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Book Review: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.

There are good books, great books, and then there is Crime and Punishment. No other web of words, brushstrokes or music melody has ever struck me so deeply and consumed me as completely as this book did. The story of the book is not as complicated as some people claim it to be.

Raskolnikov, a student who is on the breadline conceives of himself as being an unusual young man and then formulates a theory where the extraordinary men of the world have a right to commit any crime if they have something of worth to offer to the human race. To prove his theory, he murders an old, contemptible woman and her half-sister who happened to come upon him suddenly, but a suspicious police investigator brings out the self-conscience in our ‘anti-hero’ and soon he finds himself tied around the noose of guilt and misery.

Dostoevsky brilliantly straps the reader to the emotional states of his characters and is able to create seamless transitions between scenes or from the minds of one character to the next by riding the wings of an emotion. Most often this emotion is guilt and the murder scene and it’s feverish follow-up is so expertly crafted that the reader feels they must share in Raskolnikov’s guilty burden. This book features a massively engaging blend of intrigue; philosophy; political, social, moral and religious clarifications, that all thread together to create a masterpiece of literature that captures the deep, raw core of the human condition when it is at its most ghastly and susceptible.

“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.”

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