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The Insulted and Injured by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Fiction

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The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not to unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not to unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain.) Vanya (the narrator and fictional author) has a crush on Natasha, who has left her family to live with her new lover, Alyosha. Alyosha is a sweetheart, but he's also a little dim; he's the son of Prince Valkovsky, a Machiavellian character who's the villain of the tale. Prince Valkovsky hopes to gain wealth and stature by marrying Alyosha off to an heiress -- Katya. The Prince's machinations make him one of the most memorable "predatory types" in the Dostoevsky ouvre.


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The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not to unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not to unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain.) Vanya (the narrator and fictional author) has a crush on Natasha, who has left her family to live with her new lover, Alyosha. Alyosha is a sweetheart, but he's also a little dim; he's the son of Prince Valkovsky, a Machiavellian character who's the villain of the tale. Prince Valkovsky hopes to gain wealth and stature by marrying Alyosha off to an heiress -- Katya. The Prince's machinations make him one of the most memorable "predatory types" in the Dostoevsky ouvre.

30 review for The Insulted and Injured by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Why is this one not as 'famous' as Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov? It may not be as deep philosophically as either of those, but trust me, it aches your heart all the more for it. Humiliated and Insulted turned my insides into a weepy mess. Characters in a book, or real people? My mind and heart could not tell, or maybe they could, but it did not make a difference. Dostoevsky is that good, and I can only thank him for this beautiful novel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    OH! What a novel! How is it possible a mere human could write something so wonderful and compelling? The Insulted and Injured is a beautiful, painful novel. It is not as complicated as War and Peace. The plot is not as philisophical as The Brother's Karamazov . It is not as well as known as Crime and Punishment. And yet...and yet it deserves a ranking alongside its more classic and well-loved brethren. The themes may be simple, but the message rings true. Plot Vanya is a young writer, initially OH! What a novel! How is it possible a mere human could write something so wonderful and compelling? The Insulted and Injured is a beautiful, painful novel. It is not as complicated as War and Peace. The plot is not as philisophical as The Brother's Karamazov . It is not as well as known as Crime and Punishment. And yet...and yet it deserves a ranking alongside its more classic and well-loved brethren. The themes may be simple, but the message rings true. Plot Vanya is a young writer, initially successful and in love with the lovely Natasha. Natasha, though, falls for a different young man, Alyosha, and runs away with him. They are not married. Opposed by Natasha's parents, who have cut her off, and Alyosha's father, the two turn to Vanya as their only friend. Plauged by illness, despair, poverty, Vanya navigates the waters of love and forgiveness to care for the woman he loves and the man she chose. The Insulted and Injured explores forigveness and love, innocence and youth, passion and family. Thoughts The ending came to soon. Eagerly, eagerly I read. I wanted to know what would happen. I needed to know. And now I know and I wish it hadn't ended. I could have gone on reading for days. The characters that reach out and tug on your heart, the passion of family and friends, the selfless and selfishness found on each page. Dostoyevsky, you are a master. I can say no more. This book is amazong. Wonderful. It comes with my highest reccomendation. I don't want to ever recover from the spell. I can only imagine how much better this book must be in Russian.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    This first important work of Fyodor Dostoevsky published in 1861 entitled "The Insulted and Humiliated" was a very nice discovery for me. There is literary power in the Russian writer who moves me. Here the narrator is Ivan Petrovich, a lonely young writer who looks like the author. Ivan desperately loves Natacha, who loves another, the rich Alyosha. The latter is the son of Prince Valkovski, a cruel and manipulative man responsible for the humiliation of Natasha's father. Added to this is the su This first important work of Fyodor Dostoevsky published in 1861 entitled "The Insulted and Humiliated" was a very nice discovery for me. There is literary power in the Russian writer who moves me. Here the narrator is Ivan Petrovich, a lonely young writer who looks like the author. Ivan desperately loves Natacha, who loves another, the rich Alyosha. The latter is the son of Prince Valkovski, a cruel and manipulative man responsible for the humiliation of Natasha's father. Added to this is the suffering of a number of characters who will cross but will not only suffer. Even if this novel is dark and less complete than the masterpieces that will follow, it has an indisputable breath all along its tortuous frame. What I like about Dostoevsky is that it is always the poor and the humiliated who have the pure heart. There is sometimes a little too much sentimentalism but it does not hurt. In this social fresco, we find the art of Dostoevsky's story and his incredible talent for describing human feelings.

