I think it’s must-read. I am a big admirer of Dostoyevsky (well, I have to be), and I admit I listened only to about last twenty minutes of your review, but I earmarked it and will return to it later to listen in full. I agree with you about the ending – I recall that I also found it a bit “forced”.
Even though I do see it as a classic that deserves all its accolades, and that is brilliant in many ways, I did not find the personality of Raskolnikov all that believable. Perhaps it is just me and I have seen too many real crime docs but I just don’t see how a person can kill two women in cold-blood, even if despair and confusion were present, and then starts atoning, seeking redemption. I just didn’t believe in this vision of Dostoyevsky’s. I could understand maybe theft, or injury or even maybe completely forced murder, but killing two vulnerable women in such a way for a monetary gain…To even *start* committing such a horrific crime, an element of psychopathy must be already present in an individual. The author just did not convince me fully in the end. These are my personal thoughts, of course, and they are not related to Dostoyevsky’s literary skill and mastery in the book which I consider absolute. In spite of that, I still consider the book one of the greatest.
Yes, I was really puzzled both by the crime and then after that, by the change of heart. Something I have felt very strongly about in recent years is consistency of a character… Not that people don’t do unpredictable things – sometimes they do – but there still has to be an overall consistency, until an opportunity fully presents itself for the person to change or they’ve done some serious soul-searching. In spite of his relationship with Sonia, this metamorphosis seemed to be a bit missing here.
Yes, Raskolnikov’s actions seem re-define the phrase “doing unpredictable things”. Perhaps I should re-read the novel. I’ve read it quite a long time ago. I guess literature is supposed to be optimistic and idealistic, and also make us believe in people having the desire and ability to change and then choosing the right path. It’s not that I don’t believe in a person truly regretting what they have done, feeling sorry or even changing (I do), my problem with this story is in the issue of what it takes for a person to actually kill two vulnerable women in the first place, especially in the manner that Raskolnikov did. To be even capable of carrying this crime out…that’s not ordinary. That’s a hard-sell for me.
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