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Crime and Punishment (Vintage Classics) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Classics
  • Paperback: 565 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 2, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679734503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679734505
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mired in poverty, the student Raskolnikov nevertheless thinks well of himself. Of his pawnbroker he takes a different view, and in deciding to do away with her he sets in motion his own tragic downfall. Dostoyevsky's penetrating novel of an intellectual whose moral compass goes haywire, and the detective who hunts him down for his terrible crime, is a stunning psychological portrait, a thriller and a profound meditation on guilt and retribution. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

An acclaimed new translation of the classic Russian novel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Written by Dostoevsky, this Russian masterpiece is truly one of the greats in literary classics.
A. Hay
The novel clearly shows that moral relativism can only conduce to crime, tragedy, death, guilt and... punishment.
Guillermo Maynez
The characters, although the focus of the story is Raskolnikov, are all well realized, and developed.
B. Morse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Amy L. on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Crime and Punishment centers upon the story of a young Russian student, Raskolnikov, who plots and carries out a brutal murder. However, this is less than a quarter of the story. The rest centers upon his attempts to come to terms with the philosophical and psycological consequences of his act. Aiding, or hindering, him in this endevor are a series of characters from the kind-hearted prostitute Sonia and her drunken father, the unrepentant scoundrel Svidrigailov, Raskolnikov's best friend Razumihin, and the police detective come amateur psychologist Porfiry Petrovich. Though the story develops slowly, with many detours, Raskolnikov's journey through crime and punishment remains gripping until the very last page.
I first encountered Crime and Punishment in the classic translation by Constance Garnett and loved it for Dostoyevsky's careful balance of character and philosophy. Dostoyevsky's genius lies in his ability to create simultaneously a psychological novel and a novel of ideas. Though each character represents a certain philosophy of life, they never become lifeless or stereotyped. Instead, each is a memorably developed and psychologically deep person, who could easily carry a story in their own right. Dostoyevsky's genius is in the perfect counterpoint between conflict of personality and conflict of philosophy between each of these fascinating people. Dostoyevsky also specializes in garnering the reader's interest and sympathy for the most unlikely characters. This is a novel, after all, with an ax murderer as the protagonist.
However, until I read this new translation of Dostoyevsky, I never realized that besides psychologist and philosopher, Dostoyevsky was also a masterful stylist.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By B. Morse on February 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Many of the 'classic novels' I have read were originally written in English, and therefore forego translation in modern bindings. Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, although written in the latter half of the 19th century, holds up well to the conversion from the original Russian to English.
Rodion Raskolikov is a student, an author, an intellectual. Like countless others in Russia at the time, he is also very poor. His empassioned mind imagines that a local woman, a pawnbroker is evil, a parasite, for taking the valued trinkets of her neighbors and paying them a pittance in return, and for holding promisary notes over their heads. His rage turns to murder, justifying his actions later on as doing a greater good for many by taking the life of this one person. However, his crime is two-fold, as he is discovered by the woman's sister, still with the murder weapon in his hands, and in a moment of terrified frenzy, murders her as well.
The bulk of this novel, exquisitly written, is the slow realization of Raskolnikov that his crime was just that, a crime, no matter how good his intent. Raskolnikov struggles with the guilt of his actions, even as he time and again proves his worthiness as a person in his actions regarding others, giving up his last bit of money to help another less fortunate than himself, attending to a dying man in the streets, trying to secure a good future for his sister, with a worthy man. Raskolnikov, as the reader discovers, is a good and decent man.
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89 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Lazyboy on February 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this novel 15 years ago, and loved it. It was one of my favorites. But when I was reading the Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear translation I found myself losing interest in the book quickly. So I compared a few translations, switched to the David McDuff translation and really began to enjoy the book again.
I think that Volokhonsky and Pevear don't write English very well. Frankly, there are frequent times when their translations make no sense at all. There was a big marketing effort behind the publications of their translations, and I bought into it. I liked the blurbs on the back covers, and tried reading some of their russian translations. But once I got into the habit of comparing translations, I saw that McDuff, Jessie Coulson, and others write much more readable translations.
These books aren't easy to get through, and I would hate to see someone discouraged by a poor translation. I recommend comparing one paragraph in two translations if you can. You'll notice the difference, and be able to pick out the translation that's right for you.
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250 of 322 people found the following review helpful By "mikeu3" on September 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Crime and Punishment is quite possibly the most widely read 19th century Russian novel in the English-speaking world, and while I might say it's a tad overrated (for reasons discussed below), there are many good reasons for its exalted status. In case you're not familiar with the story, it begins with the decision of an impoverished student, Raskolnikov, to rob and kill a pawnbroker, having justified his decision with the argument that her death will do the world more good than harm, both because she cheats her clients and because the money from the robbery will give him the start he needs to become a great man and ultimately benefit humanity. The action of the novel is confined to the day of the murder and a few days following it, during which time, in addition to dealing with a murder investigation led by a clever and intriguing detective who suspects him, Raskolnikov spends time with his mother and sister, who have just come to visit, and with the tragic Marmeladov family, consisting of a drunken father, a consumptive mother, three young children, and an eighteen-year old girl who is forced into prostitution in order to support the family.
Dostoevsky is notoriously good at investigating the psychology of his characters, and from that standpoint his treatment of Raskolnikov is probably the best in all of his work. While, as in many of his works, Dostoevsky includes a meek saint-figure (in this case Sonia, the prostitute mentioned above) through whose Christian love the other characters will hopefully be redeemed, Dostoevsky's most remarkable characters tend to be not the ones he idolizes but rather the "devil's advocates" with whom he disagrees, and Raskolnikov is probably the finest example of that.
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