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The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Book Overview: 

The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, and is generally considered the culmination of his life’s work. The book portrays a parricide in which each of a murdered man’s sons share a varying degree of complicity. The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel that explores deep into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, reason, and modern Russia. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed all over the world by thinkers as diverse as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Pope Benedict XVI as one of the supreme achievements in literature.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I've been talking aloud so many years, that I've got into the habit of talking, and so much so that it's almost more difficult for me to hold my tongue than to talk, even now, in spite of my weakness, dear Fathers and brothers,” he jested, looking with emotion at the group round him.

Alyosha remembered afterwards something of what he said to them. But though he spoke out distinctly and his voice was fairly steady, his speech was somewhat disconnected. He spoke of many [pg 177] things, he seemed anxious before the moment of death to say everything he had not said in his life, and not simply for the sake of instructing them, but as though thirsting to share with all men and all creation his joy and ecstasy, and once more in his life to open his whole heart.

“Love one another, Fathers,” said Father Zossima, as far as Alyosha could remember afterwards. “Love God's people. Because we have come here and shut ourselves within the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

It's not hard to understand Nabokov's objections to Dostoevsky. It's his scruffiness as a novelist Nabokov with his literary sartorial elegance would have objected to. For example, his gun-ho attitude towards unnecessary repetition. And also his occasional lapses at organising his material for maxim

"Reading Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov is comparable to pushing a beautiful grand piano up a very steep hill."
—Kevin Ansbro

Why, oh why, in a world filled with endless opportunities to enjoy oneself, did I think it was a good idea to start on a 19th-century book that's the size of an electric t

Contrary to widespread rumor, this is a far from bleak book. While every character has his or her own misery, and it all takes place in a place called something like "cattle-roundup-ville", the moments of religious ecstasy and moral clarity are heartbreaking in their frequency - it's hard not to wis

In 1929 Freud wrote that The Brothers Karamazov was “the most magnificent novel ever written”. Well, it’s possible he had not got round to reading Ulysses yet (copies were hard to get until 1934) and of course he never did get the opportunity to read the work of Dan Brown or J K Rowling, but even so

If there was still any doubt, let me confirm that this actually is the greatest book ever written. But be warned that you need to set aside a solid month to get through it. And it's not light reading--this is a dense work of philosophy disguised as a simple murder mystery. But it's well worth the ef

If you like your books to move in a linear fashion this book is not for you. It hops around and attention must be paid or you will find yourself flipping back a few pages to reestablish the thread of the story. I took this on a plane flight, crazy right? Not exactly the normal "light" reading I

I'm writing this review as I read. Frankly, I'm astounded by how good this is and how compelling I'm finding it. Astounded? Why should that be? This is a classic, after all. True, but it breaks just about every "rule" of fiction. The plot so far is virtually nonexistent: three brothers get together

The Brothers Karamazov is the greatest novel… The Brothers Karamazov is the greatest grotesque novel. And I’m afraid my interpretations of it will hardly be very popular.
What is God? What is man? And what are their relationships?
“You see, I close my eyes and think: if everyone has faith, where does

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