Friday, October 28, 2016

165. The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
1879-1880
Around 800 pages












I was just reading something, I think it was Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, where the narrator said that The Brothers Karamazov can only be read and enjoyed once.  I am going to have to take his word for it, as I never plan on trying to read this again.  Brilliant?  Yes.  Grueling? Absolutely.

I don't think even know where to begin my summary of this one.  I suppose the plot is kind of secondary to the philosophical discussions in the novel, but I am a stickler, so here goes.  Um...patricide?  Confusing pet names?  Brothers?   Karamazovs?

This is Dostoyevsky's final novel.  I know many people proclaim this to be his masterpiece.  Perhaps it is.  He certainly packed the book with enough philosophical material for the reader to use it as a blueprint for how to live life.  Still, the sheer density of the book precludes it from being an enjoyable read.  I fell in love with The Idiot (fortunately, talking about the novel this time) because he told an engaging story that happened to be sprinkled with insight.

I can't believe I am finally through with Dostoyevsky.  I'll miss you, even though you were kind of a sleazeball.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Sigmund Freud called this "the most magnificent novel ever written."

A copy of this book was found on Leo Tolstoy's nightstand when he died.

UP NEXT: Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace.  Ugh, I already had to sit through the movie and now I have to read it?  Damn the Listmakers and my dog-like obedience to authority.