Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Crime and Punishment

Rate this book
Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden sex worker, can offer the chance of redemption.

671 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1866

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Fyodor Dostoevsky

3,333 books50.1k followers
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and journalist. His literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of philosophical and religious themes. His most acclaimed novels include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880).

Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest novelists in all of world literature, as multiple of his works are considered highly influential masterpieces. His 1864 novella Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature. As such, he is also looked upon as a philosopher and theologian as well.

(Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский) (see also Fiodor Dostoïevski)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
442,157 (51%)
4 stars
252,725 (29%)
3 stars
107,842 (12%)
2 stars
32,870 (3%)
1 star
15,794 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32,807 reviews
Profile Image for Matt.
936 reviews28.6k followers
August 28, 2020
“Trying to untie the string and going to the window, to the light (all her windows were closed, despite the stuffiness), she left him completely for a few seconds and turned her back to him. He unbuttoned his coat and freed the axe from the loop but did not quite take it out yet; he just held it in his right hand under the coat. His hands were terribly weak; he felt them growing more and more numb and stiff every moment. He was afraid he would let go and drop the axe…suddenly his head seemed to spin…”
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

(My raging, Raskolnikov-like conscious could not rest without warning you of potential spoilers ahead!)

The problem with being a high school student with average intelligence is that you can get fairly good grades with fairly minimal effort. It is an invitation to cut corners and utilize only one half your ass. This happened to me in English class. I'd sit back, take good notes, and bluff my way through various tests (this was back in the day before Google, when my family only had an AOL dial-up connection and all the answers, right and wrong, were on the internet). For these sins, I am now fated to read the classics long after I was supposed to read them.

On the plus side, coming to the classics on my own volition has given me a better appreciation than having to read them with a figurative gun to the head. This has allowed me to enjoy certain works to a higher degree.

However, I don't think any number of years will allow me to appreciate or enjoy or even suffer Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

First published in 1866, Crime and Punishment is the excruciatingly-detailed psycho-epic about the murder of a pawn shop owner (and her sister). The murderer is named Raskolnikov. He is a former student living in a wretched little closet apartment. He is utterly unlikable: smug, arrogant, temperamental, condescending and self-delusional. Today, we would recognize this person as having a serious mental illness (and the book would be called Inability To Form Criminal Intent and Involuntary Commitment instead of Crime and Punishment). Dostoevsky, though, presents Raskolnikov's malady as spiritual, rather than mental. In a way, he is just like every grad student you've ever met: shiftless; over-educated and under-employed; haughty, yet prone to bouts of self-loathing. I imagine if this book was written in the next century, Raskolnikov would have shaggy sideburns, wear a t-shirt emblazoned with Che's image, and have a well-hidden addiction to prescription pain pills.

Raskolnikov has some interesting theories. He's a Nietzsche-inspired proto-Nazi who believes that the world can be divided into two classes: an elite, Napoleonic class, free to do what they wish; and a second class comprised of everyone else. This former class, because of their elevated standing, don't have to follow the rules.

Armed with this self-serving worldview, Raskolnikov, in need of money, determines that the pawn broker Alyona Ivanovna is a louse who deserves to die. So he takes his axe and a fake pledge to her apartment and bashes her head in. The crime is suitably graphic:

He took the axe all the way out, swung it with both hands, scarcely aware of himself, and almost without effort...brought the butt-end down on her head...Because she was short, the blow happened to land right on the crown of her head. She cried out, but very faintly, and her whole body suddenly sank to the floor, though she still managed to raise both hands to her head...Then he struck her again and yet again with all his strength...Blood poured out as from an overturned glass...

Once the murder is complete, very early in the novel, the long, slow, excruciating psychological unraveling begins. Some of Raskolnikov's madness is displayed through seemingly-endless internal monologues. Is this what it's like to be a crazy person? Maybe, maybe not. But it's effective in its way, because it drove me insane reading it.

Raskolnikov's deterioration is also presented via his relationships. Despite being an utter jackass, he has a lot of friends and family who care for him. Among them is the doting Natasha, a housekeeper at Raskolnikov's apartment; a doctor named Zossimov; and Raskolnikov's “best friend” Razumikhin, who is a bit like Milhouse from The Simpsons, though a bit more refined. He looks after Raskolnikov, tries to get him a job, and suffers all Raskolnikov's verbal abuse with unflagging patience. I couldn't decide what annoyed me more: Raskolnikov's monomania or Razumikhin's spinelessness.

Complicating this picture are several uninteresting plot threads that eventually, finally, after hundreds of pages, merge. One thread deals with Marmeladov, a wrecked old drunk whose daughter, Sonia, is a prostitute (with a heart of gold!). Raskolnikov is eventually redeemed by Sonia and Sonia's faith. A second thread has to do with Raskolnikov's mother and sister. His sister, Dunya, has come to St. Petersburg under a cloud, though things are looking brighter for her and the family, as she is engaged to Luzhin. Luzhin has money, and a keen eye for beautiful, vulnerable women. Raskolnikov rightly senses Luzhin's ill intent, and the animosity between the two men does not help Raskolnikov's troubled mind.

On top of all this, there is a clever, Dickensian police inspector named Porfiry Petrovich. He knows immediately that Raskolnikov is the murderer, yet insists on playing a lame game of cat-and-mouse. One of the few enjoyments I got from this novel was the cold irony of a Russian police officer patiently waiting for his suspect to confess. In Dostoevsky's Russia, the law is clever, intelligent, and implacable. Of course, just a few decades later, the NKVD and KGB would be breaking down doors in the middle of the night and hustling people off to Siberia for no reason at all.

To Dostoevsky's credit, all these characters intertwine, and all the stories pay off, such as it is. In order to do so, however, there are plot contrivances piled atop plot contrivances. Dostoevsky relies heavily on characters overhearing important bits of information.

The only Russian novels I've read have been by Tolstoy, so I don't have much to compare this to. I'm not fit to analyze Crime and Punishment against other works of Russian literature, or even against Dostoevsky's other books. All I know was that this was a drag to read. There are paragraphs that go on for pages, and the density – unleavened by any action – is numbing.

One of the most common complaints when reading Russian literature is the names. It's almost become a cliché. Well, in this case, it's true. At least – for the benefit of English speakers – Tolstoy gave his characters American nicknames. Here, you have to deal with both the patronymics and identical-sounding or near-identically-named characters. The easiest task you have is not mixing up Raskolnikov with Razumikhin. It gets a little harder trying to keep Alyona Ivanovna (the pawnbroker), Katerina Ivanovna (Sonia's mother) and Amalia Ivanovna (Sonia's mother's landlord) straight. Also remember that Dunya goes by the name Dunechka or Avdotya Romanovna (but that Porfiry Petrovich is not the same as Ilya Petrovich). These complaints are childish, I know, and I have no excuse. Yet I feel the need to unburden myself now, as I missed my chance in high school many, many (many, many) years ago.

More confusing than the names is the culture shock. When I first tried to read Crime and Punishment as a teenager, I chalked my confusion up to a poor translation. Well, this time around, the translation is in the incredibly capable hands of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. They managed, in Anna Karenina and War and Peace to be both faithful and readable. (They are recognized, by people far smarter than me, as the best Russian-to-English translators around).

Here, again, I have no complaints with the translation; but I also had a revelation: I don't get Russians. I don't fully grasp their social hierarchy; I don't get why they like mustaches on women; and I certainly don't understand their interactions. They get mad for reasons I can't comprehend; they are insulted for reasons I do not fathom. In Dostoevsky's hands, Russians are hopelessly operatic, incapable of having a subtle or nuanced reaction to anything. Every emotion has an exclamation mark. You get Dunya trying to shoot Svidrigailov one second, and then tearfully embracing him the next. Characters fall on their knees before each other, and laugh at inappropriate times, and have opaque motivations. I am not trying to be culturally insensitive when I say I am confounded by the Russians in Crime and Punishment.

Of course, there are enjoyable moments, including a classic set-piece following Marmeladov's funeral (imagine a Russian version of Clue, in which accusations are followed by counter-accusations, and everyone is shouting and fainting). Surprisingly, there is also a good bit of humor, such as this interaction between Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov regarding the morality of eavesdropping:

In that case, go and tell the authorities; say thus and so, I've had this mishap: there was a little mistake in my theory. But if you're convinced that one cannot eavesdrop at doors, but can go around whacking old crones with whatever comes to hand, to your heart's content, then leave quickly for America somewhere!

When I was young, I often gave up on challenging books like Crime and Punishment. If I managed to finish – or at least come close – I treated them with snark, which was obviously a self-defense mechanism, hiding an unspoken belief that maybe I just wasn’t smart enough to get it (whatever it was). When I got a little older – when I was no longer a kid, but didn’t have kids of my own – I went back to those classics I had dismissed, as a way to test myself. Older still – with kids of my own who don’t have their own kids – I circled back again, a strange sort of revisiting in which I tried to remember my past self through literature. Sometimes, I found myself revising old opinions. The Scarlet Letter, for instance, worked for me as an adult in a way it never had when I barely skimmed it in my youth.

Crime and Punishment, however, is never a classic I am going to love (and I’m unlikely to give it another try). Yet, in the perverse way of classics, it is utterly memorable, if only because I struggled so hard to get through it. Believing this a worthwhile hill to climb, I did not give up, even though I could have finished three others books in the time it took me to slog through this one. Heck, despite not liking this the first time, I even gave it an entire second reading. Thus, even though I can’t stand it, Crime and Punishment will be somewhere in my headspace forever, a vague recollection of mustachioed women, strong emotional reactions, and a know-it-all with an axe.
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
967 reviews6,862 followers
August 10, 2023
To go wrong in one's own way is better then to go right in someone else's.

I have been giving a lot of thought to this novel lately. Despite the three years* that have gone by since reading Crime and Punishment—three years in which I’ve read some outstanding literature, joined Goodreads and written just over 100 reviews of the books I’ve journeyed through—Dostoevsky’s novel still resides on it’s throne as my personal favorite novel. No other web of words, brushstrokes or music melody has ever struck me so deeply and consumed me so completely as this book did. The author’s collection of works as a whole has left such a mark on my soul that I felt it necessary to permanently affix his likeness on my arm. Over a century has passed since its initial publication, yet Dostoevsky’s message is still as poignant today as it was when it was first inked onto paper. Crime and Punishment features an immensely engaging blend of intrigue; philosophy; political, social, moral and religious commentary, that all thread together to create a masterpiece of literature that captures the deep, raw core of the human condition when it is at it’s most gruesome and vulnerable. The exquisite literary genius of the novel evoked a strong emotional resonance in me and the timing of my reading was just right to forever wed me to my love of books.

Initially envisioned as two separate novels, one following the inner turmoil of a murderer and the other chronicling the melancholic destruction of a family due to a flighty, alcoholic patriarch, Dostoevsky deftly weaves together a multitude of unforgettable characters as they interplay through their tangle of plotlines. There are some incredible scenes that will forever haunt and delight me in my memory, such as the narrow escape from the scene of the crime which had me holding my breath in anxious anticipation, the darkly comical disaster of the funeral feast, or the emotionally charged and grim meeting between Dunya and the vile Svidrigaïlov. Each character is carefully balanced with their foil, each character is written with their own unique style of speech and language, and the novel seems to tie every thread together with such perfection and care as it churns forward, raining destruction on the lives of it’s characters to bring them toward their own personal redemption or demise.

