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Notes From Underground (Bantam Classic) Paperback – October 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Classic
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (October 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553211447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553211443
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man," the irascible voice of a nameless narrator cries out. And so, from underground, emerge the passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul; the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of alienated individual who has become one of the greatest antiheroes in all literature. Notes From Underground, published in 1864, marks a turning point in Dostoevsky's writing: it announces the moral political, and social ideas he will treat on a monumental scale in Crime And Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov

From the Inside Flap

"I am a sick man . . .  I am a spiteful man," the irascible voice of a nameless narrator cries out.  And so, from underground, emerge the passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul; the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of alienated individual who has become one of the greatest antiheroes in all literature. Notes From Underground, published in 1864, marks a tuming point in Dostoevsky's writing:  it announces the moral political, and social ideas he will treat on a monumental scale in Crime And Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
Dostoevsky is one of the most insightful writers of all time.
Bethany McKinney
The book is like a circle, after you read the second part, the first is illuminated, and you feel like reading it over from the beginning.
K.
To understand this work in-depth is to understand what it means to be human in Dostoevsky's world.
Thrash Jazz Assassin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Shane Fitzgerald on February 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground" is an existential classic. This book, like many of Dostoevsky's works, intertwines the notions of literature and philosophy, probing the depths of aesthetic contemplation through philosophy. Dostoevsky, used this manuscript as a testing or training ground for later ideas he would explore in his groundbreaking and notorious books such as "Crime and Punishment,""Brothers Karamazov," and "the Idiot." Also central to the theme of the writing one will enciounter many notions of autonomy, or freedom of the individual. The main character, "the Underground man," performs many absurd actions, often in spite of his own self. However, this deals with the notion as Sartre later expressed, is it better for the individual to choose for him or herself and be wrongs sometimes or once in a while, then to have others choose for oneself? The protagonist, is continuously struggling, with himself and the existential burden of constructing and being soley responsible for ones own existence, for owns own counciousness. "Notes from Underground" is a magnificent, psychological exploration, into the mind of the individual, free, autonomous and choosing completley for oneself, which is anything but an easy matter.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bethany McKinney on April 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. But while being entertaining, it is also a poignant narration of the self-centered paranoia of a man who is desperate for people to like him. Unfortunately, because people never have really liked him, he also has a deep disdain for people. So in his thoughts and in his interactions with people, there are evidences of deep longing for companionship interspersed with a contempt for all of humanity.
Dostoevsky is one of the most insightful writers of all time. He has provided us, in Notes from Underground, with a character who is really just the average person placed under a magnifying glass. Dostoevsky has done a beautiful job of showing how painful (yet irrational and silly) people's fears and paranoias are. It is one of the best examinations I have ever encountered about how people desire intimacy with other people, and what happens when others do not reciprocate that desire. This is a short book, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Thrash Jazz Assassin on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This work is stunning in both its presentation and the ideas that it brings up for our inspection. However, these ideas themselves first become available to us through the character of the narrator from underground.
To understand this work in-depth is to understand what it means to be human in Dostoevsky's world. It is this fundamental perspective that informs the masterworks that followed. To truly grasp even the opening line of this work: "I am a sick man....a spiteful man. An unattractive man..." to understand what, exactly, consitutes his sickness, his spite, his unattractiveness, is to better understand the major works that followed from the Russian master. In fact, he surreptitiously introduces Raskolnikov in one of this book's last lines.
This book is a wonderful key to unlock Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. Besides which, it is by far the best short novel I have had the honor of being introduced to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aco on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Let me be the million millionth reader to praise Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. I finally opened this brilliant tale of a man's mental morass after having the Bantam Classic version on my shelf for years. Years! While another review or the many critical, scholarly examinations of this seminal work will better help you understand this story, I must stake my claim to it's effects on me, and the empathy and appreciation for the Underground man's-thusly Dostoevsky himself-boldness and passion, however anti-social, bitter and vulgar.
While the first part is more of an internal philosophical back-and-forth, finding the man debating the Laws of Nature and the propositions of Fate, the second finds him in action, risking himself against others, in a society of facades, abuses hurled upon abuses, indifference, and pained love.
It is a harrowing read, and taking a translation for what it is, namely a partial recreation of ideas and images true mainly to it's original language, the story is fluid and the attitude and feel of the dingy St. Petersburg apartment, restaurant and streets in which it takes place are vibrant enough for me to be still amazed at the brilliance of Dostoevsky's mind and skill, artistry and sense of the immortal nature of paradox within human existence.
This is a classic, and must be experienced.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book. Really. A psychological study of a character you either hate or fear you're becoming(or perhaps cheer on, depending on your emotional makeup). NFU is part tragedy, part satire, part character study, part philosophical discussion, and part misanthrope's manifesto(if you identify with him, as I partially do, it opens up a whole new level of enjoyment).
PS: The version to get is, for once, the Bantam Classics version. That translation is incredible: "Two times two makes four is a brazen fop who bars your way with arms akimbo, spitting." What color! What life! This translation crackles with energy and cleverness.
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