The House of the Dead, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780486434094


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

House of the Dead, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is little book about life in a Siberian prison. A couple deep thoughts. Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him. Tyranny is a habit; it may develop, and it does develop at last, into a disease.It has such beautiful writing about such an awful subject. The basic story is that an older man dies and his friend comes across a manuscript. This manuscript is the story of the man's ten year stint in prison in Siberia. We are talking serious hard labor 1850's prison. Dozens of men sleeping on the floor, bugs, constantly wearing chains, inedible food. It is supposedly autobiographical. The prisoners survive awful conditions and beatings, yet some seem to still have optimism for the future. The only thing i have read that even seemed close was part of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. Just haven't read much prison lit. I haven't read anything by Dostoyevsky before and his style is so poetic it is breathtaking.

Review by

I first read this in University. It really opened up my world on the Russian writers. My professor (DONSKOV), explained to us how this was partly autobiographical. Dostoevsky was in prison and writing notes in his bible. Great visual writhing.

Review by

I was disappointed by this work.Any book on the inner workings of a 19th century Siberian labor camp will have appeal both for its compelling subject matter, and historical value. To that extent, I enjoyed this work, as it provides a wonderful insight into a prison system now long since past.However, the author's writing style is tedious at best. The book amounts to a simple narrative of various inmates and their experiences within the camp- no real effort is made to establish flow or any compelling story lines.