Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (spoilers?)

To be honest, I'm surprised I was able to get through this incredible doorstop of a book in only 11 days. What's funny about it is that as long as it is, it isn't particularly sprawling in scope at all - it doesn't cover a lot of characters or a really long time period or anything. It does get into the backstories of all 4 titular brothers, which I found interesting.

But when I had reached page 500 and the crime that is the centerpiece of the book still hadn't happened, I confess my interest level did lower perceptibly. While I generally enjoyed the first half of the book, once the crime eventually occurs, it all kind of goes downhill for me. The book gets bogged down in paragraphs that stretch over pages and character speeches that repeat the same ideas over and over. And then we get into the whole "I love [character]!l S/he is wonderful!" Five seconds later: "I could never love [character]! S/he has too many faults/loves [someone else]/is guilty/is innocent/etc. etc. etc." The book could have told the same story in about 1/3 of the length and lost nothing.

So I guess this was 50/50 - I liked part of it and didn't really get into the other part. It's surprising because I really did like Crime and Punishment a lot. It's most likely due to my own personal failings as a reader that I wasn't 100% with this one.

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