  4. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    A bracing early novel from the most unflinching of the Russian Titans, (The) Humiliated & Insulted is the only Dostoevsky novel with a writer-as-narrator, but not the only based on autobiographical material. Vanya is an up-and-coming literary talent whose first novel—cough not Poor Folk cough—has been critically lauded. He is chummy with Natasha, who is overly chummy with the indecisive blithering imbecile Alyosha, who can’t choose between marrying Nat or a less-attractive Countess with a la A bracing early novel from the most unflinching of the Russian Titans, (The) Humiliated & Insulted is the only Dostoevsky novel with a writer-as-narrator, but not the only based on autobiographical material. Vanya is an up-and-coming literary talent whose first novel—cough not Poor Folk cough—has been critically lauded. He is chummy with Natasha, who is overly chummy with the indecisive blithering imbecile Alyosha, who can’t choose between marrying Nat or a less-attractive Countess with a large fortune. His father, the Prince Valkovsky, the villain of the novel, wants to get his seedy mitts on the money to spend on debauchery and immorality of disgraceful proportions (although nothing you wouldn’t see outside an Essex pub on a Friday night). Toss into this the mercurial orphan Nelly who the narrator takes pity on, and you have an extremely gripping and wrenching novel from a writer who you always forget is so damned entertaining. Ignat Avsey’s controversial translation of The Brothers Karamazov (which he re-titled to The Karamazov Brothers) was not entirely lauded for its sympathy to the Russian original. But this is a very readable, decent translation, albeit with the odd Anglicism and Americanism creeping in here and there.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sera

    It has become one of my favorites from Dostoevsky. The book is focused on social classes as well as the human soul. Characters, dialogues, emotional conflicts, all those elements make the book a whole package and it is one of the most flowing novels of the writer. I also like Brothers Karamazhov but that wasn't as flowing as this book. Especially the parts about cardinals and monastery at Karamazhovs were hard to read for me. The Insulted and Humiliated is humanistic, psychological and thought-p It has become one of my favorites from Dostoevsky. The book is focused on social classes as well as the human soul. Characters, dialogues, emotional conflicts, all those elements make the book a whole package and it is one of the most flowing novels of the writer. I also like Brothers Karamazhov but that wasn't as flowing as this book. Especially the parts about cardinals and monastery at Karamazhovs were hard to read for me. The Insulted and Humiliated is humanistic, psychological and thought-provoking and I don't think I am exaggerating by saying these. The woman characters are especially remarkable at the book and that is another reason to love the book for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Apetrei

