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Publisher's Summary

This magnificent novel is about the murder of a miserly, aged pawnbroker and her younger sister by a radical, destitute St. Petersburg student named Raskolnikov, and the emotional, mental, and physical effects that follow. It is a remarkable masterpiece about a man's turbulent inner life and his relationship to others and to society at large. Dostoevsky explored the human condition on many levels in this great piece, and among the main themes the novel explores is the rather strange theory that criminals have a spiritual need to be punished - that indeed they demand it. Today we might think of this as masochism and dismiss Dostoevsky's thesis as the powerful wanderings of a mind steeped in the mysticism of the Eastern Orthodox Church. But this wonderful classic is far more complex. Raskolnikov the intellectual divides humanity into two types: the meek, submissive mass of mankind and the "Supermen". The Nietzschean Superman can violate any law or principle to attain his beneficial ends. Since Raskolnikov has allied himself with the Superman, he intends to prove his superiority by committing a murder without remorse by eliminating an "undesirable" person.
The novel's central question is whether it is justifiable to commit an atrocity in order to improve humanity. Dostoevsky shows us that a person cannot control and direct his life solely with his reason and intellect, that free will is limited. Listen as one of the finest psychological novels ever written unfolds.
Translated by Constance Garnett.
©2008 Audio Connoisseur (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Marsha on 01-02-09

Perfect narrator!

Simply amazing narrator! Charlton Griffin, with his mellifluous voice and always-clear perfect diction, breathes new life into this classic Russian novel. He performs every speaker - even women's voices - with artistry, interest, and believability to such an extent that even some of the minor characters (who would ordinarily get lost in the story or seem boring) become interesting. I can't imagine trying to listen to this otherwise long, dark story without the kind of masterful narration that Mr. Griffin gives us. (I will surely seek out all of his narrations!) Anyway, if you are interested in (finally?) delving into this classic, I highly recommend this truly outstanding version!

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33 of 33 people found this review helpful

By Theo on 02-08-09

Involving and convincing.

I had read the book many years ago, but remembered only that I struggled through the difficult literature, often losing the story line. So I bought the Audiobook to listen to it again and have to admit, I was surprised at the ease with wich the narrator relayed the story. The story is not easy to follow, with difficult emotions, thought processes and circumstances to picture in one's imagination. I think the narrator does an excellent job at involving and convincing the listener of these difficult aspects of the book. Raskolnikov (the main character) is an obscure character in even more obscure circumstances. Throughout the events of the book, his emotions and thought processes take the listener on a journey of the human condition focussing on questions that are still relevant and un-answered today. It culminates in an unexpectedly "correct" yet strangely unfortunate ending, leaving the listener with an appetite to know what happened during the remainder of his exile and thereafter.

As for the author, Dostoyevsky, all I can say is that the story could not have been written without deep, real, personal experiences which are difficult to recreate in the way that he does. I would not want to delete a single explanation or description given throughout the story as it would undermine the overall experience.

A true classic, and very satisfactorily relayed.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Cathryn on 12-31-13


Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! Great narrator, very easy to keep track of the Russian name diminutives. Compelling story. The psychological tension and physical manifistations Rakolnikov endures in the struggle to understand that the suffering of condign punishment is easier to endure than the weight of the crime completely captivated me.

What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

The animation he brought to the characters

Any additional comments?

I was so enraptured that I tripped while listening and broke my arm. I took the time to pause the book before calling the ambulance so I wouldn't lose my place.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

By Stephen on 03-04-09


The narrator gives well thought out voices to each of the characters and clearly relishes the performance in parts. Only gets confusing when there two female characters speaking in a scene as they all sound more or less the same, but it's a minor quibble.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By eoin on 03-22-15

Well Worth the effort

Well narrated and an enjoyable production. The backing music heightens suspense and adds to the overall experience. Give it a go

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