Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crime & Punishment Reviewed by Christina

I just finished this a couple of days ago. It took me quite awhile. I reviewed it on my blog here.

In Fyodor Dostoyevsky's great Russian novel, Raskolnikov, a student fallen on hard times, commits a heinous murder of an old pawnbroker. No spoilers here, right from the get go Raskolnikov contemplates this crime that he believes is not a crime and by the end of Part 1, the deed is done. After the murder, the majority of the novel is spent in Raskolnikov's head, as he falls ill from the mental strain of not only trying to hide what he has done but philosophizing whether or not the murder was a crime.

Although not a difficult novel to read, I found that being in the mind of a man who is a nearly loony strenuous and I had no trouble putting it down for days at a time. Raskolnikov's erratic behaviour and bizarre ramblings were hard to follow. Fortunately, Raskol has a lot more going on in his life to keep us from going over the deep end with him. He has a poor mother and sister who's marrying a despicable man, a new friend with a consumptive wife and prostitute daughter, plus a crew of ne'er-do-wells living around him in the seedy side of St Petersburg. It's never a dull moment, and very inconvenient for a man who would just like to lose his mind in peace.

I didn't love it. It's hard to love such a dark book but it was very interesting. I'm quite glad I read it.

This was JMC's pick. She hasn't committed any murders but has thought of the perfect murder while at the grocery store. I can relate to that! The only problem with that is that Raskolnikov made such a mess of it that I'm surprised he wasn't caught in the first 50 pages. I hope she can do better than that...Or maybe not. Maybe stay clear of JMC if you happen to see her at the grocery store just in case ;)

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