The Idiot

  • by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Narrated by Alastair Cameron
  • 23 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Young Prince Mishkin is that rare thing - a "completely beautiful human being". He is honest, humble, generous, and selfless, but unfortunately these traits mean he is often mistaken for an idiot. Upon his return to St. Petersburg, after being away at a Swiss sanatorium for the treatment of epilepsy, Prince Mishkin is taken under the wing of the wife of General Yepanchin, who arranges for him to live with the family of her money-obsessed friend Ganya. As Prince Mishkin attempts to rejoin high society and find a wife, his virtuousness causes him to make all sorts of blunders.
Will Prince Mishkin manage to lure beautiful fallen woman Nastasya away from her other suitors, or will he choose instead the general's virginal daughter Aglaya? Will his goodness be rewarded, or just cause problems for everyone around him?
The novel explores how this Christ-like figure functions in a world full of selfish and flawed human beings. Originally published in serialized form in the Russian Messenger, this book was written during a particularly tempestuous part of Dostoevsky's life and deals with themes of death, drunkenness, and redemption. It is particularly poignant as Dostoevsky suffered from epilepsy himself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

wow.

i have never been inspired by an idiot this much. something truly special. stong recommendation​
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- Michal Krawczyk

A mix of soap opera and cheap philosophy

I was interested in this book because it contained the phrase "Beauty will save the world"; and it was written by Fyodor Dostoyevski, a supposed Russian glory. When I read the summary, the premise attracted me: the story of a humble and noble man, caught in the middle of vile to average people, who all thought of him as an idiot, and his ability to shine and prove them wrong.

The first part of the book was compelling, the characters were strong and the narrative smooth and fluid. However, in Part II my interest quickly started to vanish inside the myriad of dull and ordinary characters, impossible to distinguish from each other, and their endless, uneventful, boring, soap-opera like tirades and conversations. The most attractive character from Part I, Nastasia Philipovna, quickly (and surprisingly) fades into oblivion on Part II and the excitement she brought was never replaced by anything.

I decided to stop after I heard the most horrid anti-catholic diatribe from the mouth of the Prince. In that moment I had decided I couldn't take it anymore. I guess that was supposed to be Dostoyevski's high moral teaching? That the Catholic Church is the home of the AntiChrist and the house of all evil? Bo-ring!

I don't care what anyone says this book was not worth my time. I feel like "The Idiot" for having listened as far as I did.
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- montecarlostar

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-27-2017
  • Publisher: A.R.N. Publications