This was a book that I was unable to put down as the words flowed from their pages to deep within my heart. Dostoevsky brilliantly straps the reader to the emotional states of his characters and is able to create seamless transitions between scenes or from the minds of one character to the next by riding the wings of an emotion. Most often this emotion is guilt, and the murder scene and it’s feverish follow-up is so expertly crafted that the reader feels they must share in Raskolnikov’s guilty burden. During the course of reading this book, I was overwhelmed by a crushing sense of guilt that was disconnected to any of my own actions. Yet, had police officers confronted me at any given moment, I would have held out my hands in surrender since I was so burdened by the guilty residue of the novel. What further linked me to the book was Raskolnikov’s illness following his crime. Maybe it wasn’t the novel taking root in my soul, perhaps it was due to the cold fall weather that was creeping in at the time, or perhaps it was due to my lack of sleep and early rising to embark on 10-12hr shifts in an unheated factory where I would work away amidst a cloud of aluminum dust, but I felt feverish and ill alongside Raskolnikov and his fever dreams. I don’t think I felt well again until after finishing the book.

I believe I read Crime and Punishment at the ideal moment in my life. I had spent the summer going through several of Dostoevsky’s other novels and falling madly in love with his writing. Then my whole life was uprooted. At the time I began C&P, I had moved across the state away from all my friends, family, and everything I knew and recognized, to live in Holland with my brand new baby daughter and work in a factory that could easily serve for a modern day sequel to Sinclair’s The Jungle. Looking back, I think I can see why I so easily soaked up Raskolnikov’s feelings. Dostoevsky shows how we are a product of our choices, and it is how we deal with our consequences that makes us who we are. I was placed in the new situation because of choices I had made, like choosing to skip class to smoke and read by the river, and Raskolnikov was faced with the guilt of his own actions. It was the most dramatic shift in my life and I am not a person who enjoys change, yet here I was without a familiar face and nobody to talk to. Crime and Punishment was there in my hand every morning and night as I walked between my home and car, like a friend holding my hand to comfort and encourage me in my exhaustion. It rode shotgun on my hour commutes like a faithful companion, and was the friendly face in which I could take refuge in on my breaks. When stripped of all I knew, there was literature to keep me sane and give me something to hold on to as my world spiraled out of control around me (my daughter was also a tether of sanity for me, but fatherhood was still new and intimidating at the time). Dostoevsky and his beautiful words became my friend and my passion, and in my solitude (because, let’s face it, I was very much an oddball in that factory and it took awhile to find my place there) I plunged myself deep into books, something I am very thankful for and feel that all the strangeness and loneliness of the existence is washed away by the glow I feel from grappling with my favorite authors. Then I discovered Goodreads and you all became incredibly dear to me. I don’t think I would have survived my time in that dark pit without you all, so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I apologize that this isn’t really much of a review, I’m very excited for this review, as it was seeing this GR friend—one of which I hold in the highest regard and am always incredibly impressed by—reading Crime and Punishment that brought back a flood of memories of my times with the book as if I were Proust with his madeleines. I highly recommend this novel, and firmly stand by my choice of it as my favorite. Recently, I had to make a list for work of my top 5 favorite books, which was difficult to do, damn near impossible, but I realized how simple it was to put a book down in the #1 slot. I have read some incredible books since, Hunger (my love of which stems from the similarities to Dostoevsky I noticed in the book), Gravity’s Rainbow, or To the Lighthouse to name a few, yet nothing has ever left as deep of an impact on me as a reader and as a human being as this book. This is a fantastic book about the human spirit, about our deepest, darkest impulses, and shows that our own inner consciousness can dish out a far greater punishment than any legal system can. Now I need to sleep and sober up.

*It has now been twelve years since I've read this novel and I remember it less as a book I once read but as a moment in my life I once lived. When I read C&P, admittedly at the right time for such an excursion of thought, it was like a companion that went along with me on a new adventure in what was a seemingly empty and lonely landscape, a friend that chatted with me throughout the day, a book that shared my emotional state with me for better or for worse. I feel like I entered this book as much as it entered me and I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that but I know that I mean it. All I can say is that eight years later no book has ever meant as much to me as this book did and I feel it more as a moment in the timeline of my life than a book upon my shelf.

I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity.

Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
January 27, 2019
I've come to the conclusion that Russian door-stoppers might just be where it's at. "It" here meaning general awesomeness that combines history, philosophy and readability to make books that are both thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Up until this point, Tolstoy had basically taught me everything I knew about nineteenth century Russian society and its people. By that, I mean that everything I knew was about the drama and scandals of the Russian aristocracy. The difference here is that Dostoyevsky took me on an educational - but also gripping - journey around the backstreets and drinking dens of St Petersburg. He showed me the nitty gritty details of life in Russia for those less fortunate - drunks, prostitutes, the poor - and he painted a very vivid portrait of this time and culture.

Raskolnikov is a great protagonist; he really is. His head is one messed-up place and he constantly struggles with what he believes in, his conscience, and his desire to get what he wants. The reader is pulled so deep inside the dark depths of his mind that it's hard to avoid becoming completely absorbed in the story. He is at times nasty, at others funny, and at others pitiful. Dostoyevsky has created one extremely well-rounded and complex character. Crime and Punishment shows the human capacity for evil, but also for shame and remorse. And this latter is the real "punishment" for Raskolnikov when he is driven near to insanity by his guilt.

I don't really know how best to fully articulate my feelings for Crime and Punishment. I don't give many five star ratings and I rarely feel this strongly about what I've read. I actually had a dream about it!

Speaking of dreams, I want to use this one example of Dostoyevsky's ability to engage the reader so thoroughly: I read one particular scene in the book that made me seriously distressed. I was furious, on the verge of tears, and like a child who wants to jump inside the TV to make everything better... and then Raskolnikov awakes to discover it was just a dream. I swear that my sigh of relief fully eclipsed his! But that's how far I was drawn into this world, how much I really cared about it. That doesn't happen often.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,102 reviews7,205 followers
September 7, 2015
What can I add to 7000+ reviews (at the time I write)? I think this book is fascinating because of all the topic it covers. Like the OJ trial, it is about many important interconnected things and those things remain important today, even though this book was originally published in 1865.

Sure, it has a lot about crime and punishment. But also insanity and temporary insanity, the latter a legal plea that could be entered in Russia of the mid-1800's. It's about guilt and conscience, long before Freud. In fact, this book was written at a time when psychological theories were coming into vogue. It's about false confessions. It's about poverty and social class and people who rise above their class and people who fall from the class they were born into. It's about the wild dreams and the follies of youth.

There is also mention of many social theories that were in vogue at that time, so, for example, if you want to, you can click on Wikipedia to find out about "Fourier's system" and his phalansteres. There is attempted rape, blackmail, child labor, child prostitution, child marriage and child molestation. There is discussion of marrying for money. There are ethnic tensions between Russians and the Germans of St. Petersburg. Should you give to charity or should you give to change the conditions that caused the poverty? Like me, you may have thought that was a modern idea, but here it is, laid out in 1865. There's a lot about alcoholism. Stir in a cat-and-mouse detective and a bit of Christian redemption. No wonder this is a classic.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
169 reviews288 followers
July 31, 2009
There was a time in my life when I couldn’t get enough of reading Dostoevsky. Maybe because his books made me think so deeply about being human and how we choose to live our lives. I began with Crime and Punishment, probably the work he is best known for.

What I remember is being fascinated by Dostoevsky’s brilliant understanding of human nature. I remember thinking what a deep study this book was; an incredible examination of a man who commits murder and how he is “punished” for it.

I remember thinking that here was a master storyteller. Not only able to create complex characters, but able to take the reader deeply inside a character’s mind. Best of all, I remember that I would stop reading periodically and think; not a mindless read, but an absorbing one.
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,029 reviews17.7k followers
September 2, 2023
If you’ve ever committed an unjust act, as Raskolnikov does, you know now it would have been better right at the outset to confess your injustice and seek the absolution of clemency.

For if you neglected to come clean you were probably racked with ruin within, and “delivered to the bondsman” of tortuous guilt. It happened to Raskolnikov, and it happened to me.

Each one of us is a Raskolnikov, you know.

No, not like you’re thinking - not a shabbily-dressed, impoverished murderer. But we all share his nature. To a T.

That, in essence, is the key to understanding Dostoevsky’s tortuous, convoluted, anxious prose - it’s the one message that Fyodor Dostoevsky takes anguished pains to drum into our insulated and isolated little heads!

Not that, hey, Raskolnikov’s not such a bad guy after all... no - it’s that he is inwardly bad and so are we, potentially at every moment, bad inside - and that that that will never change.

We don’t change our inner lives; but we CAN constantly be making amends for our mistakes - and starting our life anew in others’ eyes at each moment, though never perhaps to our own complete inner satisfaction.

For our selves aren’t static and we all invariably tend towards moral entropy.

There are no easy answers in Dostoevsky!

I remember so well the time I finally quit smoking - cold turkey, 22 years ago. I was lucky I did it, I guess; but to face the indefinitely long rest of my life - stretching out before me like a vast restless desert - without smokes, seemed unbearable back then!

It was just like the Zen Master says - reaching the top of a thousand-foot pole, and then, CONTINUING TO CLIMB. In empty air. Yikes!

Panic City! The flames of utter hopeless anxiety threatened to engulf me entirely.

So I started to pray. Nonstop. Like a dog chewing a meatless bone! It must have worked... so saith the Preacher.

And I escaped from that Inferno by the very Skin of my Teeth.

So likewise, there are few pat answers in Faith, no matter what we’ve seen or heard: “Ours is only the trying,” Eliot said. Trying to make the best of a mess!

And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if C.S. Lewis is right, and there remain plenty of challenges in Heaven.

So, there is no finality in this life, Dostoevsky is saying. We can’t rest on our laurels.

Or our guilt, either, for that matter!

The best way I can sum up my thoughts on this Everest of a novel is by quoting W.H. Auden:

“Faith, while it condemns no temperament as incapable of salvation, flatters none as being less in peril than any other... Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one IS, only something we can pray to BECOME.”

And if Raskolnikov is not a Christian, neither are we.

But we must never give up the trying, just like Raskolnikov...

And for us, too, in time there may come Redemption.

And a Peace that passes all understanding, after the intolerable Shirt of Flame is extinguished, in

A condition of complete simplicity
Costing not less than EVERYTHING.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,219 reviews9,919 followers
April 15, 2020
Well, what’s a global pandemic for if you don’t read the stuff you think you really ought to have read by now. Although I hope this strange circumstance will not result in me referring to Fyodor Dostoyevsky as The Corona Guy.

Those yet to read this towering inferno of literature may wish to know what’s in the nearly 700 pages, so here is a scientific analysis :


Long conversations between people who could talk the hind legs off a donkey: .....................53%
People going mad and running about wildly or quietly chewing the wallpaper in their tiny room : .........11%
People being in debt :.................. 41.7%
People being unsteady on their legs due to vast consumption of vodka :.................... 51%
People being ill (physical) :.................... 34%
People being ill (mental) :...…...…...…...……37%
People contemplating suicide :...………………19%
People enjoying a pleasant stroll in the countryside : .....0%
People having a friendly chat over a cup of coffee :... 0.03%
Men figuring they can force a poor woman to marry them :.....……...……………. 36%
Women being terrified :...…...……………..………………. 39%
Horses being beaten :...……………...…..……...…...……...……... 2%
Nothing exciting happening :...……...……...………��.. 0%

This all adds up to more than 100%. That is because C&P is a very excessive novel. It has more than 100% inside it.


