Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Fyodor Dostoevsky

I can easily see someone giving this a 2star rating, as it is rambling and about a young, selfish man who murders an old woman just to prove that he can.

 

But the reasons I gave it a 5star are the following:

 

1) Excellent writing. Even translated, Dostoyevsky's genius shines through. Descriptions of places, of humans, of human reaction to external and internal stimuli.

 

2) Portrayal of humanity. This was spot on and enlightening. A murderer, a crazy woman, a whore, a drunkard, a womanizing philanderer, an armchair psychologist/cop. So many characters, so many descriptions. Most of the characters are real enough that they have very visible flaws that make you want to gnash your teeth. Which leads into 3.

 

3) How murder affects a normal person on the mental and physical level. Raskanilkov wants to know if he is a normal man or a superman, someone who is outside the normal laws of God and man, outside the consequences setup by God. It makes you cry to see this young man constantly deny the reality of his situation because of his pride. Which leads into 4.

 

4) Through it all, through rejecting everyone, turning away from them all, in the end there is redemption, through love. It is not Raskanilkov who does the redeeming, for a human cannot redeem themselves. It is outside of their power. But another, ahhh, that is another matter.

 

And there are tons of further material for discussion. but enough from me.