer a variety of reasons why.
All in all, I found the book a very interesting read.

1 comment:

  1. This book counts toward two of my challenges this year.
    First toward the 1001 Books to Read before You Die Challenge, and second toward the Chunkster Challenge (at 472 pages).