FD : You see, in my books...the numbers all go to eleven. Look...right across the board.

V. M Vorshynsky: Ahh...oh, I see....

FD : All other novelists, they only go up to 10. But I go up to 11.

V. M Vorshynsky:: Does that mean you have more emotion in your books ?

FD: Well, it's one whole notch more, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most...most novelists, you know, they don’t know eleven exists. I get my characters all the way to ten with their emotional situations, and then...push over the cliff. See?

V. M Vorshynsky: Put it up to eleven.

FD: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

And it’s really true. If they are not about to jump into a river, they are going to fall in love with a prostitute, or they are going to get roaring drunk because they have fallen in love with a prostitute and will later jump into a river.


C&P surprised me. It was like a Dardenne Brothers movie with the camera tight up to Raskolnikov nearly the whole time, and the action shown in detail almost hour by hour over a couple of weeks. Yes it’s a whole lot about th psychological disintegration of this arrogant twerp who thinks he might be some kind of extraordinary person destined to improve the human race by sheer power of his brainwaves & so therefore is justified in bashing in the head of some horrible old woman pawnbroker to steal her money and kickstart his wonderful career. And bash in the brains of her sister who unfortunately comes in the door at the wrong moment. Bad timing.

But it seemed to me that at least half of C&P was all about the horrible powerlessness of women and how they are forced into marriages which are no more than licenced prostitution. An antidote to Jane Austen, indeed.

And it was about how the arrogant twerp murderer can also be a guy who perceives this injustice and wants to revolutionise society. And to do that he starts by bashing in the brains of two women.
So you see this is a psychological minefield we are in.

Like Macbeth and An American Tragedy by Dreiser the murder is contemplated beforehand, then committed, then acts like acid on the mind of its perpetrator, and the reader is along for the excruciating ride.

Thre are hundreds of connections that trigger like flashing synapses as you go through this big ass book… Freud, Leopold and Loeb, the philosophy of the Nazi Party, Camus, Beckett…

I do admit that there are probably three windbags too many in C&P and I could think of snipping a chapter here and a chapter there to get the whole thing down to a tight 500 pages of ranting and caterwauling. But all in all, this novel rides all over you like an out of control ox cart & will leave you gasping and discombobulated.

Conclusion : excellent pandemic reading
Profile Image for Geoff.
5 reviews21 followers
February 21, 2008
I basically had to stop drinking for a month in order to read it; my friends no longer call. But it's great.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
May 14, 2011
crimeandpunish review
6.0 Stars. One of my All Time Favorite novels. In addition to being one of the first works of Classic Literature that I suggest when asked for recommendations from others, this story holds a special place in my heart as it was the story, along with Moby Dick, that began my love of the “classics” for which I will always be grateful. So often we are forced to read the great works of literature for school or at times not of our choosing and I think it tends to lead to a lifelong aversion to them...like being forced to eat vegetables as a child...yuck.

I was fortunate enough to come back to these stories on my own terms while I was in College. My parents, at my request, bought me a subscription to several Easton Press library collections including the “100 Greatest Books Ever Written” and “Books That Changed the World.” Two of the first three books I received were Moby Dick and Crime and Punishment.

So I took a weekend off from getting drunk and running naked through Downtown San Diego and decided instead to get drunk in my apartment and read Crime and Punishment….and I fell head over heals in man-love with Dostoyevsky. I loved this book from the opening scene in which Raskolnikov is convincing himself about the rightness of committing the murder of the money-lending pawn-broker all the way through the bittersweet end and the beginning of his redemption.

Powerful, brilliant, insightful and surprisingly engaging despite the fact that it is far from being a "light" read in either prose or content. The central theme of this story is not really the crime (i.e. Murder) or punishment (i.e., incarceration) in the formal sense of the word. The real crime is Raskolnikov’s arrogance in placing himself above his fellow man and thus is not bound by the rules of society (i.e., his belief he is like Napoleon). Likewise, the punishment is the deeply felt, and unexpected from his standpoint, guilt over what he has done.

It is Raskolnikov’s personal, internal struggle with the evil he has perpetrated. His mind, his body, his very essence rails against his actions and leads him down the path that will eventually lead to the possibility of redemption. It is such a deeply personal, emotionally evocative journey that it was impossible for me not to become intensely invested in the story.

Something that struck me as I was reading about Raskolnikov’s struggle with his conscience was the thought that everybody does things that they are ashamed of or wish they could change. That is part of being human. It is our ability to feel genuine remorse over our bad actions and voluntarily take steps to rectify those mistakes that leads to growth and character. I think this is why I have always loved stories of redemption because it is such a classic theme of being human.

On the other hand, I also realized why I get so bat shit crazy with anger when I hear of certain kinds of what people terms "non violent" crime. Rapists and murderers when they get caught are punished and sent to places I have nightmares about. Whether or not it is enough, we can debate, but it is defintely not a fun place.

What bothers me are the slime balls who steal and pillage millions and billions of $$$ from people who need it and end up spending time in cushy federal prisons with cable TV and other amenities. I see these "crimes" as bad as most violent crimes because they lead to real severe pain and devastation for many of the victims and yet the punishment never seems commensurate. And yet, these “white collar” criminals get off so much easier and you NEVER (or rarely) see genuine remorse over the destruction they have caused. It lead me to do a little justice fantasizing and I came up with this that I thought I would share...

Sorry for the less smooth segue, but it was something that came to me while I was reading the book. Anyway, unlike those above, Raskolnikov’s story is one of true growth and redemption and is definitely a story that I think everyone should read. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

P.S. The second time I “read” this I listened to the unabridged audio as read by George Guidall and he did his usual AMAZING job. I think his narration is superb and truly enhanced the experience of the story.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
August 2, 2021
(Book 867 from 1001 Books) - Преступление и наказание = Prestupleniye i nakazaniye = Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky.

It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866.

It is the second of Dostoevsky's full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Siberia.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, a former law student, lives in extreme poverty in a tiny, rented room in Saint Petersburg.

Isolated and antisocial, he has abandoned all attempts to support himself, and is brooding obsessively on a scheme he has devised to murder and rob an elderly pawn-broker. On the pretext of pawning a watch, he visits her apartment, but remains unable to commit himself.

Later in a tavern he makes the acquaintance of Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, a drunkard who recently squandered his family's little wealth. Marmeladov tells him about his teenage daughter, Sonya, who has chosen to become a prostitute in order to support the family.

The next day Raskolnikov receives a letter from his mother in which she describes the problems of his sister Dunya, who has been working as a governess, with her ill-intentioned employer, Svidrigailov.

To escape her vulnerable position, and with hopes of helping her brother, Dunya has chosen to marry a wealthy suitor, Luzhin, whom they are coming to meet in Petersburg. Details in the letter suggest that Luzhin is a conceited opportunist who is seeking to take advantage of Dunya's situation.

Raskolnikov is enraged at his sister's sacrifice, feeling it is the same as what Sonya felt compelled to do. Painfully aware of his own poverty and impotence, his thoughts return to his idea. A further series of internal and external events seem to conspire to compel him toward the resolution to enact it. ...

عنوانها: «جنایت و کیفر (مترجم: محمدرضا عسکری در 147 ص)»؛ «جنایت و مکافات»؛ نویسنده: فئودور داستایوسکی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در ماه می سال 1970میلادی

عنوان: جنایت و مکافات؛ نویسنده: فئودور داستایوسکی؛ مترجم: مهری آهی، تهران، صفیعلیشاه، 1345؛ در 790ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، خوارزمی، سال1363؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان روسیه - سده 19م

کهنترین ترجمه را جناب: «اسحق لاله زاری و انتشارات صفیعلیشاه از این کتاب نشر داده اند، در 396ص»، سپس بانو: «مهری آهی، در790صفحه، انتشارات خوارزمی»، جناب «بهروز بهزاد هم در 626ص انتشارات دنیای کتاب»؛ جناب «اصغر رستگار نیز در دو جلد در اصفهان، نشر فردا»؛ جناب «عنایت الله شکیباپور در 626ص»؛ جناب «پرویز شهدی کتاب پارسه در 659ص»؛ جناب «احمد علیقلیان در730ص نشر مرکز»، بانو «لویا روایی نیا، نگارستان کتاب در 976ص»؛ بانو «هانیه چوپانی، در 800ص، نشر فراروی»؛ بانو «مریم امیر و بانو آرزو پیراسته در 811ص، یاقوت کویر»؛ جناب «علی صحرایی در 775ص؛ نشر مهتاب»؛ جناب «اصغر رستگار در 711ص نشر نگاه»؛ نسخه خلاصه شده: با ترجمه جناب: «امیر اسماعیلی؛ تهران، توس، 1364؛ در 214ص»؛ و ....؛

داستان دانشجویی به نام: «راسکولْنیکُف» است، که با رعایت اصول، مرتکب کشتار می‌شود؛ با انگیزه‌ های پیچیده‌ ای، که حتی خود «راسکولنیکف» از تحلیل آنها عاجز است؛ او زن رباخواری را، همراه با خواهرش (که نامنتظره به هنگام رویدادن قتل در صحنه حاضر شده) می‌کشد، و پس از ��تل، خود را ناتوان از خرج پولها، و جواهراتی که برداشته، می‌بیند؛ و آنها را پنهان می‌کند؛ پس از چند روز بیماری، و بستری شدن در خانه، «راسکولنیکف» این تصور را، که هر کس را که می‌بیند، انگار به او مظنون است؛ و با این افکار، کارش به جنون می‌کشد؛ در این بین او عاشق «سونیا» است، دختری که به خاطر مشکلات مالی خانواده‌ اش، دست به تن‌ فروشی زده است؛ مضمون و درون‌مایه ی رمان، تحلیلِ انگیزه‌ های قتل، و تأثیر قتل بر قاتل است؛ که «داستایوسکی» مسئلهٔ رابطه ی میان خویشتن، و جهان پیرامون، و فرد و جامعه، را در آن گنجانده اند؛ ...؛ خوانش نخستین بار این کتاب مدهوشم کرد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 02/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,067 reviews1,762 followers
May 5, 2017
با اینکه این کتاب رو خیلی وقت پیش خوندم، هنوز که هنوزه، به نظرم شاهکار تمام اعصاره و هیچ کتابی روی دستش نیست. و جالب اینه که این کتاب، اول پاورقی روزنامه بوده و بعداً مستقلاً چاپ شده. حالا مقایسه کنید بین پاورقی های روسی و پاورقی های وطنی!

