Crime and Punishment Review

Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Summary: A desperate young man plans the perfect crime — the murder of a despicable pawnbroker, an old women no one loves and no one will mourn. Is it not just, he reasons, for a man of genius to commit such a crime, to transgress moral law — if it will ultimately benefit humanity? So begins one of the greatest novels ever written: a powerful psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, a fascinating detective thriller infused with philosophical, religious and social commentary. Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in a garret in the gloomy slums of St. Petersburg, carries out his grotesque scheme and plunges into a hell of persecution, madness and terror. Crime And Punishment takes the reader on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind, and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil … a man who cannot escape his own conscience.
Review: I gave this book 1 out of 5. I just didn’t enjoy it. I usually love classics and the plot of this book was intriguing and exciting to me. In fact, rereading the summary, I really wish that I could have enjoyed it. Doesn’t it sound so awesome? 
Mostly, it was boring. I felt like everything is excruciatingly drawn out. The dialogue was weird. I realize this book was set in a different time and place with different customs. That wasn’t the problem though. I just can’t believe there was ever a time or place in which people talked to each other like they do in this book. It’s just awkward. 
I didn’t like how the main character’s thoughts were written. This may seem trivial, and maybe it is, but his thoughts are in quotations. In the middle of conversations. Here’s an example that I’m making up so you can get a feel for way the main characters thoughts read:
“Hey! It’s been so long since we last spoke. Have you gotten my letters?” she asked.
“Yes, I’ve received your letters and thrown all of them out because I can’t stand you and I wish you leave me alone!” I thought.
“Oh, no, I must have had a mail issue. I haven’t received any of your letters. How have you been?” I replied.

 Do you see the problem? I would read out the entire sentence and think he’s talking out loud to the person and then realize he was just thinking it. It was aggravating, especially because the main character really struggled with confessing his crime and would think it quite often mid conversation, so I kept thinking, Oh he’s going to tell this person he is the murderer! and then I would have to readjust and realize it was just a passing thought. It was extremely tedious.
My final issue with this book, another trivial matter, is the names. Now, I can read and thoroughly enjoy things like the Iliad. Greek dramas have insane names and relationships and somehow I’m able to file it all in my head and keep track of everyone quite easily, even if they have similar names or they are referred to in a few different ways. For some reason, I couldn’t do this as easily with Crime and Punishment. I still don’t get why people are referred to a bunch of different ways, but I’d have to stop myself confirm that the paragraph was still referring to the same person I thought, but for some reason addressing that person differently. Again, another tedious thing.
All of these things really stopped me from enjoying this novel. But after reading it, as agonizing that was for me, I didn’t enjoy the story at all. I didn’t like any of the characters, I didn’t like the plot at all. I didn’t like the ramblings of the main character. It just seemed pointless.
I wish I could have enjoyed this book as much as I wanted to. Maybe my expectations were too high.

This book also completes 1 of the 6 books I chose for the That’s What You Think Challenge.

  1. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  2. Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  4. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  5. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  6. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

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