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The Brothers Karamazov is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's final, and perhaps most masterful novel. It is a deeply passionate and philosophical novel that delves into the difficult terrain of free will, morality, faith, doubt, and reason, with an ever-modernizing Russia as its setting.

The narrative itself contains different perspectives which are embodied in its main characters: the four brothers Karamazov who are the spoiled materialist Dimitri, the tortured intellectual Ivan, the (illegitimate), cruel and meddling Smerdyakov, and the kindly, spiritual Alyosha, who is the Dostoevsky's hero. Each brother represents a different dimension of the Russian spirit, and in some ways a microcosm of the whole of mankind. Some consider this as much a work of philosophy as a novel, but it is also a murder mystery, a courtroom thriller, an examination of corruption, religious institutions, and a satire of human corruption.

Published: Sheba Blake Publishing an imprint of Vearsa Limited on Mar 21, 2014
ISBN: 9781304827319
List price: $5.99
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Reread in 2010. Not as good as Crime & Punishment to my mind. Alyosha is too perfect. Yet he does practically nothing to help Dmitri when he could have, like, maybe gone to Smerdyakov to try to get him to confess, for instance. And Ivan is punished way too much. Most atheists really aren't that tortured. Still, it's hard to find a modern novel that even attempts to address so many deep and important subjects. Well worth a read. And a reread.read more
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I once dated a guy whose only literary opinion was that one should read "Heart of Darkness" every ten years to see how one had changed. (Since this was his one and only literary opinion, I doubt it was really his to begin with.) Well, this is definitely a novel I would consider returning to, in a decade's time. By turns a hysterical family soap opera (everyone speaks in run-on sentences and cumulative clauses, and there is an awful lot of crying), a philosophical-cum-religious tract, and a puzzling murder mystery, this novel reminded me a bit of Russia itself (or at least the way I perceive it, anyway): vast and seemingly insurmountable, with pockets of pathos and lashings of tragedy, swathes of sentimentality and sobering meditations on suffering all culminating in an irresistibly vivid portrait of humanity. Really, it's about a family, the Karamazovs, who, in their physical, emotional and spiritual appetites, might be called to stand in for Russia, but they also stand in, I think, for all of us. There aren't many of us, probably, who could look as deeply into our souls as the three eponymous brothers do, and not come to somewhat of the same conclusion about the state of them as they do. What really do love, guilt, justice and punishment look like in the fallen world we live in?I'm sad that this novel has been taken off the 2008 edition of the 1001 list of books. It's a worthy contender & despite its demotion, I'll look forward to returning to it next decade!read more
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Should be more of a 4 1/2. I think the fact that he concentrates on the funeral of a poor peasant boy vs. what ends up to be a rich and evil man says it all.

very philosophically complex this one..


And...er...I am still not quite sure who committed the major crime of the novel to be honest..and I finished it today. I learned so much about Russia in this time period through Dostoevsky. Maybe I should make this five stars instead. I'll have to think about it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Reread in 2010. Not as good as Crime & Punishment to my mind. Alyosha is too perfect. Yet he does practically nothing to help Dmitri when he could have, like, maybe gone to Smerdyakov to try to get him to confess, for instance. And Ivan is punished way too much. Most atheists really aren't that tortured. Still, it's hard to find a modern novel that even attempts to address so many deep and important subjects. Well worth a read. And a reread.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I once dated a guy whose only literary opinion was that one should read "Heart of Darkness" every ten years to see how one had changed. (Since this was his one and only literary opinion, I doubt it was really his to begin with.) Well, this is definitely a novel I would consider returning to, in a decade's time. By turns a hysterical family soap opera (everyone speaks in run-on sentences and cumulative clauses, and there is an awful lot of crying), a philosophical-cum-religious tract, and a puzzling murder mystery, this novel reminded me a bit of Russia itself (or at least the way I perceive it, anyway): vast and seemingly insurmountable, with pockets of pathos and lashings of tragedy, swathes of sentimentality and sobering meditations on suffering all culminating in an irresistibly vivid portrait of humanity. Really, it's about a family, the Karamazovs, who, in their physical, emotional and spiritual appetites, might be called to stand in for Russia, but they also stand in, I think, for all of us. There aren't many of us, probably, who could look as deeply into our souls as the three eponymous brothers do, and not come to somewhat of the same conclusion about the state of them as they do. What really do love, guilt, justice and punishment look like in the fallen world we live in?I'm sad that this novel has been taken off the 2008 edition of the 1001 list of books. It's a worthy contender & despite its demotion, I'll look forward to returning to it next decade!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Should be more of a 4 1/2. I think the fact that he concentrates on the funeral of a poor peasant boy vs. what ends up to be a rich and evil man says it all.

very philosophically complex this one..


And...er...I am still not quite sure who committed the major crime of the novel to be honest..and I finished it today. I learned so much about Russia in this time period through Dostoevsky. Maybe I should make this five stars instead. I'll have to think about it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This novel is epic - it's dense, complex, and unbelievably rewarding once you finish it. So incredible to read a story that intertwines all the complexities of human character into one family - while reading the book, I saw parts of myself in all the characters... the rationalist, the tender-hearted philosopher, and of course, the sensualist. Oh how fun it is to watch the fervent nature of Mitka... And all the while, the backdrop of 19th Century Russian society is a fascinating time period to get absorbed in. I will truly miss these characters.This is on the short list of books that have really connected me personally to the story, and left me affected with life lessons to be taught, i.e. The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Catcher in the Rye amongst a few more...
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This book is listed just about everywhere as a "must read". I have had the book on my shelves for a few years and grew bored with it easily. I am now a big fan of the group read as I think this finally gave me the encouragement to finish this lengthy novel.I am glad that I have read it, and this book is a great tool for discussions of socialism, philosophy, and religion. Parts of it are torture to read, and others are riveting. The story is that of the tumultuous relationship of Fydoor Karamazov and his sons, Dmitri, Ivan, and Alexy. Complete with drunken debauchery, greed, and treatises on heaven versus hell and good versus evil, the Brothers Karamazov is best read in small segments.
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Okay, so, I am biased. I generally dislike Russian lit; I particularly dislike Dostoevsky. I dislike Dostoevsky more now than I did before reading this. I will concede that the novel, particularly the last 150 pages has serious literary heft and some crazily beautiful philosophy. This does not, however, make The Brothers Karamazov an enjoyable read. I know that I sound decidedly lazy when I say this, but it's just so darned long! This book could easily have been 300 pages shorter with very little sacrificed. Overall, I can't say it's something I would read again.
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