داستايوسكى و نيچه
من تا مدت های مدید، فکر می کردم و کاملاً از این بابت مطمئن بودم که داستایوسکی، نظریات راسکلنیکف رو از حرف های نیچه اقتباس کرده. حدس می زدم که اون دوره حرف های نیچه باب طبع جوان های تحصیل کرده بوده و راسکلنیکف نماینده ی این قشر. این که گروهی از مردم راهبر هستن و گروهی "سوسک"، اگه راهبرها برای پیش بردن بشریت به سمت کمال والاتر اخلاق "سوسک" ها رو زیر پا له نکنن، "سوسک" ها کل عالم رو میگیرن.
میشه حدس زد که چقدر، چقدر تعجب کردم وقتی دیدم داستایوسکی مقدم بر نیچه بوده. میشه حدس زد که چقدر شیفتگی م نسبت به داستایوسکی و عظمت فکرش بیشتر شد.

دلبرکان غمگین من
سه شخصیت از این رمان رو عاشقانه می پرستم. هر چند شاید معادلشون توی رمان های دیگه پیدا بشه، ولی توی این رمان به اوج کمال رسیدن.

اول از همه، تأکید میکنم، اول از همه، سونیا. من دیوانه وار شیفته ی سونیام. به نظرم هر مردى رؤياى يه سونيا رو در سر مى پرورونه و پنهانى عاشق اونه: زنى بى نهايت ساده دل و بى نهايت پاک كه به رغم همه ى بدى هايى كه آدم كرده، عشق و گذشتش رو از آدم دریغ نکنه. که آدم بدونه در سخت ترین طوفان هاى روحى هم میتونه به آغوشش پناه ببره.

در مرتبه ی دوم. مظهر تمام و کمال روشنفکر پوچگرا که به نظرم مهم ترین تیپ دو سه قرن اخیر (مخصوصاً در اروپا) بوده و هست. به نظرم آدم تا مثل راسکلنیکف نباشه، نباید این رمان رو بخونه و اگه بخونه، شاید خیلی رمان رو نفهمه. مخصوصاً شدت عطش و نیاز این پوچگرا، به سونیای پاک رو.

بازرس پورفیری
نهایتاً بازرس پلیس، که بیشتر روانشناسه تا بازرس و به خاطر همین دوستش دارم. به خاطر باهوش بودنش و موش و گربه بازی کردنش با راسکلنیکف و به خاطر شیوه ای که میخواد باهاش راسکلنیکف رو به دام بیندازه.
به نظرم یکی از بهترین ضدقهرمان های آثار کلاسیکه و با معادل فرانسویش، بازرس ژاور، قابل قیاس نیست.
Profile Image for JSou.
136 reviews215 followers
July 26, 2010
Oh, Fyodor.

Who else could keep me up and awake night after night, even though I promise myself every morning to go to bed at a decent hour?

Who else can create such authentic human emotions that I feel I'm experiencing all of them myself?

Who else would make me subject my kids to dinners of grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs, or frozen waffles just to spend more time with you?

There is no one else. Only you.
Profile Image for Sherif Metwaly.
467 reviews3,516 followers
January 22, 2022

العظَمة هي أن تكتب رواية بلغت التسعمائة صفحة، وتجعل القارئ يشعر وهو يقرأها كأنه يقرأ رواية صغيرة الحجم تجري صفحاتها بسرعة مذهلة بين يديه، ولا يشعر معها لا بالوقت ولا بالمكان الذي يقرأ فيه. المهارة هي أن تكتب رواية مزدحمة بالشخصيات ذات الأسماء عسيرة النطق، ولا يشعر القارئ للحظة واحدة بالتوهان والتشتت وهو يقرأ. والعبقرية، كل العبقرية، أن تلخص زبدة الرواية وسر عظمتها في آخر عشرين صفحة، ليكونوا أعظم ما فيها. والكاتب، الذي يجمع بين العبقرية والمهارة والعظمة، هو ساحر، ولذلك، دوستويفسكي ببساطة شديدة، أثبت لي في هذه الرواية، أنه ساحر.

وأنت تقرأ هذه الرواية، وبدون أي نية للحذلقة والتعالي، رغمًا عنك ستشعر في البداية بكثيرٍ من الندم على أن أجّلت هذا اللقاء أكثر من مرة، إما لرهبةٍ من دوستويفسكي نفسه، وإما لرهبةٍ من حجم الرواية. وبعد مائة صفحة أو يزيد، سيزول الندم وتحل مكانها المتعة. بعد انتهاء الجزء الأول ستشعر – للحظات – بأن كل ما قرأته في حياتك قبل هذا الجزء وحده يوضع في كفة، وهذا الجزء يوضع في كفة أخرى تمامًا. ستدفعك مفاجأة نهاية الجزء الأول لالتهام الخمسين صفحة الأولى من الجزء الثاني على الأقل من شدة الترقب، ويمكنني أن أقول، بدايةً من هذه اللحظة، أنك صرتً أسيرًا لصفحات هذه الرواية، ففجأة، ستؤجل مذاكرتك، ستؤخر نومك أو تقلل ساعاته، ستفُضل الذهاب بالمواصلات لمكانٍ اعتدت الذهاب اليه مشيًا كي تختصر الوقت وتجد في نهاية اليوم بعض الدقائق لالتهام القليل من الصفحات، ستصبح هذه الرواية محور حياتك فجأة، وستنتهي فجأة، لتكتشف أن الأيام التي قضيتها معها مرت كأنها ساعات.

هذه الرواية، بها من العمق النقسي ما سيجعل خلايا عقلك تنتشي، ومن الشخصيات الفريدة من سيصل بها الأمر أن تزورك في أحلامك. نعم، أنت في هذه الرواية تشارك بطلها راسكولينيكوف كل تفاصيل حياته، أنت معه وهو مستيقظ، وهو نائم ويحلم، وهو يهذي، معه في لحظات عقله وجنونه، معه في الصمت والكلام، تشاركه حواراته مع غيره وحواراته مع نفسه، أنت تعيش مع شخصٍ كما لم تعش مع أحد في حياتك، أمك وأبيك أنفسهم لم تعش معهم لحظات بلغت من الدقة والعمق كتلك اللحظات مع راسكولينيكوف التي لن تفارق ذاكرتك طويلًا، جدًا.

في بداية هذه الرواية تجد الجريمة، جريمة قتل، دوافعها الظاهرية هي الانتقام من الاستغلال والظلم، الانتقام لأجل الإنسانية. ستكتشف بعد ذلك أن هذه لم تكن الجريمة الوحيدة، ستجد غيرها المزيد من الجرائم التي يعاني منها البشر ولا نلتفت لها لأننا لا نعتبرها أصلا جريمة. الفقر جريمة، الجوع جريمة، الحرمان من الحب جريمة، وحب من لا يستحق الحب جريمة، الذل جريمة، والضعف جريمة، والاستسلام للمرض جريمة، والغضب جريمة، والنسيان جريمة، وعدم قراءة هذه الرواية، أيضًا.. جريمة، وستسأل: تُرى، لأجل أي جريمة من هذه الجرائم كان اسم الرواية " الجريمة" والعقاب؟.

العقاب هو أنك ستفقد القدرة على الكلام!، نعم هذا هو عقاب دوستويفسكي لي ولك، وللبشرية. سترتبك ارتباكًا لا مثيل له مع النهاية وقد شعرت أنك عاري الجسد، وأن روحك تطفو على السطح كأنها تغتسل من شوائبها، ستأخذ شهيقًا طويلًا يتسرب هواؤه لكل خلية بجسمك، كأنك تولد من جديد، ستمر عليك ساعات، وربما أيام، تحاول أن تسترجع كل تفاصيل الحكاية من أولها لآخرها، لتكتشف الرسائل والدروس التي حُملت بها السطور، فتكتشف أن قراءة واحدة لهذه الرواية لا تكفي، ولا قراءة ثانية ولا ثالثة، وأنك ربما تحتاج أن تقرأها بتتابع معلوم وعلى فترات مدروسة طوال حياتك!، أنا لا أبالغ والله، ولا أهذي من فرط الانتشاء الذي أشعر به بعد النهاية، أنا أحكي ما أشعر به حاليًا، وربما تثبت الأيام خطئي أو صوابي لي أنا قبل أن تثبت لك.

بدأت هذه الرواية وأنا على حالةٍ من الخواء الروحي والضعف النفسي لا يعلمها إلا الله، عشت معها أيامًا لن أنساها، ببساطة لأنها، بطريقةٍ ما، عالجت شروخ روحي، وجددت رؤيتي للحياة، أعطتني دروسًا عن نفوس البشر لا أعتقد أن كتب الطب وعلم النفس بقادرة على أن تشرحها بنفس هذه السلاسة والعبقرية، ووهبتني، بكل حب، علاقاتٍ مع بشرٍ، ليسوا خيالًا على الورق، إنما اعتبرهم من لحمٍ ودم. صوفيا وراسكولينيوف، رازوميخين وبورفيري، وكاترينا، وغيرهم، شخصيات سأظل أحكي عنها كأني عاشرتها زمنًا، على أمل أن أعود لألتقي بهم، وأسمع حكايتهم، مستقبلًا، مرة تلو الأخرى، دون أن أمِلَ.

Profile Image for Luís.
1,947 reviews611 followers
May 1, 2023
How do we criticize such a monument? I dared not attack this prominent author for a long time, and then Santa Claus forced my hand; no regrets, on the contrary! Indeed, not only is the reading not tricky, but what depth?
Through the story of Raskolnikov, the narrator proposes to confront us with the moral contradictions that sometimes agitate us. For example, is murder still a crime? If we consider the victim's acts, can we assume that, in any case, she deserves life? And is it, not the fact of Great Men to take this decision for the common good? Here is the dilemma decided (with an axe) by Raskolnikoff, who wants to be an extraordinary destiny, and nothing seems to change his mind. However, his actions do not stop haunting him, and he might see a message from his subconscious. Since then, nothing can make him happy. He has lost his life by taking that of someone else. This fact raises the question of the rights that one can or not grant to oneself despite the law and morality (such as taking justice into oneself, for example) and, more generally, can be a death sentence.
Finally, the narrator offers us love, as a way of redemption. After all, the discovery of true love may restore the Humanity that his reason and actions had made him lose. It is a jewel of psychological, philosophical, and literary finesse and openness to introspection. To read and reread!
Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,320 followers
April 14, 2018
What a sensational reading experience, what an unconditional surrender to an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and confusion - and to an epic battle of wills!

Rarely these days do I read with that kind of hopeless, helpless feeling of being completely, utterly lost in the imaginary world. From the first moment, when Raskolnikov steps out on the street and begins wandering around in Petersburg, to the very last pages, I live with the characters, I am part of the story, I have my own opinions, and argue against their actions, in my head, while reading on in a frenzy.

What can I say?

There has been enough said of Raskolnikov’s murky motives for doing what he does. I don’t agree with him at all, neither with the theory he proposes, nor with the idea that he can expiate his crime through intense suffering. I hate the nonchalance with which he discards the murderee - “a louse” - as an unimportant detail in the bigger picture of him, his character, his suffering ego, and his ultimate redemption and resurrection as a “new man”.

Even if the pawnbroker is not a sympathetic character, she is an independent woman, who provides for herself, without having to sell her body to a husband or a pimp. She is not a “louse”, and by killing her out of vanity, pride, self-promotion, delusion or hubris, Raskolnikov destroys her. It is not the devil’s work, as Raskolnikov says at one point. A great man should be better able to take responsibility for his own actions. It is Raskolnikov himself who knowingly, condescendingly, makes the calculation that an ugly, businesslike old woman does not have any value in herself. Of course not, Raskolnikov! Neither does Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice! Not part of the mainstream community, they don’t count, in the name of law and justice and compassion. It takes a Shakespeare or a Dostoyevsky to point that out without sounding preachy and moralist, and without siding with one character against another.

