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By Rich on 02-27-16
A Spiritual and Philosophical Tour-de-Force
At 39 years old, this is my first reading of "Brothers K". From the first chapter, this title was nearly impossible to put down. Upon completion, this book immediately rocketed to the top of my all-time favorite reads. Glorious!
"How did one person write this book?" is the question I ask myself over and over. And to think that this title was only HALF of what Dostoyevsky really wanted to finish: just outrageous! The absence of this second volume due to his death is perhaps one of the greatest losses in the history of world literature. To consider the circumstances of the author's life (the death of his real-life epileptic son Allyosha, the murder of his real-life father, etc.) and how they intertwine with this title is near overwhelming.
I can't even begin to offer a degree of plot summary that does this title justice. Perhaps the best advice to the new reader is to not worry over memorizing the convoluted Karamozov family tree (ex-wives, distant relatives, etc.). Stick to the father (Fydor), the three brothers (Mitya, Ivan and Allyosha), the four women (Katya, Grusha, Madame Hoklakov, Lise), the servant family (Grigory, Marfa and Smerdyakov) and the four monks (Zossima, Rakitin, Ferapont and Paissy). By the time other characters are introduced later in the book (the children, the captain's family, the courtroom, etc.), you'll be ready for them.
This translation (Garnett) is indeed great for first-timers and Gregory's narration is knockout. Every minute of this title is meant to be savored--relax, be prepared for brilliance around every corner and enjoy what surely must be one of the best rational, spiritual and philosophical reads I'll ever experience in my life. "Hurrah for Karamozov"--then, now, and for generations to come!
62 of 63 people found this review helpful
By Robert on 10-20-13
Best "Karamazov" yet.
Constantine Gregory decided to give a reading of the Constance Garnett translation of "The Brothers Karamazov". Constance Garnett is no longer considered the best translator of Dostoevsky. She goes to great length to "pretty up" the rather rough and bumpy language of the original. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s new translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" is now regarded by most critics to be definitive as it does not try to mask Dostoyevskys idiosyncratic prose.
Gregory gives a rather calm and relaxed rendering of the work, which is nice in the long run.
My dream "audio" Karamazov would be David Horovitch narrating the Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation.
However as it stands now, this version by Constantine Gregory is the best "Karamazov" available.
148 of 158 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Antti on 08-26-14
Beautiful, Addictive, Rewarding
Never mind that my listening experience was marred by strange glitches in the audiobook (downloaded in enhanced quality) that mysteriously kept reappearing once in a while when I was listening on my iPod* but disappeared when I listened to it in iTunes, ”The Brothers Karamazov” is a jewel.
There were places when I was ready to give up, and only kept going because of pride. After a difficult section or two, however, I found moments of such sublimity of prose and characterization it’s impossibly beautiful, addictive and rewarding. I don't believe in the kind of self-deception that attaches importance to moments one doesn't like merely because the work at hand is a canonized classic. Instead, a work, when it really and truly does overwhelm its reader, itself gives meaning to the parts perceived as meaningless by the reader in the first place. One sees with new eyes if one is converted, and isn't that ultimately one of the goals an author tries to achieve? To convert us to believe, follow and take the leap? I did, and do.
"Karamazov" indeed works for me as described, shedding light retrospectively to portions of the book I couldn't connect with, these portions now illumined and shining brightly with new-found, glowing meaning. The result is that one wishes to return to those places that now possess a magical, glimmering new depth and colour.
Constantine Gregory certainly helps. His reading is among the finest I’ve heard, and I’ll certainly find out more works read by him. I also love Garnett’s translation, so I’m doubly satisfied.
* imagine lying in bed, the house all quiet, everyone else sleeping. You’re slowly drifting off yourself, still minutely hanging there as to be able to make sense of what you’re hearing, when suddenly there’s a loud electronic noise as if somebody yanked the plug from the surround system – that’s the kind of leisurely listening I’m referring to.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
By GreenBell on 02-14-16
superb and intelligent performance of perhaps the greatest novel ever written. the best thing I've heard on audible
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 05-26-15
Brilliantly read, clear, every character with an individual voice, never over dramatised, a very memorable audio file. Faultless work. Satisfying.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Davide Gaido on 05-21-17
First of all the narration of this audiobook is amazing, one of the best I've heard on Audible.
Secondly there isn't much left to say about this classic, I would just add that this book is still surprisingly enjoyable and modern, espeiclaly the phylosofical intermissions, while the story can be a bit tedious and overdramatic at times. The last 2 books are an absolute masterpiece of storytelling.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful