A groundbreaking new translation of Dostoyevsky's most radical work of fiction. In the depths of a cellar in St. Petersburg, a civil servant spews forth a passionate and furious note on the ills of society. The underground man's manifesto reveals his erratic, self-contradictory, and even sadistic nature. Yet in Dostoyevsky's most extreme and disturbing character, there is the uncomfortable flicker of recognition of the human condition. When the narrator ventures above ground, he attends a dinner with a group of old school friends. It is here, paralysed by his own social awkwardness, that he carries out extraordinary acts and cements his status as a true and original outsider.
The reader D.B.C. Pierre is an award-winning writer who has also written and recorded a new introduction to this famous text.
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The first modern anti-hero?
The later parts of the first section prefigure how 2=+2=5 types of control are taking us over. In our age where algorithms are praised, this is sobering.
The introduction with the Man's take on the struggle to conform to rational order is the most interesting. Least interesting is the lengthy build-up to the meeting with Liza. This dragged.
Finally he was able to get some dialogue in, halfway into the main part. He did well. He also contributes an eight minute afterword that I found apt, as he finds overlaps with his own writing career, as well as the Man's situation and that of his author. He leaves you thinking.
Liza, as I felt sorry for her having to put up with the machinations of the Man. She needs a good meal, too, and a genuinely sympathetic ear.
Good match of Pierre + D. I hope he does more audiobooks.
- John L Murphy