Published in: 1866
Edition read: E-book
The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, a talented student, devises a theory about extraordinary men being above the law, since in their brilliance they think “new thoughts” and so contribute to society. He then sets out to prove his theory by murdering a vile, cynical old pawnbroker and her sister. The act brings Raskolnikov into contact with his own buried conscience and with two characters — the deeply religious Sonia, who has endured great suffering, and Porfiry, the intelligent and discerning official who is charged with investigating the murder — both of whom compel Raskolnikov to feel the split in his nature.
Russian Literature. *sigh* Why are you so difficult?
So this book. Nothing really happens. I mean, Raskolnikov murders two women for no apparent reason- this whole ‘devised a theory and tested it’ that the Goodreads description above has… yeah, that’s not what happens. This nutjob Raskolnikov murders this woman to gain gold because he is poor but then he doesn’t use the gold for anything cos, he’s a nutjob! Or at least, that is how I viewed the book.
Raskolnikov is an extremely unlikeable character, I wanted to wring his neck repeatedly from page 1. He’s an asshole to literally everyone who interacts with him. Then there’s the issue that each character seems to have about 6 different names. Raskolnikov is also known by Riodon Romanovich, or Rodya, and I swear there was at least one other name he goes by. It’s irritating as I could hardly keep track of this one character’s names, let alone the whole cast of others who also responded to a list of their own names. Argh!
I didn’t really enjoy this book. It’s not as bad as some of the books from this era I’ve read, but it’s not great. It’s all about the internal struggle of a terrible character and I just don’t care enough about him to wonder at his plight. Does he get caught, does he not, who cares.
Crime and Punishment rating: 4/10
Would I re-read it? No
Who would I recommend it to? Er… fans of Russian literature?
As with all classical literature, you can download free copies of this to read, so check out Project Gutenberg to get yourself a copy: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2554