The Brothers Karamazov, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The Brothers Karamazov" is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving Karamazov and his three sons - the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy young novice Alyosha.

Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the social and spiritual strivings in what was both a golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099922803

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I once dated a guy whose only literary opinion was that one should read "Heart of Darkness" every ten years to see how one had changed. (Since this was his one and only literary opinion, I doubt it was really his to begin with.) Well, this is definitely a novel I would consider returning to, in a decade's time. By turns a hysterical family soap opera (everyone speaks in run-on sentences and cumulative clauses, and there is an awful lot of crying), a philosophical-cum-religious tract, and a puzzling murder mystery, this novel reminded me a bit of Russia itself (or at least the way I perceive it, anyway): vast and seemingly insurmountable, with pockets of pathos and lashings of tragedy, swathes of sentimentality and sobering meditations on suffering all culminating in an irresistibly vivid portrait of humanity. Really, it's about a family, the Karamazovs, who, in their physical, emotional and spiritual appetites, might be called to stand in for Russia, but they also stand in, I think, for all of us. There aren't many of us, probably, who could look as deeply into our souls as the three eponymous brothers do, and not come to somewhat of the same conclusion about the state of them as they do. What really do love, guilt, justice and punishment look like in the fallen world we live in?I'm sad that this novel has been taken off the 2008 edition of the 1001 list of books. It's a worthy contender & despite its demotion, I'll look forward to returning to it next decade!