In a world in which women are property, the unattractive pawnbroker is meaningless, unless you turn her riches into your property. As for the brutal killing, with an axe? A mere trifle in the context!

But as Dostoyevsky might well be one of the most brilliant authors ever describing an evil character, I commiserate with the scoundrel, with the egomaniac, charismatic murderer. I feel for him, with him, in his dramatic stand offs with Pyotr Petrovich, his intellectual counterpart. Their verbal exchanges evoke the image of two predators circling each other, working on their own strategies while calculating the enemy’s.

I suffer with the psychopath, and take his side, even when I disagree with him. Such is the power of Dostoyevsky’s storytelling genius. He creates characters with major flaws, and very different positions, and he gives all of them their space, their say, their moment on stage. And when they appear, they have the audience’s full attention.

Dostoyevsky lets a cynical self-confessed abuser of women commit the one act of charity that actually has a positive impact on three children’s future.

He lets a drunkard, the comical character of Marmeladov, who pushes his wife to insanity and his daughter to prostitution, revel in the pleasure of suffering, sounding almost like a philosopher when he cherishes his idea that god will honour the self-sacrifice of the women he has destroyed, and that the same god will indiscriminately have mercy on himself as well, for being so willing to suffer (especially the pulling of hair does a great deal of good, according to Marmeladov, comical effect included!).

Dostoyevsky lets women sacrifice themselves in the name of charity and religion. Needless to say, I have strong opinions about that, and apart from the unspeakable suffering imposed on them in their lifetime, I do not approve of any religious dogma that justifies self-sacrifice as a virtue - in our time of terrorist violence, it seems an almost obscene attitude. Regardless, I suffer with them through the author’s brilliantly atmospheric narrative.

Dostoyevsky, the sharp psychological mind and analytic, accurately points out the difference between women in the story, sacrificing “only” themselves, and the violent men, sacrificing others (mostly women, children and innocent, intellectually inferior men) for their own benefit in their delusion that they are extraordinary, and have special rights beyond the law. And he does it so convincingly that the reader feels the urge to argue with the characters. I found myself saying:

“But Raskolnikov, I really don’t think Napoleon would have killed a pawnbroker with an axe to demonstrate his greatness, that is not the way great men exert their power. And as an anachronistic side note, in these times of newspeakish, American-style greatness, we need to ask ourselves if that is anything to strive for at all.”

It is a powerful book, and a book about power.

The hypnotic power that a charismatic personality exerts over other people.
The physical power that men exert over women and children.
The mental power that educated people exert over simple minds.
The financial power that wealthy people exert over hungry, poor, miserable people.
The religious power that dogma exerts over people to accept injustice in the hope of scoring high with god in the afterlife.
The linguistic power that eloquence exerts to dominate an entire environment with propaganda.

The individual power to say no.

Two characters, both women, refuse to play the cards they are dealt. Dounia Romanovna and Katerina Ivanovna - you are my true heroes in this endlessly deep masterpiece of a novel!

Dounia - holding the revolver, ready to kill the man who has lured her into a corner and tries to blackmail her into a sexual relationship! The most powerful scene of all. I shiver while reading. Literally! I have goosebumps! As will power goes, hers is brilliant. No man owns that woman. Thank you for that scene, Dostoyevsky! And she manages NOT to kill, thus showing her spoiled, attention-seeking, impulsive and arrogant brother who is mentally superior despite physical weakness.

Katerina - committing an act of insanity while slowly dying of consumption, and leaving her three children orphans! Instead of hiding herself and suffering in secret, she takes to the streets, forces her misery upon the world, and makes it official. She has all the right in the world to dance, sing and make noise to point to the insanity of society, which creates a platform for a life like hers. And her refusal to receive the greedy priest on her deathbed is simply divine: “God can take me as I am, or be damned!”

Right you are, Katerina!

I could go on in infinity, but I will break off here, just like Dostoyevsky breaks off in medias res, hinting at the untold sequel - the marriage between Raskolnikov and Sonia! Oh, dear, what an emotional roller coaster that must be - it is quite enough to allude to it in an epilogue to make me smile. The brooding murderer and the saintly whore, joined together in holy suffering. Brilliant, even as a vague idea.


Standing, shaking, roaring ovations!
Profile Image for Guille.
785 reviews1,749 followers
January 13, 2022
Si usted tiene la idea de que leer a Dostoyevski es pesado, aburrido o difícil, veremos si puedo hacer que cambie de idea.

«Crimen y castigo» es un entretenido, intenso y dramático folletín protagonizado por un inolvidable personaje objeto de un amplio relato psicológico y repleto de escenas conmovedoras que se suceden sin pausa, siendo así una novela con una lectura apasionante en su superficie y extraordinariamente clara en sus profundidades (el epílogo mejor ni mencionarlo).

Fue publicado por primera vez en 1866 en la revista «El mensajero ruso» en doce entregas y con enorme éxito, un éxito que no le ha abandonado hasta nuestros días ni en cuanto a lectores ni en lo que a estudiosos se refiere, para lo que no es su menor virtud el hecho de que, no sé si gracias a Fiódor o a su pesar, sea susceptible de varias lecturas filosóficas provenientes de posiciones incluso esencialmente antagónicas y con gran influencia en pensadores y escritores de muy variada condición.
“Para vosotros, en todas las circunstancias, lo primero es hacer lo posible para no pareceros al hombre.”
El objetivo de Dostoyevski al escribir «Crimen y castigo» fue luchar contra el éxito que el nihilismo estaba teniendo entre la juventud de su época y sus, para él, funestas consecuencias. Para ello, el autor, como en él es característico, estructura una historia en torno a unos personajes que encarnan diversas variaciones de ese mal que se impuso combatir. Estos individuos no tienen por qué despertarnos antipatía, incluso pueden inspirarnos compasión y hacernos comprender sus actos sin que por ello los aprobemos. En fin, intenta ser justo en el debate.

En este caso, los personajes elegidos son cuatro:
-Piotr Petróvich Luzhin, un arribista capaz de todo por subir en el escalafón social sin respeto a nada ni a nadie. Este, obviamente, no es un personaje simpático y su destino en la obra dará más de una alegría al lector.

-Andrei Semenovich, un joven bienintencionado, algo arrogante y no muy inteligente que se encarga de proclamar uno de los principios más importantes y necesarios para el futuro paraíso socialista, a saber, “Todo lo hace el medio, el hombre en sí no es nada”, y como no es nada, puede serlo todo, cualquier cosa que nos propongamos.

-Arcadio Ivánovich Svidrigáilov, un cínico sin escrúpulos, un vividor con la inteligencia necesaria para salir indemne de sus delitos y cuya moral se circunscribe a su egoísta placer.

- Por último, cerrando el cuarteto, el personaje más importante, el imborrable Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, un orgulloso racionalista que intenta probar mediante un crimen su supuesta libertad ilimitada, su pertenencia al selecto grupo de hombres extraordinarios capaces de sobreponerse a sí mismos, de imponer sus reglas, despreciando al amplio “hormiguero” seguidor ciego de la moral imperante. Una persona sensible, generosa y valiente aunque un tanto huraña, inteligente pero sin recursos económicos para proseguir su carrera intelectual que se presumía brillante.
Esta es la píldora nihilista a tragar, una discusión que puede ser entendida como un cuestionamiento de la moral y así lo interpretaron muchos existencialistas que admiraron su obra. El azúcar que envuelve la píldora para así mejor tragar está compuesto de un poco de novela social, el propio crimen, la consiguiente investigación policial a cargo de un precedente del detective Colombo, aquel entrañable personaje protagonizado por Peter Falk, y, por supuesto, el infierno mental al que se tiene que enfrentar Raskolnikov al descubrir fracasado su experimento.

En cuanto a los argumentos en contra del demonio nihilista, prácticamente se limita a pregonar las bondades que conlleva la obediencia a la ley natural que el autor, por arte de birlibirloque, hace coincidir palabra por palabra con la ley de Dios. ¿Qué Dios? Pues el suyo, naturalmente.
“Si alguien me demostrara que Cristo está fuera de la verdad, si estuviera positivamente demostrado que la verdad está fuera de Cristo, yo preferiría permanecer con Cristo que permanecer con la verdad.” Fiódor Dostoyevski
Si aún sigue pensando que Dostoyevski es pesado, aburrido o difícil… tan amigos que ni comisión me llevo.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,996 followers
September 20, 2017
I have few Dostoevsky fans in my friends list so my opinions here might not go over so well. I have been wanting to read this classic for a while and I had high expectations, but they were not met. I liked it okay but I found it to be a bit slow and drawn out. Ultimately not a whole lot happens in the story, but it takes 500 pages to get there. In fact, there are probably as many plot points in the 15 page epilogue as in the rest of the book.

However, despite this, I can say that parts of the journey were pretty good. Every few chapters there would be a high intensity event that would draw me in. In fact, if you graphed this book out with the high points followed by long lulls, it would probably look like an EKG.

Also, it was interesting to take in the classic Russian writing. Whether or not it was always super exciting, I did enjoy the feel of the narrative from the classic Russian perspective.

In summary, I would not recommend this as highly as some other classics, but if you are hardcore into completing your classic reading list, you can't miss this one.
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews510 followers
May 25, 2020
خورخه لوئیس بورخس: جوان که بودم داستایفسکی بنظرم بزرگ‌ترین رمان‌نویس می‌آمد. بعد از حدود ده سال دوباره کتاب‌هایش را خواندم و این بار خیلی مایوس شدم. شخصیت‌هایش بسیار غیرواقعی و پیوسته به پیرنگ بودند

داستایوفسکی آنقدر نویسنده مشهوریست که انتقاد کردن از او دل و جرات زیادی می خواهد. با اجازه بورخسِ بزرگوار دست "ناباکوف" را گرفتم و کشاندم به این ریویو، تا در این منازعه هراس آور تنها نباشم. ناباکوف از آن بوکسورهای بی‌رحمی است که از هیچ‌کسی ابایی ندارد و وقتی هم حریف کسی به نام فئودور داستایوفسکی باشد، ناباکوف با لذت تمام به رینگ پا خواهد گذاشت و بدون آنکه صدای زنگ آغاز زده شود او را به مشت خواهد بست. فقط این را بگویم که خود جناب بورخس هم عاشق بوکس است و از آمدن ناباکوف چه بسا بسیار شاد هم بشود

ولادیمیر ناباکوف: غیر روس ها دو چیز را درباره‌ی داستایوفسکی متوجه نیستند، یکی اینکه همه‌ی روس ها به اندازه‌ی آمریکایی ها عاشق داستایوفسکی نیستند، دیگر اینکه آنهایی هم که عاشق اویند به او به عنوان کسی با نیروی سحرآمیز احترام می گذارند نه هنرمند. او یک پیامبر بود، روزنامه نگاری عامه پسند، بازیگر کمدی بی دقت. قبول دارم که برخی صحنه هایی ک�� آفریده، برخی از بحث های کمدی‌اش، بسیار سرگرم کننده اند، اما قاتل های حساسش و روسپی های پرشورش چیزی نیستند که بشود یک لحظه تحملشان کرد، دست کم من خواننده نمی توانم

