The Idiot

The Idiot

Book - 2004
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The story begins when Myshkin arrives on Russian soil after a stay in a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by St. Petersburg society as an idiot for his generosity and innocence, the prince finds himself at the center of a struggle between a rich, kept woman and a beautiful, virtuous girl, who both hope to win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin's very goodness seems to bring disaster to everyone he meets. The shocking denouement tragically reveals how, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium is the only place for a saint.
Publisher: New York : Barnes & Noble, c2004
ISBN: 9781593080587
Branch Call Number: x
Characteristics: xxix, 578 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Garnett, Constance 1861-1946


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Feb 11, 2017

Classic book by Dusty.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Sep 02, 2016

A marvelous book with incredible characterization. Part 1 of the book is an incredible page turner which all takes place in one day's timespan. Part 2 is introduces much of the romantic plot and near the end begins to drag. Part 3 digresses in tangents for awhile, gets lost, but then comes back incredibly toward the end. Part 4, much as part 3 before it, gets bogged down in some (in my opinion) unnecessary details, but the final 100 pages of the novel are some of the best I've ever read.

Overall Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" is everything I had heard: an incredible character study, a wonderful story of betrayal and romance, a great allegory of being a good person surrounded by bad people, and an extremely uneven novel. I feel that had Dostoyevsky spent some time editing the novel a bit more it could be trimmed and made quite a bit more effective. That said, it's still one of the finest novels I've ever read, and I'm stunned at the quality of Dostoyevsky's prose and dialogue.

At various points in the novel he stops using the "he said/she said" tags all together, but the dialogue flows wonderfully and simply by the way it is written you can tell which specific character is speaking. It's really something.

So, overall, the characters are my favorite part of this book.

Dec 05, 2010

I would never have picked up this book, if it wasn't my bookclub choice. Warning: don't read it in bed, you need to be fully alert and laced with caffeine to manage the text.

There were times I wanted to give up - its depth, drama, characterization are incredible, but at times the author digresses (sometimes for 60 pages or so) and makes it a tough read.

I can't imagine reading this book electronically - the weight and feel of the book add to its authority.

Jul 22, 2010

Standing Ovation!
one of the truly finest books I have read. Considered one of the best in world literature


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