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 The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky

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PostSubject: The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky   Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:13 pm

While I enjoyed Crime and Punishment more than this novel, it is still a worthwhile read. The Karamazovs are three brothers and one father, and the word "dysfunctional" is almost too mild to describe this family. The oldest brother is Dmitri, a former army officer who has a horribly muddled romantic life. Ivan, the middle brother, is a pompous intellectual who has more than a little bit of insanity in his psyche. The youngest brother, Alyosha, is the only one with any integrity. He is earnest, open, and always completely honest in his dealings with others. The father, Fyodor, is a shameless drunkard and philanderer who tries to woo away a woman who is sought by both himself and his oldest son Dmitri, which leads to Dmitri beating his father and threatening him with murder.

Which becomes the plot for the middle of the novel. Fyodor is, indeed, murdered, and Dmitri, who was at the scene, is of course the prime suspect. He insists he is innocent, and only his brother Alyosha believes him.

The last third of the novel is, essentially, a courtroom drama as Dmitri is tried for his father's murder. It is here that much of the melodrama, especially in regards to dialogue, is present. The melodrama, for me, tends to go overboard and takes some of the pleasure away from the novel.

The saving grace of this novel is the character of Alyosha. He is the glue that holds everything together.

As I said, I liked Crime and Punishment better, but I can still recommend this novel.

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PostSubject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky   Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:36 pm

I have Crime and Punishment on my bookshelf, and I swear it gives me the evil eye every time I glance at it guiltily. It happens to be rather low on my reading list, but I will get around to it before I get divorced...or at least before I remarry.

Anyway, thanks for the review. I was interested regarding which novel was superior, and I always appreciate a review from someone who's taste I trust.
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