Crime and Punishment, Hardback Book
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Crime and Punishment is the story of a brutal double murder and its aftermath.

Raskolnikov, a poor student, kills a pawnbroker and her sister, and then has to face up to the moral consequences of his actions.

The novel is compelling and rewarding, full of meaning and symbolism, and raises profound questions about the individual and society, and the nature of free will.

Translated by Constance Garnett, with an Afterword by Oliver Francis.


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Plot: The plot itself doesn't matter. It merely serves as a backdrop and frame for the characters and ideas, and thus moves very slowly to give them enough time. Side plots tie in whenever characters are introduced to flesh out their background. Characters: These are the true glory of the book. Down to the smallest side character they're superbly sketched and individualized, and their thought processes are laid out with enough detail for the reader to easily follow them. None of the characters are truly likable, but they are understandable, which is more important. Style: It's a difficult read. Epic and wordy, the story meanders about and sometimes goes off in unexpected directions with page-long discussions of an idea. It doesn't excuse any inattention from the reader. The Garnett translation used to be the established standard. Plus: It's an amazing character study.Minus: At times it's an ordeal to go through it, with the last page being the goal in mind. Summary: It's a great book, but one that demands attention, stamina and patience from the reader. I found it a harder read than <i>The Brothers Karamasov</i>, but equally rewarding.

Review by

This book is brilliant. I am reading in Jan 2011. BUT, So many sentences in the book begin: “Why,………….”Story writers use this. I don’t think I have ever heard anyone in real conversation begin a sentence with “Why,….. “Why” is a question. It is the prefect word to ask a question with. ( I do believe Winston Churchill is claimed to have written the shortest ever diplomatic letter, which contained only the one word “Why?”) Used at the beginning of a sentence, with no question mark, it means nothing, just the waste of a word.To me, it denotes that the story writer is only “story writing” and probably has not noticed that in real life conversations “Why,….” is rarely, if ever, spoken that way. It belongs only in fiction and on the stage.This serves to remind me constantly that the speaker is not a real person, just someone on a stage. It is this knowledge that detracts and spoils the believability of otherwise excellent characters in the plots. So, only five stars from me ! Without the above I would have awarded this work ten. Get it ! Read it yourself.