"But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself. Well, so I will talk about myself."
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky is believed to be one of the earliest existential novels to be written. Recounted in the form of memories, the unnamed narrator describes a life of morbid isolation, that festers within itself anger, envy and self-hate. Written with biting sarcasm, the story reveals a suffering and tortured soul.
The narrator is always questioning things whereas others question little and act easily. He believes that societal expectations are shaping his actions. Is he 'too conscious'?
Crime and Punishment
"It's a lesson," he thought, turning cold. "This is beyond the cat playing with a mouse... What is it? It's all nonsense, my friend, you are pretending, to scare me! You've no proofs... You simply want to make me lose my head, to work me up beforehand and so to crush me... Is he reckoning on my shattered nerves?"
Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is an intense psychological drama that explores the mind of a murderer, laying bare its torment in minute detail.
Rashkolnikov, an impoverished and destitute young man, oscillating between clarity of thought and abject melancholy in the aftermath of committing a gruesome murder, is plagued by suspicions, regrets, fears and hallucinations on his path to redemption in this incisive, emotional tale.
The Brothers Karamazov
"Fyodor Pavlovitch... began with next to nothing; his estate was of the smallest; he ran to dine at other men's tables, and fastened on them as a toady... he was all his life one of the most senseless, fantastical fellows in the whole district. I repeat, it was not stupidity the majority of these fantastical fellows are shrewd and intelligent enough but just senselessness, and a peculiar national form of it."
The Brothers Karamazov was Fyodor Dostoevsky's last work and one of the best stories ever written.
The narrative revolves around the members of the Karamazov family, focusing on a series of events and encounters that eventually lead to the gruesome murder of the debauchee Fyodor Pavlovitch. The feverish emotions of love, hate and revenge converge in a harrowing courtroom drama that will keep the reader on tenterhooks till the very end.
A new "sensation," another murder! But there was another element in this case: it was clear that a secret society of murderers, incendiaries, and revolutionists did exist, did actually exist."
The Devils, also known as The Possessed, by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a dark and terrifying portrayal of young men steeped in revolutionary ideology and bent upon chaos.
Skvoreshniki forms the backdrop for a group of young Nihilists who unleash violent and anarchical plots to set off a revolution. Lacking in compunction, these demonic schemes discharge a spree of hate, murder, suicide and tragedy.
Is anyone safe?
"Both were young fellows, both were rather poorly dressed, both had remarkable faces... If they had but known why, at this particular moment, they were both remarkable persons, they would undoubtedly have wondered at the strange chance which had set
them down opposite to one another in a third-class carriage of the Warsaw Railway Company.
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky is the tale of good and innocence in a world consumed with sin and treachery.
The last poverty-stricken descendant of an eminent Russian family, the gentle and epileptic Prince Muishkin's life takes a sharp turn when he chances upon a photograph
of the sensational Nastasia Philipovna. What follows is a story of love, obsession, lies and murder!
The House of the Dead
"Recollections of the Dead-House... revealed quite a new world unknown till then;... in the strangeness of his facts, together with his singular remarks on this fallen people..."
The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky, based on the author's own experiences as a political prisoner, exposes and explains life in a Siberian prison camp.
From the notes of Alexander Petrovitch, a nobleman deported to Siberia for murdering his wife, the reader is made conscious of the harrowing conditions - the filth, the inedible cabbage soup, the terrible sleeping conditions, the inhuman punishments
in a Siberian prison. Most importantly, he observes the psychological effects of imprisonment - from the intense yearning for freedom to the acceptance of life in prison. A genre-defying narrative, this book is a journey of understanding and enlightenment.
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