با سپاس فراوان از ناباکوف رک گو، باید عرض کنم که تحمل ناپذیری شخصیت ها در این اثر به اوج خود می رسد. واقعا در خط خطِ این کتاب در حیرت بودم که شخصیت ها نه تنها قابل دوست داشتن نیستند بلکه حتی نمی توان درکشان کرد...این را هم بگویم که این اثر دوست نداشتنی- که لقب شاهکار هم بهش می دهند- باعث نشد سراغ دیگر آثار داستایوفسکی نروم. از خواندن برادران کارامازوف واقعا لذت می برم، اما متاسفانه در آنجا هم گاه گاه داستایوفسکی غیرهنرمند بودن خودش را به نمایش می گذارد و آدم را به خشم می آورد. در قسمت هایی از کتاب دقیقا نقش یک پیامبر را به عهده می گیرد و نظرات اخلاقی شخصی اش را مستقیما تو گوش‌ات فریاد می زند

بورخس بزور خودش را به رینگ مسابقه می رساند و فریاد میزند صب کنید آخرین مشت را من بزنم. در حالیکه مشتش فئودور را نشانه گرفته به او می‌گوید: تو به ره خطا رفتی. با آن عرفان پرستی مضحک‌ات. با شخصیت های قلابی‌ات. بگذار به تو بگویم که آدم در زندگی واقعی، حتی در موقعیتی دشوار، حتی وقتی خیلی نگران چیزی است یا دلهره دارد یا بیزاری به او دست داده یا عاشق شده یا خشمگین است، به سایر امور زندگی هم می‌پردازد. همانطور که الان منتظر مشت منی، ولی داری به معشوقت فکر میکنی و اینکه کی دوباره به همسرت خیانت میکنی. نه! من مـثه تو پیامبر نیستم و نمی توانم در مورد چیزی قضاوت کنم و محکوم کنم وقتی خود به وفور انجامش می‌دهم. پس بنوش این مشت جادویی را...

قسمتی از ریویوی قبلی:

از معدود کتاب هایی که بعد از پایان بردنش،احساس خاصی نداشتم
راستش نمیتوانم کتاب را بد یا خوب بنامم
اگر بد بود چگونه توانستم کتاب را تا آخر بخوانم
من که تجربه پرت کردن کتاب یک عاشقانه آرام نادر ابراهیمی پس از خواندن ده صفحه را داشتم
و اگر خوب بود چرا از لذت خواندنش مست نمیشدم؟

پاسخ: فک می‌کنم تنها هنر روانکاوی داستایوفسکی باعث شد بتوانم این کتاب را پایان ببرم و این به علاقه خاصی که به علم روانشناسی دارم بر می گردد، وگرنه سرنوشت راسکولنیکف و سایر داردوسته سن پترزبورگی این کتاب، کمترین علاقه ای در من خواننده بر نمی انگیختند
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,631 followers
September 16, 2022
راسكلنكوف الذي قتل ليؤكد ذاته
..ليثبت لنفسه انه من تلك الفئة الاستثنائية من البشر ممن لهم كل الحق في تحدي المجتمع و القانون .. راسكلنكوف هو احد ضحايا نيتشه اذن
تبدأ الرواية بشكل حماسي مبالغ فيه بالجريمة فبعد ان اعتصر الفقر الشاب المثقف. .يقرر ان المجتمع لن يخسر شيئا بمقتل المرابية العجوز ..و لكنه بمقتلها سينفذ نفسه و أسرته واحباؤه الذين يخسرهم تباعا لقلة المال. ...و بعد الجريمة يغرقنا ديستوفسكي في العقاب
و كاغلب رواياته نرى: السقوط ثم الخلاص للافلات من اللعنة..سيغرقك النقاد في كلام كثير عن الحلم النابليوني ..وان الرواية نبوءة بالثورة البلشفية منذ 1866 و ..
من المؤكد أن كل دارس للاداب لابد و حتما عليه ان يقرأها. .فهي أفضل ماتم كتابته عن عذاب الضمير. .و تحمل عواقب أفعال لا يتحملها جهازك العصبي
و لكني للاسف اعترف أنني لم أحبها حقاً...اكملتها. .فبها خطا تشويقيا بوليسيا. .لكنها كئيبة حقا إلى ابعد الحدود..كئيبة لحدود عبثية احيانا

بالطبع ملايين يختلفون معى و يفهمونها حقا ..و لكن انا ساظل اتسائل
كيف اتعاطف مع بطل يثبت لنفسه انه قادر على فعل كل ماهو قاسي و منفر ..مادام يعتقد أنه صواب؟

Profile Image for Kim.
833 reviews
January 23, 2018
Writing this was a crime and reading it was a punishment.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews494 followers
September 17, 2023
Crime and Punishment is one of the most heartfelt stories that I have read. Never a book is written about agonies of a human mind with so much compassion, sympathy, and feeling. There is no question as to Dostoevsky’s mastery in writing. The beauty and charm in his work mainly lie in his truthful and sincere portrayal of human psychology. But that is not all. He also paints a truthful and sincere picture of different classes of Russian society. The two elements combined produce such realistic stories that it never occurs to the reader that he is reading fiction.

Set in St. Petersburg, the main plot in Crime and Punishment revolves around a murder committed by the protagonist, Raskolnikov. His mental agony at the horror and guilt of his action and his terror at being caught dominates the storyline. Raskolnikov is an ex-law student, whose mind is overstrained to the point of madness by his oppressive condition in life. So, when the murder was committed it looks as if the motive was to rob; but his later actions heavily contradict this conviction, and it is not clear what truly drove him to commit the hideous crime. There is however a hint here and there that Raskolnikov believed in the extremist socialist idea of “killing for common good”.

Raskolnikov is characterized as a proud and egoistic man with queer ideas about morality. On one hand, he justifies himself of committing the crime by saying that the victim is a worthless person, but on the other hand, he is burdened with guilt. His conflicting ideas constantly torture him. It is amazing how the author penetrates the criminal mind; the torment Raskolnikov goes through while planning, at the time of committing the murder, and afterward the crime is committed, is portrayed with such accuracy that although one cannot pardon him for the sin he has committed, it is hard not to feel sorry. It is also surprising that the amount of cunning that is displayed in such a tortured mind. Through all his agonies, Raskolnikov does play a very clever game at concealing his crime and evading the police.

The story and characters all revolve around Raskolinikov; these supporting characters are chosen from different sections of Russian society. The psychological portrayal of these supporting characters transports you into their minds and makes you live in them so that every action of theirs is not read but felt. I enjoyed his choice of characters; their difference added colour and contrast to the story. Of them, I loved Avdoyta, the devoted sister of Raskolnikov, Razhumikhin, his true and loyal friend, and Sofya, his savior who shows him the path of redemption.

There are few subplots intertwined with the main plot. Through them, Dostoevsky raises the issue of social conditions and the suffering of women. His sensitive and compassionate account of women’s position and suffering is heartbreaking. Their anguish, their pain is written so truthfully in those pages that I was crying my heart out as I read them. The character of Sofya is for whom I felt the most. She is forced into prostitution to provide for the family as his drunken father cannot keep to a good job. Then Katerina Ivanovna's suffering from consumption, all the while struggling to provide for her children, touches your heart. And Avdotya's being subject to unseemly sensual attention from the master of the house where she works as a governess, and her inability to leave her position as she was prepaid half her salary make you burn with indignation. It is shocking to read how unprotected women were legally and socially. And it is even more shocking that men like Pyotr and Svidrigailov, who have the power to help, victimizing the defenseless women to satisfy their own desires. The injustice of it all makes your blood boil. Dostoevsky through the characters of Pyotr, Svidrigailov, and Sofya’s father put men to shame.

There is also a social commentary on Russian society exposing the radical atheist ideas the progressive movement was advocating and the author’s anti-radical and piously religious views as against them. He seems to be criticizing heavily on the emerging socialist doctrines.

I have always liked Dostoevsky’s outlook on life. There is so much humanity in it. And in Crime and Punishment it is well exhibited.

It is a little wonder why Crime and punishment is called a masterpiece. It is complete in every sense and perfectly so. With each work, Dostoevsky makes me fall in love with him all over.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,359 followers
November 22, 2017
Here's another review as I go! I suppose I just can't let go of Dostoyevsky's squalid, bleak, complicated, and spiritually vexing world, so despite having just finished The Brothers Karamazov, I find myself plunging headlong into Crime and Punishment, a book I last read 20 years ago.

I'm reading the new Oliver Ready translation, and it's wonderful so far.

I can well imagine how shocking this book must have been at the time. It depicts a world where everyone is either taking advantage of someone else or being taken advantage of, where most of the characters are engaged in a mean, petty, and morally bankrupt struggle for survival. Ironically, it's Raskolnikov himself who comes closest to espousing some idealistic notion of virtue among all the squalor, when he criticizes his sister for being engaged to someone she doesn't love, all for the sake of the man's money, with its potential to lift their family out of poverty.


Dostoyevsky is brilliant at depicting a character on the edge--one whose thoughts veer between lucidity and paranoia and whose passions overwhelm him even when he can hardly muster the energy to get off his sofa. What's interesting about his passion is the deep moralism that accompanies it--his sense of the world's injustice, as when he rushes to save Marmeladov, a drunkard who was trampled by a horse, and brings the man to his family and feels sorry for them all as he comforts them and gives them money. You get the sense here of a man who deeply feels all the depravity and injustice of the world, one who can hardly stand it, and yet he's the murderer and perhaps the most depraved one of all.

And yet.... Raskolnikov is also quite suspicious of "phonies," to use a Holden Caulfield term, as when he confronts his sister's fiance. Here's another complication in this fascinating character. Is he the most "honest" character in the book? In a way he is, but of course he's hiding the biggest secret. He constantly struggles against his own duplicity and is often on the verge of blurting out his crime. He even does at one point, yet his listener thinks it's a joke, and he plays along, but you can see how the act of dissimulation itself is so painful to him.


When Raskolnikov visits the disgraced Sonya, he becomes strangely Christ-like, kissing her feet and claiming he's bowing "to all human suffering." He seems to take all suffering on his shoulders, especially the suffering of children, as he constantly warns Sonya about what will happen to her young siblings should their mother die. But of course this is all complicated by Raskolnikov's avowed athiesm, which he makes clear to Sonya when she says that God would never let their mother die and leave those young children as defenseless and homeless orphans, and Raskolnikov responds, "almost with a sort of malicious glee," by asking: "What if there is no God?"


There is certainly no romanticizing of poverty here, as we see Katerina Ivanovna literally go mad and die from her circumstances. What a tragic and pathetic scene when, homeless, she drags her young children to the streetcorner, dresses them up like performers, and demands they sing and dance for coins, all the while they're crying and she's yelling and coughing up blood. Raskolnikov's premonitions come true, when he turns to Sonya afterwards and wonders what will happen to the children now.


Raskolnikov, for all his powers of empathy, seems to long for something more--for the power to achieve greatness, to become a great figure of history--and the murder is for him bound up in this quest. He rationalizes that if Napoleon, in order to fulfill his destiny, had to knock off a few lowly people, wouldn't he be justified in doing so? Passages like this presage all sorts of 20th century horrors, and it's fascinating to see them here, spoken by this most complicated character.


