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The Brothers Karamazov (Dover Thrift Editions) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Constance Garnett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 23, 2005 0486437914 978-0486437910 Unabridged
Completed only two months before his death, The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoyevsky's largest, most expanisve, most life-embracing work. Filled with human passions—lust, greed, love, jealousy, sorrow and humor—the book is also infused with moral issues and the issue of collective guilt. As in many of Dostoyevsky's novels, the plot centers on a murder. Sucked into the crime's vortex are three brothers: Dmitri, a young officer utterly unrestrained in love, hatred, jealousy, and generosity; Ivan, an intellectual capable of delivering, impromptu, the most brilliant, lively, and unforgettable disquisitions about good and evil, God, and the devil; and Alyosha, the youngest brother, preternaturally patient, good, and loving.
Part mystery, part profound philosophical and theological debate, The Brothers Karamazov pulls the reader in on many different levels. As the Introduction says, "The characters Dostoyevsky writes about, though they may not appear to be ones who live on our street, or even on any street, seem, in their passions and lack of self-control, the familiar and intimate denizens of our souls." It's no wonder that for many people The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest novels ever written.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''[Dostoevsky is] at once the most literary and compulsively readable of novelists we continue to regard as great . . . The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of his art -- his last, longest, richest, and most capacious book.'' --Washington Post Book World

''The Brothers Karamazov is the most magnificent novel ever written.'' --Sigmund Freud

''Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come as close to Dostoevsky's Russian as it is possible.'' --Joseph Frank, Princeton University

''The Brother Karamazov...is the strongest [novel] Dostoevsky composed, and is where his genius should be sought...he seems to me to have a deeper relationship with Shakespeare than criticism so far has revealed.'' --Harold Bloom --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486437914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486437910
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fulfillment of Artistic Vision August 3, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
"I would die happy if I could finish this final novel, for I would have then expressed myself completely."
This statement from Fyodor Dostoyevsky helps elucidate both the theme and purpose of the The Brothers Karamazov, one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature. Superficially, the novel deals with a patricide and how each of the book's characters contributed directly or indirectly to that murder.
Yet, The Brothers Karamazov, at its heart, is so much more. Its underlying theme deals with the drive for self-redemption in the eyes of both God and man and the role suffering plays in facilitating that redemption.
Fyodor Karamazov has fathered four sons, Dmitri, Ivan and Alyosha, by two wives, and one, Smerdyakov, with a peasant woman known as stinking Lizaveta.
Fyodor Karamazov, a vulgar and ill-tempered man represents, for Dostoyevsky, the Russian government of his times. Like the government, Fyodor shuns his children, preferring instead the materialistic, but joyless, life of wealth and possessions. His union with Lizaveta, who comes to represent all the peasants of Dostoyevsky's Russia, produces Smerdyakov, a bastard child who, in his own turn, will be raped and pillaged by the government and will go on to give birth, metaphorically, to bastard children of his own.
Karamazov's eldest son, Dmitri, an impulsive sensualist, finds respect as an overbearing soldier but one whose inability to pay his debts eventually turns him into a poor and irrational man.
Ivan, Fyodor's second son, is a cold intellectual who finds his fulfillment in his literary and creative abilities. He becomes famous through his writings, especially those concerning the Russian Church.
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107 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In his most comprehensive (and not coincidentally, his final) masterpiece, Dostoyevsky addresses and discusses a number of the most fundamental and universal issues which face man. His multiple perspectives are embodied in seperate characters -- taken together, these characters form the whole of the Karamazov family, and these perspectives constitute the whole of Dostoyevsky's view.
Each of the brothers represents a distinct school of thought or values -- the impulsive Dmitri portrays the instinctive and carnal desires of man; the nihilist, Ivan, displays the cold and unforgiving intellectual, governed by the rules of logic alone; the religious Alyosha, student to the Great Elder Zossima, depicts the humble and devout spiritualist. While the murder of their father, Fyodor Karamazov, is the catalyst to the real action of the book, it is certainly not the central focus -- a fact that might be surmised in light of the fact that the murder is not carried out until more than halfway through the text.
Instead, the work is a discussion and analysis of man's values and beliefs, and an affirmation of Dostoyevsky's fundamental conviction: that the presence of the human spirit cannot be denied without disastrous results, and that despite the assertions of the nihilists, God is a necessary element in the world of man.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding May 2, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I must admit that when I first began listening to this audiobook I did not care for the narrator's voice. After I made it to the second disk I began to more fully realize what a talented voice actor he actually was, and the remaining 28 disks or so were a great joy. His narration is delivered in a clear and warm manner and each character is given an unique voice and inflection. I will never be able to imagine Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov sounding any other way (Father Zossima as well). As far as the content of the book is concerned, The Brothers Karamazov is hands down one of the finest novels ever written. If you have never read it, this audiobook is well worth your time.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anyone interested in the central question facing mankind will find `The Brothers Karamazov' an essential guide. That question--on man's capacity for responsibility and the proper role of the state and religion--is posed throughout the story in dialogue and events, and is framed neatly in a 20-page section where Ivan presents a poem titled `The Grand Inquisitor' to his brother Alyosha. The chapter that bears that title (Book V, Chapter V) is a masterpiece in itself and should be studied for its narrative technique alone. But the ideas it presents are so immense, so mind-blowing and inspirational, that literary criticism is not sufficient.