    So far, I’ve only read 4 novels written by Mr. Dostoyevsky, the fourth being The Insulted and Humiliated ( the others : The Eternal Husband, Notes from Underground and The Adolescent). The first three books written by him that I’ve read made me feel a lot of sadness, regret, helplessness, and so every time I felt like picking up a book written by him, I decided not to. I was scared of having my good mood ruined or of being induced into a certain mood that I could not stand. A few weeks ago I de So far, I’ve only read 4 novels written by Mr. Dostoyevsky, the fourth being The Insulted and Humiliated ( the others : The Eternal Husband, Notes from Underground and The Adolescent). The first three books written by him that I’ve read made me feel a lot of sadness, regret, helplessness, and so every time I felt like picking up a book written by him, I decided not to. I was scared of having my good mood ruined or of being induced into a certain mood that I could not stand. A few weeks ago I decided that I wouldn’t care. I missed his exceptional writing, his honesty, his attention to detail, his caring for others and for the world. I missed his first view perspective and how centered on human feelings he was. I needed something of the kind. I have to admit that I still carried, in the depths of my mind, the thought that he might be as helpless as in his other works (that I’ve read, of course; by helpless, I actually mean his protagonists. It’s a feeling that I was left with after reading the other three mentioned novels). And I was having a great week. But I tried. And no regrets followed. The Insulted and Humiliated was such an extraordinary experience for me. The action takes place in Dostoyevsky’s beloved Petersburg, in the 19th century. If you’ve read any of his novels, you already know this famous city, the cold and misty nights, the wind; the paved alleys, the shadows, the old houses. There is a series of images pictured in most of his novels, images that create the appropriate background for what is to be told. The characters and plot. We are introduced to Vanya, a poor writer, who is narrating the events, giving us an insight of his feelings and thoughts concerning the development of the plot. He is mainly an observer, but also the one both Natasha and Alyosha turn to in times of need. Vanya loves Natasha and once intended to marry her, but the circumstances made it so Natasha fell in love with young and childish Alyosha, who, for well-known reasons, won’t marry her. This fact humiliates and saddens both Natasha and her father, who, in his anger, decides to slowly let go of all the beautiful memories of his daughter as if she were dead. This is a journey of learning to understand, accept and forgive. Vanya needs to selflessly love and accept Alyosha as a friend disregarding his jealousy of him. Alyosha must learn to face his father and grow up into the man everyone expects him to be. Natasha has to face reality and let go of what she is not meant to have. But how much of what is asked of them, can they provide? The writing. The narration is mainly composed of dialogue through which we are introduced to everyone’s actions, wishes, last events, feelings. This way of presenting the action, in my opinion, gives more insight into how the characters are and their motifs (the way they talk, what are they focused on, the rhythm etc.); and so they are given more dimension. The characters are so horrifyingly real that you can’t really know if the presented content took birth in Dostoyevsky’s mind, or if it was inspired by real events that the author took part in. I have to add that I personally loved Natasha. She is mature, strong, faithful, but still sensitive and easily broken. She loves, forgives, appreciates. And what I found to be the most precious feature of hers, was her selfless love for Alyosha. A love void of selfishness. She loved him for him, and not for what he was giving her, and that is a quality and a power so hardly found in humans. If I recommend this book? Certainly yes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryn Hammond

    A writer at the time said the book was ‘beneath aesthetic criticism; but he acknowledged everyone had been reading what stood out as the most interesting Russian novel published in 1861.’ [Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Stir of Liberation, 1860-1865] Funny, that’s how I felt: it’s awful, but it’s interesting. It seems to be his most derivative work yet (English Dickens and the French ‘social-humanitarian’ school). D.’s obsessive urge to describe not only ‘the insulted and injured’ but the functio A writer at the time said the book was ‘beneath aesthetic criticism; but he acknowledged everyone had been reading what stood out as the most interesting Russian novel published in 1861.’ [Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Stir of Liberation, 1860-1865] Funny, that’s how I felt: it’s awful, but it’s interesting. It seems to be his most derivative work yet (English Dickens and the French ‘social-humanitarian’ school). D.’s obsessive urge to describe not only ‘the insulted and injured’ but the functions of the ego whereby insults are clung to and injuries self-inflicted stands out to disadvantage against trite plot turns. Way overwritten; then again the ‘I’ is a novelist in D.’s own situation, who accepts he’s a hack and writes in furious haste because he has to eat. But I don’t know where he gets his material. From the French? Not from the English. Or from life? Child prostitution. Sexual exploitation of other kinds. Women who live with men unmarried, their conditions and their fates. These are certainly more politely touched upon in the English novel, as far as I’m aware; I’ve forgotten what’s in Eugene Sue’s The Mysteries of Paris (which I did read in its Dedalus abridgement) but perhaps the French social-humanitarians went this far with realism in their melodramas. At least I remember Fantine’s story in Les Mis, so I’ll note against her example: these fallen woman are in no way blamed by the author’s presentation; although one of D.’s women has as sad an end as Fantine, another achieves a happy reconciliation – on her terms – with her family. While a third woman is not even abandoned by her lover, but we are asked to smile at their domestic scenes – spats and idiosyncrasies and understated love. I lapped this book up in my student days, and embarrassingly I can see why. Dostoyevsky makes great reading for students.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ana Rosenstock