Hurtling toward the end now, with Raskolnikov having confessed to a distraught Sonya, and Svidrigailov overhearing from the room next door. Svidrigailov tries to use his knowledge to confront Raskolnikov's sister and get her in his power, claiming he'll take Raskolnikov away with him to America to save him, if only Avdotya will succumb to him. In a scene straight out of a pulp novel, she's shocked and pulls out a revolver and shoots at him as he approaches her, only to graze his head. But he realizes she will never love him, and even after she throws the revolver aside, he allows her to escape.


Some spoilers may follow, but I'll do my best not to give too much away:

The fate of Svidrigailov was for me the one false note in the book--the one point where Dostoyevsky took the easy way out. I wasn't at all convinced he'd use the revolver in the way he did, and I felt the author basically wanted this troublesome character out of the way.

Otherwise, wow, the ending was just brilliant--the drama of whether Raskolnikov would confess or not was drawn out masterfully. Then, in Siberia, we get what were for me some of the saddest and truest lines of the entire book:

"Existence alone had never been enough for him; he'd always wanted more. And perhaps the only reason he'd considered himself a man to whom more was permitted than to others was the very strength of his desires."

Only at the end, after a sickness, and Sonya's sickness, does Raskolnikov finally shed the torments of his ambition toward greatness--which in many ways was the driver of his entire crime. He becomes, finally, content, because he finally finds love--real deep spiritual love for this woman who'd given up everything to live near his remote penal colony. Love is what finally transforms him and gives him hope that, after seven more years, he'll be able at last to live.

And so ends this amazing journey--one that will remain with me for a long time, one that I'll ponder and dip back into, one that seems so modern and relevant today. In a way it really does presage the entire 20th century, with its exposition of how dreams of greatness can lead to sordid crimes, how greatness is a form of torment and perhaps even a form of demented thinking. I can't help seeing Raskolnikov as a "wanna-be" Stalin, or Hitler, or Mao, or any of those tragically self-aggrandizing men who see crime as simply a means to an end, who believe they're superior beings and are therefore entitled to use "lesser" people to service their own dreams. It's a terrifying mentality, and Dostoyevsky knew it well. If only we'd listened to him.....

Profile Image for Sofia.
231 reviews6,979 followers
June 11, 2022
An examination of the psychology of a murderer, Crime and Punishment delves into the darkest depths of the mind, where tangled threads of hatred and paranoia and torment weave together to form a man such as Raskolnikov. Insignificant but too proud to admit it, he believes he is above trivial morality. But there is some tortured compassion in him, although it all but vanishes as he commits the titular Crime. Spiraling deeper and deeper into madness and resentment, Raskolnikov isolates himself and continues his desperate narcissism to the bitter end. His intensifying anxiety and terror, paired with his exaggerated belief in his own importance, drive him to increasingly severe breakdowns. Raskolnikov retreats into the uneasiness of his own mind, his fears threatening to overwhelm him.

Is there inherent evil in humankind? We all have hatred inside of us, but what defines us? What defines Raskolnikov? His moments of selfless generosity or his sudden, formidable rage? Should we be content to suffer from an endless helix of our innate capacity for violence?

I highly recommend the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It captures Dostoevsky's eloquent voice without compromising the urgency and anxiety of the novel.

5 stars

“Guess,” he said, with his former twisted and powerless smile.
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
December 7, 2018
“Crime? What crime? ... My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman who brought no good to anyone, to murder whom would pardon forty sins, who sucked the lifeblood of the poor, and you call that a crime ?”
Just a few scattered toughts, for I do not know how to begin. After revisiting Crime and Punishment I am utterly troubled. What to do? What to say? In my opinion, to write a review of one of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's great masterpieces is a troublesome undertaking. To write a decent one, even harder. So here are just a few toughts, backed by Dostoyevsky's own words so that I don't blunder it all. One caveat: my review today will focus on Rodion Románovich Raskolnikov, although there is much more to be said.

Ah, such fascinating despair. I had a period in my life when I went deep into Dostoevsky. Perhaps because his books made me contemplate about being human. This is a remarkable study in emotions, intense and anguished.
“Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and can I, can I possibly… . No, it's nonsense, it's rubbish!" he added resolutely. "And how could such an atrocious thing come into my head? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!—and for a whole month I've been… ." But no words, no exclamations, could express his agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to do with himself to escape from his wretchedness. ”

Is it a miracle that I commiserated with Raskolnikov? That I resented his mother when he did and I loved her when he did? That I felt Raskolnikov's anxiety, and tried to tell him to turn back when he was climbing the steps to the old woman's apartment? But up he went. And that it anguished me because I new, as any reader would, what was bound to happen? Yes, his is not the kind of personality that I usually sympathize with. However, I could begin to understand him and his despair. Yes, Dostoyevsky created a very real character and I believed him enough to mentally immerse myself with his creation while submersed in his book. And this kept me turning the pages up to the last one.
“No, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Granted, granted that there is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic… . My God! Anyway I couldn't bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Why, why then am I still … ?”

Raskolnikoff's justification for his act was that great and famous men, like Ceasar and Napoleon, were assassins absolved by history. He identified himself with those history figures. And that gave him the right to commit the crime. How could he explain the murder? I understand he just required a belief to explain it to himself. He was no Napoleon; he was not fighting in a war. And he knew it. What he needed was a moral argument that pushed him up the steps and lifted his arms in the final act.
"And you don’t suppose that I went into it headlong like a fool? I went into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you mustn't suppose that I didn't know, for instance, that if I began to question myself whether I had the right to gain power—I certainly hadn't the right—or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a louse it proved that it wasn't so for me, though it might be for a man who would go straight to his goal without asking questions.… If I worried myself all those days, wondering whether Napoleon would have done it or not, I felt clearly of course that I wasn't Napoleon. I had to endure all the agony of that battle of ideas, Sonia, and I longed to throw it off: I wanted to murder without casuistry, to murder for my own sake, for myself alone! I didn't want to lie about it even to myself. It wasn't to help my mother I did the murder—that’s nonsense—I didn't do the murder to gain wealth and power and to become a benefactor of mankind. Nonsense! I simply did it; I did the murder for myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others, or spent my life like a spider, catching men in my web and sucking the life out of men, I couldn't have cared at that moment.… And it was not the money I wanted, Sonia, when I did it. It was not so much the money I wanted, but something else.… I know it all now.… Understand me! Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not, whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right …”

You will question as I finish: where are the other characters? Where is Raskolnikov’s sister Dunya; and what about Sonia, the one that prostituted herself to help her family and whom Raskolnikov sort of falls in love with? Yes, the women in the story turn out almost consistently to be the stronger characters, the source of redemption. What about the patetic Marmeledov; the the self-centered Luzhin; the drunken philanderer Svidrigailov? They are all fascinating in their own right, and important to the story. A much more crucial issue: what was behind Dostoyevsky's novel? Where is God, religion? For that I would have to go back to his Russia, to his time and his life. Nevertheless, all that will have to wait for a possible follow-up-review, today all my effort was on Raskolnikov and how I felt reading Crime and Punishment.

An outstanding classic about the human essence, about our darkest and deepest impulses. The unequivocal voice of each character, the sharp study of society, the movements of Raskolnikov, of the extreme reduction of hate to the redemption of love. Ultimately it reveals that our own inner consciousness can stand a far greater punishment than any legal system can.

Profile Image for Fernando.
685 reviews1,127 followers
July 20, 2020
"¿Es que yo maté a la vieja? ¡Yo me maté a mí mismo y no maté a la vieja! ¡Allí, de una vez, me maté para siempre!... Pero a la vieja la mató el diablo, no yo... ¡Basta, basta!"

