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The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue [Kindle Edition]

Fyodor Dostoevsky , Richard Pevear , Larissa Volokhonsky
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Book Description

The award-winning translation of Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel.

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Editorial Reviews


“[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. [This] scrupulous rendition can only be welcomed. It returns us to a work we thought we knew, subtly altered and so made new again.” –Washington Post Book World

“A miracle . . . Every page of the new Karamazov is a permanent standard, and an inspiration.” –The Times (London)

“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review

“Absolutely faithful . . . Fulfills in remarkable measure most of the criteria for an ideal translation . . . The stylistic accuracy and versatility of registers used . . . bring out the richness and depth of the original in a way similar to a faithful and sensitive restoration of a painting.” –The Independent

“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now–and through the medium of [this] new translation–beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” –New York Review of Books

“Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as it is possible.” –Joseph Frank, Princeton University

With an Introduction by Malcolm V. Jones

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
403 of 419 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be no less than five stars. July 9, 2004
I cannot compare this translation to the others. Like most mortals, I rarely read 800 page books more than once. However, I can attest that The Brothers Karamazov, as translated here, combines the moving human drama we expect from Dostoevsky with liberal dose of wry humor. The text seems modern and fresh, the circumstances and petty humor surrounding the characters so central to the human predicament that the story is timeless.
And what a story: It is (among many things) a satire of human corruption, a meditation on faith and religious institutions in an age of skepticism, a murder mystery involving love triangles, a courtroom thriller and in the end a testament to the goodness and bravery humans are capable of.
The story follows the lives of old man Karamazov, a filthy penny-pinching lech and his three sons. Each son represents a different side to the Russian character: Dimitri the spoiled lout (or the prodigal son), Ivan the tortured intellect, and Alyosha the spiritual searcher.
Alyosha, Dostoevsy says, is our hero. And he does represent a certain Christian ideal. He, in the end, stands for brotherhood and meekness in the face of temptation. These qualities, no doubt, are what Dostoevsky suggests will preserve and redeem the Russian nation. All around Alyosha is the carnage caused by people who are not awake to this truth -- and they wallow in suffering.
This book, the last Dostoevsky wrote, also presents an intricate political/religious landscape. We see Russia on the brink of socialist forment, and the church is not spared in the skepitism of characters like Ivan, who, in the 'Grand Inquisitor' chapter, presents the most spine tingling critique of organized religion I've ever read.
But, after 800 pages Brothers Karamazov is a book that burns so brightly and is so capable of moving a reader that the book's cost will seem paltry and the reader who comes through will find his or her knowledge of the human soul expanded. A+.
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167 of 176 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This translation is too awkward for most readers January 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before you dedicate many hours to reading this masterpiece, you must be sure you select the appropriate translation for your reading style. The Pevear translation - although highly acclaimed - may make it difficult for most readers to grasp the essence of this beautiful story, and therefore I would almost always recommend the McDuff version ahead of the Pevear.

The Brothers Karamazov presents the same challenge for every English translator; namely, Dostoevsky took pride in creating distinct voices and syntax for each of his characters, and most translations have sacrificed the syntax and voicing to make it more readable - in the process losing much of the tone of each character. Pevear's translation is known for being the truest to the original, as it replicates the syntax with an almost academic precision. However, in being so true to the syntax and voicing, Pevear leaves sentence structures that are so unfamiliar-sounding to the native English speaker as to be disruptive. Many times as I read this translation I found myself jolted out of the flow of reading because the phrasing felt so awkward. As an example of a difficult sentence:

Pevear: "These occasions were almost morbid: most depraved, and, in his sensuality, often as cruel as a wicked insect, Fyodor Pavlovich at times suddenly felt in himself, in his drunken moments, a spiritual fear, a moral shock, that almost, so to speak, resounded physically in his soul.
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156 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It slowly changed my life. It's still haunting me. July 27, 2000
I think I am going to read this wonderful book again. There is so much life and passion in it, that reading it again will definitely enrich my soul even further.
I want to tell you how this novel changed my life. It was recommended to me by a Russian Orthodox priest who considered it the best source of Russian Orthodox spirituality in literature. So I read it. I read it because at the time I was striving to become a true Orthodox Christian myself. The result, however, turned out the opposite: I lost any faith I ever had in the truth of the Church and all its dogmas. This book gave me an idea that if there is God, it is certainly not what we are taught He is.
I think that in this work Dostoevsky reached the very height of what I would call "a war with oneself". He created this unforgettable contrast between what he wanted to believe (and, indeed believed at times) and what he actually was going through in his spiritual search, which were probably indescribable spiritual torments of doubt. I now have this indelible image of Ivan confiding in Alesha, arguing with Satan and, at last, denying God himself in his search for the truth. It was he, who stirred my whole being and it was Dostoevsky himself speaking through Ivan with the most profound sincerety and desperation.
On the opposite, Dostoevsky introduces Alyosha, who didn't doubt, but just loved and believed. This young man, according to Dostoevsky's plan, is a prototype of Jesus Christ himself, a man in whom the truth is open within, a man through whom one can truly feel God's love. It is a fascinating character, although, Dostoevsky depicts him in the light of Christian Orthodoxy, as an example of TRUE spirituality, as opposed to any other spirituality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite
Good stuff
Published 7 days ago by Justin Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars About the best ever
A rare book.

There are not too many books that transcend time. It is difficult for a story to stay relevant hundreds of years later, not just because of changing times... Read more
Published 13 days ago by NJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort required
An serious undertaking, but a fascinating read.
Published 19 days ago by Charlie Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mixture of 19th century Russian justice
Great mixture of 19th century Russian justice, philosophy, and religion. It delivers the feelings of a time and place in a way that is universally understood.
Published 20 days ago by Bob Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic literature worth reading again.
Published 24 days ago by Darrik Acre
5.0 out of 5 stars Doestoevky's masterpiece in beautiful translation.
This is Doestoevky's masterpiece. I have read earlier translations years ago. I can say this is the best by far by Pevear and Volokhonsky. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Gerald R. North
5.0 out of 5 stars Consummate Writing
Unabashedly profound because we humans are deep, complex and wonderful. Such a novel is extremely rare, multilayered and rich with details. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel
Dostoevsky uses the characters in this novel to make points about religion, philosophy, conditions in Russia in 1860, and the future of Russia. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. S. Dennis
2.0 out of 5 stars but it is a disappointment to me---just too old
The print is too small and the plot is too complicated for a 90 year old woman. I heard a speaker refer to it and I apprecfiated what he said, but it is a disappointment to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carol Sample
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost every angle of humanity in it
And Dostoevsky proves once again that even though is prose is not perfect, his writing is superb. He managed to take as much humanity as possible into a single book, single town,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fernando Rodriguez
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Are you serious?
What is the matter with you, man? We're talking about one of the finest novels ever written, and you're complaining about price?
May 4, 2012 by chrisam |  See all 5 posts
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