by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
Folio classique - 1995
669 pages - 14,75 $
En français ici
En français ici
Why this book
Because I'm always curious about the classics, because it makes me look serious, because it makes my library eclectic ... And what decided me to read this book that waited for me in my library ... is that it's part the 100! So here's my fourth book read from the list.
"Raskolnikov began to shake his body like a man struck by a terrible blow.
- But ... so ... who... is the murderer? he stammered in a broken voice.
Porphyrius Petrovitch sat back in his chair, like a man stunned by a preposterous question.
- Who is the murderer? he repeated, as if he could not believe his ears, but it is you. "
The story without revealing it
Rodion alias Raskolnikov alias Rodka alias Rodia, etc... killed a pawnbroker, spitfire, shrewish and unloved. Why? While reading the book you will know it, that's enough that you know from the start that he killed (but I will not say how many people...)
What I think of it
It is unconventional as we know from the outset who killed, even if said murder happens after only after about 80 pages. Rodia is the murderer, it is written on the back cover, so why 80 pages before killing? This is the time he takes to resolve to commit the crime after long and multiple questions.
Once the crime commited what happens in the 500 pages left? Lengthy and numerous questions on the act itself and on the idea of turning himself in. Rodion babbles incoherently, becomes in turns aggressive, apathetic, delusional, friendly (he helps people), unpleasant (due to his aggressive disdain), tearful, vituperative ... You guessed it, one goes through a myriad of feelings.
Personally, what I least like in classic literature is what I see as self-centered (who am I, or what am I experiencing, where am I going...) and endless thoughts, here I was spoiled! However, I must recognize the genius of Dostoeyvsky who leads us into this spiral of madness over 600 pages, managing to create moments of extraordinary intensity. Moreover, he manages to make Rodia not to look like the monster he is, since everyone look after him (even the police is trying to help).
About the writing itself, the dialogue can be broken, poured out, confused. It sometimes gave me the impression of reading a play. A play with extravagant and over-acting characters that brings us, strangely, even closer to them. The characters are regularly extreme, they do not speak: they shriek, scream, babble, are moved, wring their hands, shiver with fever. The author uses parentheses very often to add information or emphasize a point, which can destabilize or annoy sometimes because it is not natural in a discussion. Last, the Russian names are not fixed: Rodion can be called in several ways and it's the same for all the characters, which sometimes makes it difficult to know who it is.
Yes, I struggled at times: this is not my kind of reading, I have already state that, but the quality of the writing, the power of story, the characterization, the atmosphere created, all this has largely offset some difficult times. I was immersed in the story like never before among people, often whimsical and certainly on the edge of caricature, but that's what makes it easier to feel close to them.
Let's be brief
This is the story of a criminal whose endless thinking about his possible confession is regularly hampered by multiple encounters and stories lived by other characters. You should know that the story takes place about two weeks ... over 600 pages! Human relationships are indeed very important and particularly well covered in this book. For those who love relationships and human history, this novel is a masterpiece. For those who love action and decision-making ... not sure!
Priceless : looking for Crime and Punishment on the Renaud-Bray site, the bottom of the page suggestion was... tada: 50 shades of Grey!
More seriously, Nietzsche said that Dostoyevsky was the only one from who he had learned something in psychology ... This gives you an idea of the power of the characters you'll encounter in his books, is not it? Reference