Happy Friday and welcome to another Shelf Control feature post! It’s hard to believe that last time I shared this post two weeks ago, I was snowed in! That’s flown by! It would also have been appropriate to today’s featured book, as it is a classical fiction novel set in St Petersburg. I’ll admit my reading of books set in Russia is limited to Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but I for sure recall a wintry setting.
The author of today’s feature is not Leo Tolstoy, but another Russian author who is associated with writing classics and philosophy. Blessedly, today’s book is also shorter than the epic that War and Peace is – I’m hopeful I will enjoy it just the same!
Before I showcase today’s book, let’s quickly recap what my Shelf Control feature is all about.
Shelf Control is a regular feature – a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!
If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Genre: Classic / Philosophy
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 01 Jan 1866
‘Crime? What crime?…My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman…and you call that a crime?’
Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption.
This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky’s great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also includes a new chronology of Dostoyevsky’s life and work.
I’ve got a long term goal of working my way through novels that are categorised as classics. Naturally, this is already an extensive list and will only grow longer. You know me though, I’m not defeated by the prospect of a lengthy reading list. God knows I’ve had one long enough to be used to the idea by now.
I purchased a paperback copy of this book after reading War and Peace. Was War an Peace an approachable novel for the time period and history? I’m sure there would have been better. However, despite the size and newness of the setting and writing style to me, I enjoyed this book. Clearly, I wanted to read more, otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten a copy of this book ready to go.
This is the first book I have and will be reading by Fyodor Dostoevsky. He has written numerous others that are also deemed ‘classics’. This is probably the one he is most known for. It is certainly the one I am most familiar with by title. It’s been a while since I read War and Peace, so I’m ready to take on another book of its ilk. I liken the two books, purely because I have read so little Russian literature. They may be completely different. I’ll let you know once I’ve read it!
Have you read Crime and Punishment?