The Idiot

The Idiot

Book - 2002
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5
Random House, Inc.

In The Idiot, the saintly Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from a Swiss sanatorium and finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with wealth, power, and sexual conquest. He soon becomes entangled in a love triangle with a notorious kept woman, Nastasya, and a beautiful young girl, Aglaya. Extortion and scandal escalate to murder, as Dostoevsky’s “positively beautiful man” clashes with the emptiness of a society that cannot accommodate his innocence and moral idealism. The Idiot is both a powerful indictment of that society and a rich and gripping masterpiece.

From award-winning translators, a masterful new translation–never before published–of the novel in which Fyodor Dostoevsky set out to portray a truly beautiful soul.



Baker & Taylor
Prince Myshkin, a good yet simple man, is out of place in the corrupt world obsessed by wealth, power, and sexual conquest created by Russia's elite ruling class, as he becomes caught in the middle of a violent love triangle with two women who become rivals for his attention. 15,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer

In The Idiot, the saintly Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from a Swiss sanatorium and finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with wealth, power, and sexual conquest. He soon becomes entangled in a love triangle with a notorious kept woman, Nastasya, and a beautiful young girl, Aglaya. Extortion and scandal escalate to murder, as Dostoevsky’s “positively beautiful man” clashes with the emptiness of a society that cannot accommodate his innocence and moral idealism. The Idiot is both a powerful indictment of that society and a rich and gripping masterpiece.

From award-winning translators, a masterful new translation–never before published–of the novel in which Fyodor Dostoevsky set out to portray a truly beautiful soul.



Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2002
ISBN: 9780375413926
0375413928
9780375702242
Characteristics: xxxiii, 633 p. ; 21 cm

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gassan
Sep 04, 2020

Well, if you see this comment, then you'd be shocked by my appreciation of this novel compared to those of other comments. But anyways...

I'm not the type of person to dislike books, especially if they're widely recommended and appreciated by other people, but this has to be one of the worst books I have read. As the size of it indicates, Dostoyevsky rambles on and on about unimportant tangents that don't have any major impact on the story plot. Basically, he's one of those authors who writes a lot to say almost nothing.

The symbolism and hidden meanings in the characters and setting also play a role in making this book unpleasant. They are present and have deep meaning, but they are hidden very deep down so that you'd need Sparknotes to understand what Dostoyevsky tries to say. Unlike other authors, like George Orwell, who subtly make their ideas plain throughout their books, Dostoyevsky deliberately hides them, maybe to make the experience even more thorough, or maybe because it was so in Russian literature.

If you are the type of person, like me, who likes direct and comprehensible ideas/messages that go straight to the point, then I'm afraid this book isn't for you to read. The only positive change that you would take out of this experience is to never again read long and complicated novels that don't deserve your time and concentration if they don't satisfy you, at best, halfway through.

m
Maoisdead
Feb 11, 2017

Classic book by Dusty.

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Sep 02, 2016

A marvelous book with incredible characterization. Part 1 of the book is an incredible page turner which all takes place in one day's timespan. Part 2 is introduces much of the romantic plot and near the end begins to drag. Part 3 digresses in tangents for awhile, gets lost, but then comes back incredibly toward the end. Part 4, much as part 3 before it, gets bogged down in some (in my opinion) unnecessary details, but the final 100 pages of the novel are some of the best I've ever read.

Overall Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" is everything I had heard: an incredible character study, a wonderful story of betrayal and romance, a great allegory of being a good person surrounded by bad people, and an extremely uneven novel. I feel that had Dostoyevsky spent some time editing the novel a bit more it could be trimmed and made quite a bit more effective. That said, it's still one of the finest novels I've ever read, and I'm stunned at the quality of Dostoyevsky's prose and dialogue.

At various points in the novel he stops using the "he said/she said" tags all together, but the dialogue flows wonderfully and simply by the way it is written you can tell which specific character is speaking. It's really something.

So, overall, the characters are my favorite part of this book.

m
macierules
Dec 05, 2010

I would never have picked up this book, if it wasn't my bookclub choice. Warning: don't read it in bed, you need to be fully alert and laced with caffeine to manage the text.

There were times I wanted to give up - its depth, drama, characterization are incredible, but at times the author digresses (sometimes for 60 pages or so) and makes it a tough read.

I can't imagine reading this book electronically - the weight and feel of the book add to its authority.

a
alexy93
Jul 22, 2010

Standing Ovation!
one of the truly finest books I have read. Considered one of the best in world literature

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