Indeed, `The Brothers Karamazov' should not be classed merely as a novel--it is a book of philosophy, theology, and sociology as well that ranks with the greatest documents in those disciplines. There is a fictitious plot, of course, and the characters in the story are some of the most interesting in all of literature, so it is rightly praised as a novel. But the modern reader looking for a plot of twists and romantic intrigues is bound to disappointment. Dostoevsky does not stir up drama through the placement of unexpected developments or improbable character traits. Instead, he relies on the inherent needs and wants of all men to make vivid his story.

The amount of dialogue may be shocking (tedious) to one accustomed to the modern show-don't-tell policy in storytelling. Today, novelists and screenwriters let a character's actions speak for them--it is quicker and provides a much more convincing impression. It also limits the kind of ideas that are posed in the story to simple, prosaic ones like `she likes him' or `he wants to defeat him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Brothers Karamazov
Like many authors of this genre, D. inserts a great deal of extraneous material that doesn't move the story forward. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Gary L. Swimley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel!
Quite a large undertaking, but well worth it! Dostoevsky is very gifted in telling a story about Russian life in rural Russia.
Published 5 days ago by Mitzi L Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a great version of the classic book, the dover thrift editions are simple and straightforward, and the best part is they are affordable, so you get the classic books you... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Daniel Nies
4.0 out of 5 stars Great history
My maternal great grand parents migrated from Russiain 1890. Boy did this help me understand the family dinamic as I grew up.I wish I had read it 50 years ago.
Published 8 days ago by randy speer
1.0 out of 5 stars The book pictured was not the book that was delivered
I expected to receive the edition of the book that was pictured in the sale. I not only received a different edition, it was an abridged copy of the full text
Published 9 days ago by Nate Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars The one book you must read in life
“There is one other book, that can teach you everything you need to know about life... it's The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but that's not enough anymore. Read more
Published 18 days ago by abid hassan
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best book of all time.
I am writing this review of the book, not the Kindle version. I have not even read the Kindle version, yet. Read more
Published 22 days ago by D. Safir
5.0 out of 5 stars Great all time novel!
I read this book many, many years ago when I could not fully appreciate it. Of course, I did not know that back then, but its richness comes with age and wisdom or at least,... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Ronald K. Moody
2.0 out of 5 stars review
Slow starting and wordy. Chap 5 - The Grand Inquistor is the best part of the novel & worth reading. That chapter certainly makes anyone, but, particularly, a Christian think. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James H. Kerr
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing view of Russian life
This amazing work captures the Russian life, love, religion and philosophy in the late 1800's after serfdom ended. The book is a huge slog to get through but well worth it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by trdr46
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