The Brothers Karamazov

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Published: 1879
Language: English
Wordcount: 350,007 / 789 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 64.6
LoC Category: PG
Downloads: 30,546
Added to site: 2005.06.30 10663

Generally considered one of Dostoyevsky's greatest novels, on the surface it is the story of a patricide in which all of the murdered man's sons share varying degrees of complicity, but on a deeper level it is a spiritual dramatization of the struggle between faith, doubt, reason, and free will. [Translated by Constance Garnett.]

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ow about it, except that she would be better at the bottom of the river than remaining with her benefactress. So the poor child exchanged a benefactress for a benefactor. Fyodor Pavlovitch did not get a penny this time, for the general's widow was furious. She gave them nothing and cursed them both. But he had not reckoned on a dowry; what allured him was the remarkable beauty of the innocent girl, above all her innocent appearance, which had a peculiar attraction for a vicious profligate, who had hitherto admired only the coarser types of feminine beauty.

"Those innocent eyes slit my soul up like a razor," he used to say afterwards, with his loathsome snigger. In a man so depraved this might, of course, mean no more than sensual attraction. As he had received no dowry with his wife, and had, so to speak, taken her "from the halter," he did not stand on ceremony with her. Making her feel that she had "wronged" him, he took advantage of her phenomenal meekness and submissiveness to trample on the elemen


Average Rating of 4.5 from 6 reviews: *****

The Brothers Karamazov is beyond literary criticism. It is full of the fragrance of life. In this book, heaven greets earth and earth reaches heaven. And it all happens throughout the whole book. This book is very humane (also optimistic and humanistic), but not in a sort of "one has the freedom to do whatever he/she wants because tomorrow they will be food for worms" kind of way. The Brothers Karamazov was Dostoevsky's last novel, and I agree completely with one person who left a comment- Larissa Volokhonsky and her husband's translation is the ONLY ONE WORTH READING (that I know of). Many translations use sophistication (that's good in math, chess and sometimes philosophy), but has NO PLACE in this book! Dostoevsky's books can have very sorrowful parts, but all in all they highlight hope for humanity and something special that resides in each person, even in the worst of people. This special thing is a soul and a conscience, and a desire for love. I'm sorry but I've read praise from some famous people of Dostoevsky as a "great psychologist" and him knowing people, and etc. and I must say, there's nothing wrong with psychology, but Dostoevsky is just a tad above much garbage that is around that's called fancy names. Some books can be translated and interpreted in various "creative" ways and that is great- but the spiritual meaning of the book must be transferred in the translation, then use all the creativity you want. I think translating a book like this and changing its meaning is robbing the author of everything he meant to say (it's not bad, it's just pointless). I'm sure that reading it with a proper attitude can still convey everything well to the reader, but the best translation is by Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear. This book is like entering another country and seeing that people not only look differently, they speak differently, they think differently, believe and live in their own way. It's not a typical fiction novel, and some people might find it very boring. Sorry for such a long post and enjoy your life :D

Perky Moon

Eloquently written as only Dostoevsky can. A true masterpiece.


This is an incredible book. Read it in this translation:

The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Author), Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)

It makes a HUGE difference! Garnett translated some things in a such way that it changed the meaning of Dostoevsky. Just compare The Grand Inquisitor chapter in both translations. You will be surprised. Trust me, Russian is my native language!

Caroline Rees

I know its supposed to be a great book, but I just could not get on with it. I was bored by the characters and waiting for something interesting to happen. I thought I could cope with a bit book about Russians after reading Anna Karenina and War and Peace but this was too much hard going. I must be a philistine!


I've read it! Twice! And then I bought it to keep! Great, great novel!

Greg Mackay

Simply the greatest novel ever written.

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