Corría el año 1866 y Fiódor Dostoievski está atravesando uno de los peores momentos de su vida, el de mayor descontrol, que comienza a gestarse dos años antes, luego de enredarse en un affaire amoroso con una estudiante suya, Pólina Súslova, se auto exilia en Europa mientras la vida de su primera esposa, María Dmítrievna va apagándose por la tuberculosis.
El autor hundido y vapuleado por el desarraigo, la infidelidad y especialmente por su adicción al juego está a la deriva. Ya han pasado aquellos cuatro años de encierro infernal en la congelada prisión de Siberia, luego de haber sido condenado en 1849 por involucrarse con un grupo reaccionario antizarista.
Dostoievski paga una culpa tras otra, pero vuelve a caer. Su adicción a la ruleta lo ha llevado a empeñarlo casi todo y para colmo de males, un editor, lo obliga a respetar un contrato, haciéndolo escribir en 29 días una novela que se llamó "El jugador".
Pero este hombre incansable no se detiene. Corrige "Pobres gentes", su novela de 1846 y la relanza y a la par de "El Jugador", escrita contra reloj, comienza a dictarle su nueva novela a una taquígrafa que él contrata.
Se llama Anna Grigórievna Snítkina, veinte años menor que él y con el tiempo se transformará en su segunda esposa, le dará tres hijos y reencausará, ya al final de su existencia el orden económico y mental del escritor. Será su tabla de salvación.
Pero volvamos a 1866. Dostoievski tiene un plan y es el de escribir una novela nueva, fresca, en la que exponga una temática que no se parezca a otra. Para ello se vale de un borrador escrito seis años antes, en 1860, que se llamó "El diario de Raskólnikov", en primera persona en el que comienza a desarrollar el perfil psicológico de uno de los asesinos más peculiares de la literatura, el de Rodion Románovich Raskólnikov.
Esta novela provocará una escisión en la literatura rusa. Casualmente, raskolnik significa "escisión, cisma" en ruso. Nunca más acertado, puesto que Dostoievski solía jugar con los adjetivos para crear los apellidos de sus personajes.
Comienza a publicar "Crimen y castigo" por entregas y el público rápidamente se interesa en la historia, puesto que tiene todos esos elementos tan adictivos que se relacionan con un crimen.
Para su novela, Dostoievski se vale de nutrirla con lo que él más sabe manejar: el de la descripción del submundo de la ciudad que más conoció, San Petersburgo. Considero que luego de James Joyce, quien basó su obra en Dublín, es Dostoievski quien más hizo hincapié en sus ciudad. Nadie la conoció como él.
Para entender las característica del entorno real de la ciudad, podemos apoyarnos El Naturalismo, esa corriente literaria que se desprendiera del Realismo francés y que será, en cierta manera, reutilizada (no creo que conscientemente) por el autor ruso para darle forma de acuerdo a lo que sucede en su Rusia natal.
Diferenciándose un poco de Zolá o De Maupassant, Dostoievski muestra claramente el costado más sórdido, cruel y descarnado de la clase baja petersburguesa en donde la pobreza y el frío sacude a niños y mujeres desvalidas de la forma más brutal. El autor lo describe sin ocultar nada, ni siquiera la manera en que las clases superiores se aprovechan de los pobres, sea utilizando maltrato, castigos o abuso sexual. Todo estaba permitido en esa época. Ni niñas ni mujeres tenían derechos. Eran tratados como animales.
Yendo a la historia de Raskólnikov, uno reconoce al instante que es atrapante y absorbente. Este muchacho, es un estudiante vapuleado por sus extrañas teorías que hablan de dividir a la sociedad en dos partes, la de la gente vulgar y la gente extraordinaria, siendo esta última la que, por ser superior tiene justificado el acto de matar: por una acción mala, se justifican cien acciones buenas.
Seguramente habrá inspirado a Nietzsche, junto con otro libro del autor, "Memorias del subsuelo", a desarrollar la idea del "superhombre". De hecho en "Memorias del subsuelo", este concepto está muy marcado. Ese narrador es aún más despiadado que Raskólnikov.
Sumado a su confusión con la grandeza de Napoleón, Raskólnikov comenzará a idear el asesinato de una vieja usurera, argumentando también que es una manera de ayudar a todos esos pobres necesitados que deben empeñar sus cosas para poder comer. Cortando el mal de raíz, los libera del sufrimiento.
Todo este razonamiento comenzará a cuajar hasta que hace eclosión en ese instante donde con un hacha Raskólnikov sella su destino irrevocablemente. Una vez consumado el crimen, comienza el torturante castigo y se extenderá hasta el final de la novela.
Es que las cosas no salen según lo planeado y con el asesinato adicional de Lizaveta, la hermanastra de la vieja todo se complica terriblemente.
Algunos ven en la novela de Dostoievski una crítica a la juventud de su época, que se encuentra descantada, sin nada que hacer y sin rumbo. Otros, indudablemente lo asocian a la disparidad social que atravesaba la Rusia zarista y un gran grupo de críticos, basa su teoría en el excepcional tratamiento psicológico que el autor hace de su personaje principal y que encadenará, como si fuera una tragedia shakesperiana, en otros de sus libros claves que son "El idiota" y "Los demonios" para cerrar todo perfectamente en "Los hermanos Karamázov".
Podemos establecer claramente que en esta novela, al igual que en las que le seguirán, el autor pondrá en tela de juicio la existencia de Dios y las atribulaciones de la fe, traspasando muchos de sus cuestionamientos empíricos a sus personajes.
La mente de Raskólnikov es sumamente compleja. Lo que inicialmente justifica se le vuelve en contra y lo atormenta, lo enferma y lo enfrenta a su familia y amigos. Está tironeado por distintas fuerzas las cuales, según mi interpretación difiere de la posición de algunos críticos que establecen que su amigo Razúmijin resume el lado bueno de Raskólnikov y Svidrigáilov su lado malo.
Yo puedo ver en Raskólnikov tres voces de la conciencia y no dos: en primer lugar, Razumijin representa (esto sí lo comparto), la conciencia terrenal, basada en la amistad y el aprecio que este joven siente por él y además, teniendo en cuenta que su apellido significa "sensatez" o "cordura" en ruso.
En segundo lugar, pongo a Sonia (Sofía Marméladova), apoyándose en el lado afectivo, el del amor y por último y más importante, el de su propia mente, que es la que ejerce la tortura psicológica que lo consume.
Veo, sí, en Svidrigáilov y muy especialmente en Porfirii Petróvich, el juez de instrucción que investiga el asesinato de la usurera a las otras amenazas que se suman a su torturada conciencia. Svidrigáilov, con su manera taimada y ventajera que tiene para recordarle que tiene en cierta manera bajo su control a la hermana de Raskólnikov, Advotia "Dunia" Románovna para de este modo presionarlo. Por el otro nos encontramos con una mente brillante, la de Porfirii Petrovich, al que posiciono en el mismo lugar que aquellos grandes detectives de la literatura. Porfirii interiormente sabe e intuye lo que sucedió con el asesinato de la vieja y nunca deja de creer que Raskólnikov tiene que ver con esto.
El resto de los personajes tiene una importancia necesaria para el desarrollo de la historia, principalmente su madre Puljeria Aleksándrovna (los apellidos rusos son terribles para quien no lo es pero debe leerlos, escribirlos y pronunciarlos), el oficial Ilía Petróvich, el funcionario Semión Zajárich Marméladov, padre de Sonia y también, en gran parte de la historia conoceremos a Katerina Ivanovna, la esposa tísica de Marméladov. Gran incidencia tienen todos estos personajes en el argumento.
Sobre el final, en el Epilogo, Dostoievski rememorará sus terribles días en el presidio de Siberia y teñirá, entre el desasosiego y la esperanza, al personaje de Raskólnikov para comenzar a construir su idea de redención, pero para llegar a esto, deberemos leer muchísimas páginas.
Es la segunda vez que leo "Crimen y castigo", y cuando estaba terminando de leer el libro, comenzó a sonar en mí la canción más famosa de Queen, "Rapsodia Bohemia".
Presté atención a la letra y por algún mecanismo entendía que la letra de esa canción concuerda prácticamente en todo (menos con la cuestión faustiana) con la historia de Raskólnikov y por momentos la exactitud de hechos entre libro y canción son iguales.
Resumiendo la canción transcribo estos versos y me animaría decir que este tema sería, en el eventual caso de que existiera una banda sonora de "Crimen y castigo", el principal:

"Atrapado en un derrumbamiento / No hay escape de la realidad / Sólo soy un pobre chico /No necesito compasión /No me importa de que lado sople el viento. /Mamá, acabo de matar a un hombre / Demasiado tarde, mi hora ha llegado / Escalofríos atraviesan mi espina dorsal / El cuerpo me duele todo el rato / Adiós a todos, tengo que partir, / Tengo que dejarlos atrás y enfrentar la veredad / Mama, ooooh / No quería hacerte llorar / Si no regreso mañana Sigue adelante / sigue adelante como si realmente nada importase / Nada importa en realidad / Cualquiera lo puede ver / Nada importa en realidad / Nada importa en realidad para mí / Allá donde el viento sople."

Leer este auténtico tour-de-force psicológico llamado "Crimen y castigo" es un volver a darnos cuenta de que Fiódor Dostoievski es un escritor imbatible.
Esta novela es un verdadero desafío y una maravillosa experiencia que todo lector debe enfrentar al menos una vez en la vida.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,213 followers
July 13, 2008
My star rating is purely subjective and means only what GR says it means: I didn't like it. It didn't mean anything to me, sadly, and I didn't even find it to be an interesting story. I'm not saying it's a terrible book; in fact, I'd be very interested to hear what others think (reviews are a bit light for this book here I see).

First, I have a confession to make: I got two thirds of the way through and skimmed the rest. Well, worse than that: I flipped through and got the gist, but such is the way it's written you can't even skim. I just really had to put the book to rest, and it made me feel miserable thinking about making myself keep reading it. Reading should never make you miserable, so I did something I rarely ever do, and it nags at me but, well, there you have it.

The premise sounds interesting, and I had high hopes it would be one that would suck me in and captivate me. It's not that I had particularly high expectations - I didn't really have any expectations, though I thought it might be heavy on the intellectual side of things - but it was apparent from fairly early on that it wasn't going to be my kind of book.

It's Petersburg and a young student, Raskolnikov, is pawning his only valuables to an old crone, Alyona Ivanovna, who lives in a small apartment with her sister Lizaveta. He hasn't been able to afford to go to uni in several months, and his dress and manner makes him seem even lower class than he is. In desperation he hatches a plan to murder Alyona and rob her. He carries this out, killing not just her but her simple-minded sister who returns home unexpectedly, and in his fear and haste flees the scene with only some pawned trinkets and a small pouch.

His guilt manifests itself in fever and delirium, and he behaves very strangely thereafter. His friend and fellow student, Razumikhin, puts up with an awful lot and generously gives his time and efforts to help Raskolnikov; his mother, Pulcheria Alexandrovna and his sister, Dunechka, come to town to prepare for Dunya's marriage to an odious man; and Raskolnikov becomes somewhat obsessed with the family of a poor alcoholic who dies early on, in particular his eldest daughter Sonya, who had to become a prostitute in order to make some money for her family.

There's a lot of twoing and froing, a lot of agonising on Raskolnikov's part, and a lot of exclaiming. I wouldn't even have minded but Raskolnikov became such a bore, I didn't even want to slap, I just wanted to ignore him. It comes down mostly to the way it was written, which I didn't care for and which made the book a real slog.

I know this is some kind of work of genius, but if that's true, then I just felt stupid. It all seemed pretty obvious to me. No doubt if I made the effort I could see something special here, but it's like The Red and the Black - other people find the psychological melodrama truly fascinating, but to me, it's just melodrama, which I loathe. There's also no mystery, and not much suspense. There's a somewhat clever police inspector investigating the murder, but the game of cat-and-mouse the blurb enticed me with fell flat pretty quickly, and there was nothing left to hold me.

The blurb describes the book as "a preternaturally acute investigation of the forces that impel a man toward sin, suffering and grace." Uh huh. You can tell I'm really impressed can't you? It reads more like an account of a man going mad and being really self-centred, but after my sorry lack of appreciation for the equally masterful The Red and the Black, is it any surprise that I didn't like this book at all? If you're looking for a good story, this isn't it.

Profile Image for Christine.
68 reviews7 followers
April 4, 2007
Instead of reading this book, drink vodka in a dark room and think depressing thoughts. That will give you about the same experience and you'll have a better time.
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,303 followers
May 3, 2018
I read Crime and Punishment severs years ago and immediately rated it 5 stars. Then, I started walking around town telling people it was one of my favorite books ever. People would walk up to me on the street and ask, “Hey, Justin, you look like a guy who reads good books. Hey, could you power rank your top five favorite books of all time for me?”

That’s an example of a real life question that no one ever asked me. But, if they did, I was ready to respond!

“Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Les Miserables, Crime and Punishment, and the fifth one is always changing. Today, I’ll go with The Count of Monte Cristo.” Then, I have to remind myself I’ve never read the unabridged version of that one, and also the list of books isn’t really in order. Also, no one is asking me this question anyway. Finally, I’m never really walking around the town anyway.

So three years ago I loved this book and a month ago I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. I knew the main plot, obviously. You know, there’s a crime and then the next 80 percent of the book is the punishment. I don’t think that’s a spoiler. I hope not. So I knew the main plot, but I really couldn’t remember why I loved the book years ago. It was time to read it again!

I quickly remembered why I loved it. Dostoevsky has his crazy ability to write about the human condition that still feels fresh and riveting over 200 years later. It’s tedious at times, not always a blast to read, not always fast-paced, but sticking with this book until the end is worth it. The characters are given so much life that even the ones that seem to be minor give you a reason to care when they show up. There aren’t too many of them and they are all beautifully written, whether you like them or not. And you probably won’t.

The translation I read made the book feel like it was written in the 21st century. Sometimes older books like this can be exhausting or written in a way that makes them a chore to attempt to read, but this one is one of the most accessible 19th century books I’ve found. I don’t read many books that date that far back, but when I do... that’s stupid. I’m just trying to say if you want to dabble in classic literature and looking for a place to start, I highly recommend this one.

Also, if you love nihilism this might be just what you’re looking for. Great characters. A extremely well written story that dives deep into consequences of our actions and what it’s like to deal with (or not really deal with) guilt and consequences and remorse. It reaches its climax early, but the rest of the book plows on with much more plot to soak in before it’s all over.

And when it’s over you can walk around town and tell random people who don’t care how much you love this book. Or come tell me about it. I’m still trying to find someone to tell about it.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 32,807 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.