    Drinking game suggestion: have a shot every time a woman faints.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Sometimes even a minor work by a great author can endear one. In this case, it is The Insulted and the Injured by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. While it is not the first book he wrote after returning to Petersburg from his stint in Siberia -- both Uncle's Dream and The Village of Stepanchikovo were published earlier -- it is the first real hint of the greatness that was to come. The story is about a young author (suspiciously like Dostoyevsky) named Ivan Petrovich who falls in love with a young woman who c Sometimes even a minor work by a great author can endear one. In this case, it is The Insulted and the Injured by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. While it is not the first book he wrote after returning to Petersburg from his stint in Siberia -- both Uncle's Dream and The Village of Stepanchikovo were published earlier -- it is the first real hint of the greatness that was to come. The story is about a young author (suspiciously like Dostoyevsky) named Ivan Petrovich who falls in love with a young woman who chooses instead to run off with a feckless young nobleman. He remains involved with the young woman and her parents, and soon also with a 14-year-old gamine who is suffering from consumption. This girl, Nellie, is brilliantly characterized without sentimentality. Also notable is the evil Prince Valkovsky, who tries to manipulate all the other characters in the novel. The Insulted and Injured is not frequently read, perhaps because it starts so slowly. But once little Nellie is introduced, the tale's pace becomes as feverish as she is. It is worth following Dostoyevsky's footsteps, because I am continuing to find treasures among his minor works.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Darlene Nichols

    In a culture of busy-ness that bleeds into the way we read and enjoy books, the slow and steady burn of Dostoyevsky’s writing does the soul good. With rich writing and proper character development, The Insulted and Injured displays the glories of love and heartbreak, of pride and forgiveness, of selfishness and selflessness. The feeling of accomplishment and increased intelligence is an added bonus of reading Russian literature!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ferris

    I really enjoyed this novel. Dostoevsky's characters were engaging, if melodramatic. I didn't want to put the book down! What would happen to little Nellie? Would Alyosha pick Natasha or Katya? Would the prince get what was coming to him? You'll have to read it to find out. The major theme was identified in the title, "The Insulted and Humiliated". Dostoevsky points out the cruel behavior of the aristocracy towards the "common" person, and Dostoevsky favors the ability of the downtrodden to main I really enjoyed this novel. Dostoevsky's characters were engaging, if melodramatic. I didn't want to put the book down! What would happen to little Nellie? Would Alyosha pick Natasha or Katya? Would the prince get what was coming to him? You'll have to read it to find out. The major theme was identified in the title, "The Insulted and Humiliated". Dostoevsky points out the cruel behavior of the aristocracy towards the "common" person, and Dostoevsky favors the ability of the downtrodden to maintain their dignity by living by their principals, and relying on true love and loyalty. The issue of forgiveness is also addressed, and the author provides several examples of forgiveness and lack thereof, and the consequences of those choices. Wonderful read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This book would have only gotten 3 stars if it weren't for its final page, which was awesome and changed the book for me entirely. I started off really enjoying the read and the dramatic style of 19th C writers, but I tired of it by the end. I kept thinking of Dickens and all the other 19th C writers who left no plot line hanging and no character, however minor, without an end, or a solution, even if it consisted of a brief sentence in parentheses explaining what had come of so and so. Dostoevsk This book would have only gotten 3 stars if it weren't for its final page, which was awesome and changed the book for me entirely. I started off really enjoying the read and the dramatic style of 19th C writers, but I tired of it by the end. I kept thinking of Dickens and all the other 19th C writers who left no plot line hanging and no character, however minor, without an end, or a solution, even if it consisted of a brief sentence in parentheses explaining what had come of so and so. Dostoevsky also gives the most perfect characterization of a sociopath I have ever read. If you want to know what a sociopath is, skip The Sociopath Next Door, which was lame, and read this instead.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    This really should be ranked among Dostoevsky's top few novels, based on character type alone. The concept he expands most here is forgiveness. The character types, especially the villain Prince Valkovsky, are complete and believable and timeless. The first scenes remind me of White Nights, dipping into (then abandoning for the remainder of the novel) a romantic intrigue with the narrator. His temporarily beloved becomes the central character, as her reputation is sullied by her fiancee's father. This really should be ranked among Dostoevsky's top few novels, based on character type alone. The concept he expands most here is forgiveness. The character types, especially the villain Prince Valkovsky, are complete and believable and timeless. The first scenes remind me of White Nights, dipping into (then abandoning for the remainder of the novel) a romantic intrigue with the narrator. His temporarily beloved becomes the central character, as her reputation is sullied by her fiancee's father. Afterward the narrator is made completely impartial, seeming only to stand for the noble ideal or "judge" type. By the second subplot, the orphan doubles the spurned lover role providing the lower-class parallel to the society insults of the other subplot. The fiancee's father becomes a key character, the only and most consistent of Dostoevsky's evil men, who never yields or expresses regret. The most interesting thing about this novel is the twist, which I won't divulge. Dostoevsky doesn't normally have recourse to plot twists or aberrations, especially not at the end. Also, if I have any complaint, it's that the narrator's writing career wind-up in the epilogue seems to be Dostoevsky's dig at publishers and critics, and lends nothing to the plot.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aje

