Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Bantam Classics (October 15, 1996) | 576 pages | ISBN: 9780553211757 | PDF | 2.14 mb

Crime and Punishment is quite possibly the most widely read 19th century Russian novel in the English-speaking world, and while I might say it's a tad overrated (for reasons discussed below), there are many good reasons for its exalted status. In case you're not familiar with the story, it begins with the decision of an impoverished student, Raskolnikov, to rob and kill a pawnbroker, having justified his decision with the argument that her death will do the world more good than harm, both because she cheats her clients and because the money from the robbery will give him the start he needs to become a great man and ultimately benefit humanity. The action of the novel is confined to the day of the murder and a few days following it, during which time, in addition to dealing with a murder investigation led by a clever and intriguing detective who suspects him, Raskolnikov spends time with his mother and sister, who have just come to visit, and with the tragic Marmeladov family, consisting of a drunken father, a consumptive mother, three young children, and an eighteen-year old girl who is forced into prostitution in order to support the family.

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