Devils (Wordsworth Classics)
With an Introduction by A.D.P. Briggs, translation by Constance Garnett. In 1869 a young Russian was strangled, shot through the head and thrown into a pond. His crime? A wish to leave small group of violent revolutionaries, from which he had become alienated. Dostoevsky takes this real-life... show more
With an Introduction by A.D.P. Briggs, translation by Constance Garnett. In 1869 a young Russian was strangled, shot through the head and thrown into a pond. His crime? A wish to leave small group of violent revolutionaries, from which he had become alienated. Dostoevsky takes this real-life catastrophe as the subject and culmination of Devils, a title that refers the young radicals themselves and also to the materialistic ideas that possessed the minds of many thinking people Russian society at the time. The satirical portraits of the revolutionaries, with their naivety, ludicrous single-mindedness and readiness for murder and destruction, might seem exaggerated - until we consider their all-too-recognisable descendants in the real world ever since. The key figure in the novel, however, is beyond politics. Nikolay Stavrogin, another product of rationalism run wild, exercises his charisma with ruthless authority and total amorality. His unhappiness is accounted for when he confesses to a ghastly sexual crime - in a chapter long suppressed by the censor. This prophetic account of modern morals and politics, with its fifty-odd characters, amazing events and challenging ideas, is seen by some critics as Dostoevskys masterpiece.
Publish date: 2010
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
Pages no: 694
Edition language: English
This book, along with a number of other 'bricks', has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while and I realised that if I wanted to reduce number of books that I have not read I was going to have to tackle some of these 'bricks', so since I have already read some of Dostoevsky I decided that I would...
The quality and mastery of Dostoevsky’s vision, and his use of character and plot and pacing, are all on display in this marvelous work. It’s true that perhaps it doesn’t hold together as strongly as some of his other works; but it’s not true that this is a poor example of his work. In some ways, it...
Brilliant, in fact I think this is my favourite of all his books. Fantastic characterisation, dark humour, wonderful dialogue, interesting and complex philosophical ideas incorporated with a minimum of pretention and a great story - what more could one want?
In setting out to describe the recent and very strange events that took place in our town, hitherto not remarkable for anything, I am forced, for want of skill, to begin somewhat far back - namely, with some biographical details concerning the talented and much esteemed Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovens...
Not as great as I was lead to believe. Not up there with the best of his work. It's a little hard to accept the narrator who veers from a participant to omniscient, and back again. Some of the characters' actions are also hard accept, even in light of the Revolution in the next century. It's sti...