Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) – This book was way too long. The story could have been told in a quarter of what was written. For me there was too much talking. The philosophies of the characters were way too long. I can understand the desire to write this book as a way to explain different views on life, religion and politics. But it wasn’t very relevant to me and so I lost interest. Dostoevsky still does a great job explaining the characters. They are very definite in their characteristics and as I read about them I can picture them very clearly. There are very good descriptions, not only of the people but of the places and situations, throughout this book. The descriptions of the philosophies are too long, but of all the other things it is quite interesting. Some characters I enjoy and others I hate. My opinions were formed very quickly and easily because of the descriptions. The writing style almost changes throughout the book. The entire story is a collection of twelve short books. I can tell the Dostoevsky wrote the different books throughout a long period of time. It all flows together, but going from one book to the next it is a little disjointed. The ending is not at all what I wanted it to be. I can see it coming and I started to get angry at how I know it will turn out. It’s a little disappointing that it ends in the way it does, but it couldn’t be helped. That’s just how it is and I’m sure Dostoevsky had a point in writing it like he did. The epilogue doesn’t end in a way that makes sense. It just sort of drops off. I didn’t learn anything further about the characters that I didn’t already know. Generally the epilogue will carry the story a little further to satisfy the curiosity of the reader, but in this case it did not satisfy any desires I had about what happens later to the characters. In all this is a good book if you want to read about Dostoevsky’s views on politics, religion and life in Russia. Otherwise, read something more interesting.