Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
(Penguin Classics)

72%

21 Critic Reviews

This is certainly one of those books that makes you do your homework, which is in my opinion a good thing since it forces you to digest it more thoroughly.
-Yahoo! Voices

Synopsis

The two years before he wrote Crime and Punishment (1866) had been bad ones for Dostoyevsky. His wife and brother had died; the magazine he and his brother had started, Epoch, collapsed under its load of debt; and he was threatened with debtor's prison. With an advance that he managed to wangle for an unwritten novel, he fled to Wiesbaden, hoping to win enough at the roulette table to get himself out of debt. Instead, he lost all his money; he had to pawn his clothes and beg friends for loans to pay his hotel bill and get back to Russia. One of his begging letters went to a magazine editor, asking for an advance on yet another unwritten novel — which he described as Crime and Punishment.
One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, Crime and Punishment catapulted Dostoyevsky to the forefront of Russian writers and into the ranks of the world's greatest novelists. Drawing upon experiences from his own prison days, the author recounts in feverish, compelling tones the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student tormented by his own nihilism, and the struggle between good and evil. Believing that he is above the law, and convinced that humanitarian ends justify vile means, he brutally murders an old woman — a pawnbroker whom he regards as "stupid, ailing, greedy…good for nothing." Overwhelmed afterwards by feelings of guilt and terror, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime and goes to prison. There he realizes that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering. Infused with forceful religious, social, and philosophical elements, the novel was an immediate success. This extraordinary, unforgettable work is reprinted here in the authoritative Constance Garnett translation.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

 

About Fyodor Dostoevsky

See more books from this Author
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia's greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov, all available from Penguin Classics. David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.
 
Published March 5, 1998 by OUP Oxford. 576 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, History, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Romance, Crime, Sports & Outdoors, Comics & Graphic Novels, Arts & Photography, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Crime and Punishment
All: 21 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 6

The Spectator

Excellent
Reviewed by A.N. WILSON on Sep 20 2014

There are only three writers known to me who can do this blend of high comedy which at the same time makes you weep — the Shakespeare who created Falstaff, Dickens and Dostoevsky. That knife-edge between sentimentality and farce has been so skilfully and delicately captured here. A truly great translation.

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ABC Perth

Above average
on Sep 26 2014

What unfolds is an intense internal struggle, as Raskolnikov attempts to justify his actions, while trying to maintain his outward equilibrium, as well as navigate the many traps set by a particularly canny policeman to implicate him in the murders.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by DragonSlayer19, on May 20 2014

In my opinion, this book appeals to patient, thrill seekers. It has that suspense and shock but in due time. It takes patience to read this book.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Ana Parfenova on Aug 27 2013

In conclusion, Dostoevsky's uplifting message of the triumph of love and goodness over evil is what makes Crime and Punishment such a captivating novel.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Stetson Thacker on Jul 16 2013

...Crime and Punishment is an assault on a common motif in the psychology of man - the arrogance that accompanies a mind that is aware of its own brilliance.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Leonard Seet on Mar 23 2012

Although the author's moral heavy-handedness in Raskolnikov's repentance and redemption seemed to scar the artistry of the mental battle, "Crime and Punishment" is psychological novel at its best.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Dykstal on Jun 18 2010

I won't lie to you. The book is a hard one to fathom. But Crime and Punishment merits a place on your bookshelf and a place in your mind. Even being able to say honestly that you've read it is worth something...

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Gray on May 24 2010

...Dostoevsky captures the reader into a trance of human existence and the mental thoughts of a killer. I personalty would recommend this book to someone who has a passion for the human mind...

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Charla Morgan on Apr 13 2010

Brilliantly, Dostoevsky allows his protagonist the kind of self-evaluation that the reader can only assume mirrors the inner life of the author himself.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by michael quick on Nov 24 2009

This novel resonated with me in an exceptional way. I believe that what makes a book or idea effective is the measure to which it awakens the feeling that the reader has already considered such things and yet has been unable to form them as a statement in their mind.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Lois Weisberg on May 01 2009

I wish there had been a sequel. No wonder it's a classic! It's a great character study and a great book! Rated 5 Stars

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by James Black on Apr 06 2009

...you feel her warmth and see that she will resurrect Raskolnikovs dead soul and give him new life.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Austin Post on Mar 27 2009

This is certainly one of those books that makes you do your homework, which is in my opinion a good thing since it forces you to digest it more thoroughly.

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EzineArticles

Excellent
Reviewed by Luke Bodell on Jul 02 2010

...it is clear what he did was for the greater good. And this is but one of numerous profound ideas discussed throughout this astoundingly deep book; this is recommended for adults of all ages and tastes.

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EzineArticles

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Cooper on Nov 02 2005

The goal of the novel is to make Raskolnikov into one character. Sonya helps bring Raskolnikov back into his emotional, humane side.

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Rebecca Reads

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Apr 22 2010

...there is such complexity in each person, yet Dostoevsky’s ability to portray humanity so realistically in text testifies that he is a truly great writer. I am in awe.

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Good Choice Reading

Good
Reviewed by Mike Robbins on Nov 26 2013

Dostoevsky is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a light read, this is not it. But for those willing to take on the challenge, Crime and Punishment, will, like all great literature, leave you a different person by the end.

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Prolific Living

Below average
on May 20 2014

“Crime and Punishment” is a meaningless, maddening maze with no point, no beginning and no end, no purpose, no plot and especially, no prose.

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BCF Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Kylie on Mar 07 2008

...I would highly recommend reading it; the thought processes and actions of Raskolnikov are fascinating to witness as he wanders around St Petersburg.

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http://bookstove.com

Above average
Reviewed by kmbrunskill on Mar 08 2009

...Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky should be considered a classic because Raskolnikov’s character and judgment are very interesting, Porfiry’s aspect and infusing guilt was effective, and the theme was very strong and very prevalent.

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The Galilean

Above average
on Oct 20 2005

...I suggest reading the first 30 pages or so of Crime and Punishment, up until the scene where the protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, opens and begins to read a letter from his mother. I think those 30 pages will give you the flavor of Dostoevsky's greatness, and will prompt you to want to read on.

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JENNA AUBREY

JENNA AUBREY 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list