The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Constance Garnett, 2/5

After an extremely positive experience with War and Peace, I approached this other piece of famous Russian literature with enthusiasm.  I was disappointed.  There was only one likeable character in the book and even he was annoyingly sacharinne and preachy.  I’m talking about 729 pages of really unlikeable characters: hysterical, screaming, dirty, secretive, malicious, crying, dramatic men and women, all of whom I found impossible to connect with.  Dostoevsky’s use of foreshadowing was extremely clumsy and the narrator’s voice was distracting.  The “main event” didn’t happen until page 415 and there was about enough storyline and events of interest to sustain a novel of half the length.  However, reading other people’s reviews of the book, I found at least one criticizing the translation, so perhaps I would have enjoyed a different translation more.


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