Sunday, 18 May 2008


AUTHOR: Fyodor Dostoyevsky


DATE READ: May 2008

NOTES: Having read and loved Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov I started this book very enthusiastically. Prince Myshkin is portrayed as an innocent, child-like Christ figure – the epitome of all that is good. Rogozhin is the antithesis and is described as dark and his actions are the opposite of the prince’s. The central premise seems to be whether an innocent and good person can survive in a cruel and evil society.

While there were flashes of brilliance and some very exciting “set pieces” (eg when Nastasya throws the parcel of money on the fire) I was somewhat disappointed on the whole. It was really much too long and rambling and (dare I say) rather tedious. Some of the characters were interesting – Myshkin, General Ivolgin, Nastasya – but not enough to redeem the book overall. There were simply too many people who seemed to have no real work to do who had lots of time to sit around gossiping. No wonder they had a revolution!

No comments: