The Idiot [Tantor]

  • by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Narrated by Norman Dietz
  • 26 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Just two years after completing Crime and Punishment, which explored the mind of a murderer, Fyodor Dostoevsky produced another masterpiece: The Idiot. This time the author portrays a truly beautiful soul and one of Dostoevsky's greatest characters---Prince Muishkin, a saintly, Christ-like, yet deeply human figure. The story begins when Muishkin arrives on Russian soil after a stay in a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by St. Petersburg society as an idiot for his generosity and innocence, the prince finds himself at the center of a struggle between a rich, kept woman and a beautiful, virtuous girl, who both hope to win his affection. Unfortunately, Muishkin's very goodness seems to bring disaster to everyone he meets. The shocking denouement tragically reveals how, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium is the only place for a saint. This version of The Idiot is the translation by Eva Martin.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Awesome book horribly read

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Norman Deitz ruined this great book for me. He attempts to change his voice depending on who's speaking, with miserable results. (Dostoevsky doesn't even require voice acting to be incredible, but this actually detracts greatly from the experience.I couldn't get into this great book at all (which I've read myself in the past and loved--hence the 5 stars for "Story"), couldn't last more than 15 minutes in fact, all because of the narrator. I wish I could get my money back or get another version of the same title.


What didn’t you like about Norman Dietz’s performance?

See above.


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- Bobby

Not a light novel, but certainly worthwhile

Doetoevsky's writing is heavy on long conversational pieces which he uses to flesh out his characters' beliefs. This method of using long -pages long, in fact , half expository, half debate, quotations seems to be fairly common in novels from the nineteenth century and, if you like that style, then this book should please you. This type of writing can certainly be boring to a more action oriented person but, if you can look at these screeds as little windows into the characters and into Dostoevky's Russia, you will find many worthwhile gems in this book. The interplay between the characters is interesting from a psychological and a religious perspective. I found myself rooting for the Prince, for example, because he is such a sweet character, yet it is this same sweetness that causes him much needless trouble and pain. The similarities between Myshkin and Jesus are obvious and have been commented on by better analysts than myself. However, I believe that the theme of how a truly good person would fare in the "modern" world is an interesting question that the novel explores. Doestoevsky's answer and the climax of "The Idiot" is not the most personally satisfying one for me because I like the main character, but it is certainly logical and believable and gives the story depth and believability. It is certainly a commentary on what we say is good and right in others, verses what we act on, and believe, is good for ourselves

Also, the narrator is outstanding. I am looking for more of his work and will likely purchase at least one more book simply to listen to him voice the characters. I truly think he is one of the greatest readers I have ever heard.
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- Donna

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio