Crime and PunishmentCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

maybe it’s a lit major thing? the adoration of this book.

i mean, Dostoyevsky certainly knew how to pen a scene–how to build a character, bit by bit–how to leave one with little cliffhangers. but oh, Raskolnikov! what a jerk!

and ya, i know, sometimes that’s the point, making a character who’s a jerk. you make a jerk and put all the jerky things you want to examine into his/her mouth. and Raskolnikov certainly had a lot of jerky things to say, so Dostoyevsky wasn’t in any danger of running out of them. but oh it’s just hard work to read a book in which nobody is likeable.

Raskolnikov reminded me of a deeply narcissistic teenager. so wedded to dualities. so unable to entertain the notion of others’ humanity (i’ll never get over that: “material” vs. “genius”). so… puerile.

i know, it’s lame of me as a reader to get stuck on how repulsive Raskolnikov was. i’m supposed to engage with the larger issues and themes of the book, supposed to marvel over the brushstrokes of the master, yadda yadda yadda… but, just, yeccch.

the only thing in the book that made me happy was when Dounya whipped out the pistol and shot Svidrigaïlov. i totally had to laugh at that one, cause a woman shot my dad in very similar circumstances, with similar immediate results. well you might ask why that brought me joy… but you’d have to buy me a beer for that story.

and that’s all i’m going to say about Crime and Punishment.