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The Idiot (Everyman’s Library)
Just two years after completing Crime and Punishment, which explored the mind of a murderer, Dostoevsky produced another masterpiece, The Idiot. This time the author portrays a truly beautiful soul—a character he found difficult to bring to life because, as he wrote, “beauty is the ideal, and neither my country, nor civilized Europe, know what that ideal of beauty is.” The result was one of Dostoevsky’s greatest characters—Prince Myshkin, a saintly, Christ-like, yet deeply human figure.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot is an immaculate portrait of innocence tainted by the brutal reality of human greed. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by David McDuff, with an introduction by William Mills Todd III.
Returning to St Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naïve epileptic Prince Myshkin—the titular ‘idiot’—pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife, and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna. Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and finally, murder.
Translated from the Russian by David McDuff.
Notes from Underground & The Double
Alienated from society and paralysed by a sense of his own insignificance, the anonymous narrator of Dostoyevsky’s groundbreaking Notes from Underground tells the story of his tortured life. With bitter irony, he describes his refusal to become a worker in the ‘anthill’ of society and his gradual withdrawal to an existence ‘underground’. The seemingly ordinary world of St Petersburg takes on a nightmarish quality in The Double when a government clerk encounters a man who looks exactly like him – his double, perhaps, or possibly the darker side of his own personality. Like Notes from Underground, this is a masterly tragicomic study of human consciousness.
Translated from the Russian by Ronald Wilks.
Pyotr and Stavrogin are the leaders of a Russian revolutionary cell. Their aim is to overthrow the Tsar, destroy society, and seize power for themselves. Together they train terrorists who are willing to lay down their lives to accomplish their goals. But when the group is threatened with exposure, will their recruits be willing to kill one of their own to cover their tracks? Savage and powerful yet lively and often comic, Demons was inspired by a real-life political murder and is a scathing and eerily prescient indictment of those who use violence to serve their beliefs.
The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky
This collection, unique to the Modern Library, gathers seven of Dostoevsky’s key works and shows him to be equally adept at the short story as with the novel. Exploring many of the same themes as in his longer works, these small masterpieces move from the tender and romantic White Nights, an archetypal nineteenth-century morality tale of pathos and loss, to the famous Notes from the Underground, a story of guilt, ineffectiveness, and uncompromising cynicism, and the first major work of existential literature. Among Dostoevsky’s prototypical characters is Yemelyan in The Honest Thief, whose tragedy turns on an inability to resist crime. Presented in chronological order, in David Magarshack’s celebrated translation, this is the definitive edition of Dostoevsky’s best stories.
Translated from the Russian by David Magarshack.
Notes from a Dead House (Everyman Library)
Sentenced to death for advocating socialism in 1849, Dostoevsky served a commuted sentence of four years of hard labor. The account he wrote afterward (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom and hope, but also of the feuds and betrayals, the moments of comedy, and the acts of kindness he observed. As a nobleman and a political prisoner, Dostoevsky was despised by most of his fellow convicts, and his first-person narrator–a nobleman who has killed his wife–experiences a similar struggle to adapt. He also undergoes a transformation over the course of his ordeal, as he discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. Notes from a Dead House reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia. It endures as a monumental meditation on freedom.
Notes from a Dead House
Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante’s Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality.
The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman’s Library)A magnificent new translation of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece, which when first published in 1991 was described by the TIMES as ‘a miracle’ and by THE INDEPENDENT as a near ‘ideal translation’. The BROTHERS KARAMAZOV – Dostoevsky’s most widely read novel – is at once a murder mystery, a mordant comedy of family intrigue, a pioneering work of psychological realism and an unblinking look into the abyss of human suffering.
The Brothers Karamazov
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 history.
DemonsInspired by the true story of a political murder that horried Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a “novel-pamphlet” in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny masterpiece of ideology and murder in pre-revolutionary Russia.
Crime and Punishment (Everyman’s Library)
A troubled young man commits the perfect crime: the murder of a vile pawnbroker whom no one will miss. Raskolnikov is desperate for money, but he convinces himself that his motive for the murder is to benefit mankind. So begins a tragic novel that illuminates the eternal struggle between human emotions and desire, and the harsh laws of ethics and justice. Part thriller and part philosophical meditation, this is a penetrating look at the core of human nature.
Crime and Punishment (Deluxe Hardbound Edition)
In this book, Raskolnikov murders an old, evil pawnbroker. Good riddance, according to him, since the woman was an oppressor of the weak, and this act allowed him to solve his own financial problems. Yet, it is a crime, and the guilt begins gnaw at him inside, even though he considers himself to be an ‘extraordinary person’ whose actions are above the law.
Crime And Punishment (Vintage Classics)
Crime and Punishment is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel about the nature of law and morality, told through the eyes of a murderer and his internal conflict.
Crime And PunishmentA troubled young man commits the perfect crime: the murder of a vile pawnbroker whom no one will miss. Raskolnikov is desperate for money, but he convinces himself that his motive for the murder is to benefit mankind. So begins a tragic novel that illuminates the eternal struggle between human emotions and desire, and the harsh laws of ethics and justice. Part thriller and part philosophical meditation, this is a penetrating look at the core of human nature.