    It ' s not as deeply as The Brother Karamazov or the other strong books of Dostoyevsky.But I'm not unhappy for reading it.Because you can see and understand the social classes in Russia in that years.In some chapters -about Nelly's life- it hurts and feels you bad .

  15. 4 out of 5

    Descending Angel

    A very unsung masterpiece, and judgeing by the rating it's got, alot of people agree.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    ************ *Crime and Punishment 5 stars *The Idiot 5 stars *The House of the Dead 3 stars *The Brothers Karamazov 3 stars *The Eternal Husband 3 stars *Notes from Underground 3 stars *The Gambler3 stars *The Double3 stars *The Possessed 2 stars *White Nights 1 star *The Insulted and Injured by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Fiction TBR

  17. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    ENGLISH: A typical great novel by Dostoievski, with great characters, although some of them are a little simple. Aliosha, for instance, is completelly will-less, while his father is one of the evilest characters of literature. Natasha provides a good example of what C.S.Lewis meant in "The Four Loves" when he said that Eros (erotic love) can become a God that demands complete submission whatever the cost. Lewis illustrated this with this quote by Denis de Rougemont: When love begins to be a god, ENGLISH: A typical great novel by Dostoievski, with great characters, although some of them are a little simple. Aliosha, for instance, is completelly will-less, while his father is one of the evilest characters of literature. Natasha provides a good example of what C.S.Lewis meant in "The Four Loves" when he said that Eros (erotic love) can become a God that demands complete submission whatever the cost. Lewis illustrated this with this quote by Denis de Rougemont: When love begins to be a god, it begins to be a demon. Natasha gives up everything (her parents, her betrothed, her own honor and reputation) as an offering to her love for a worthless man. And she knows this very well. Nellie, on the other hand, is one of the more complex children in literature, while her fate is not too different from that of her namesake in Dickens's novel (The old curiosity shop), which perhaps Dostoievski had read, even though the character of the two children is almost opposite. ESPAÑOL: Una gran novela, típica de Dostoievsky, con estupendos personajes, aunque algunos son un poco sencillos. Aliosha, por ejemplo, no tiene voluntad, mientras que su padre es uno de los personajes más malvados de la literatura. Natacha es un buen ejemplo de lo que quiso decir C.S.Lewis en "Los cuatro amores" cuando dijo que Eros (el amor erótico) puede convertirse en un Dios que exige sumisión completa, cueste lo que cueste. Lewis lo ilustró con esta cita de Denis de Rougemont: Cuando el amor empieza a ser un dios, se convierte en un demonio. Natacha lo abandona todo (padres, prometido, su honor y su reputación) como sacrificio a su amor por un hombre que no lo merece. Y ella es plenamente consciente de ello. Nellie, por otro lado, es una de las niñas más complejas de la literatura. Aunque su destino no difiere mucho del de su homónima en la novela de Dickens (La tienda de antigüedades), que tal vez Dostoievsky habría leído, el carácter de estas dos niñas es casi opuesto.

  18. 4 out of 5

    'Izzat Radzi

    Easily become my new favourite. This 'lost' work of his (due to either not highly renowned as his Crime and Punishment or Karamazov Brothers or mass available) has a slightly different style. His potrayal of betrayal, suffering in the early part is so real, that one might asked, "is this based on a true story?", as the backcover stated? Moving further through the pages, Dostoevsky adapt a different style, particularly in part 4, where the story is non-linear in time with some recollections from mu Easily become my new favourite. This 'lost' work of his (due to either not highly renowned as his Crime and Punishment or Karamazov Brothers or mass available) has a slightly different style. His potrayal of betrayal, suffering in the early part is so real, that one might asked, "is this based on a true story?", as the backcover stated? Moving further through the pages, Dostoevsky adapt a different style, particularly in part 4, where the story is non-linear in time with some recollections from much earlier. I think this is due to his stress on the theme (humiliation and insult), where it sort of became the climax. Nevertheless, I greatly admired the complex sisterhood bond between Natasha and Katya, the narrative intertwined with Nelly toward the ending, the slightly detective style where it keeps you guessing, and most importantly, the sense of thriller where you just want to keep on reading the next page just to know what is going to happen next. Sounds a bit weird—I know—for a writer best known for writing on the theme of suffering, agony and anguish (there's a highly considerable amount of crying in this); but perhaps that's due to this is one of his early works and this work of his is not considerably known to his readers let alone the general public. Lastly, I found that he placed himself as the third person in most scene/dialogue, and the morals that he thinks or said in response to a situation or question is what, I myself, uttered or think. Maybe it is just me, but share it if you too have gone through the same experience. 9/10

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    'The insulted and the Injured' was Dostoevsky's first novel and an acorn from which the oaks that are 'Crime and Punishment', and 'The Brothers Karamazov' grew. It isn't as deep nor bites as hard as the later novels, and, at times, has the feel of a soap opera, but it reads well and as an interesting if ambiguous ending. Worth reading for that reason alone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Reed

    This is an early work by Dostoevsky that you don't hear much about. He wrote it after Notes from the House of the Dead and before Notes from Underground. Sometimes the title is translated "The Insulted and the Injured" but I am glad this one is translated "The Insulted and the Humiliated" because it sounds less like a soap opera. The titles comes from a memorable speech by one of the main characters: "O Lord, I thank Thee for all, for all, for Thy wrath and for Thy mercy! ... And for Thy sun whic This is an early work by Dostoevsky that you don't hear much about. He wrote it after Notes from the House of the Dead and before Notes from Underground. Sometimes the title is translated "The Insulted and the Injured" but I am glad this one is translated "The Insulted and the Humiliated" because it sounds less like a soap opera. The titles comes from a memorable speech by one of the main characters: "O Lord, I thank Thee for all, for all, for Thy wrath and for Thy mercy! ... And for Thy sun which is shining upon us again after the storm! For all this minute I thank Thee! Oh, we may be insulted and humiliated, but we're together again, and let the proud and the haughty who have insulted and humiliated us triumph now! Let them throw stones at us!" If it weren't written by Dostoevsky I am not sure that it would have even been translated into English, but we should be thankful that it was written by him, because after all not all books can be masterpieces and there are probably tons of Russian novels that we simple English speakers will never have access to simply because they were not written by Tolsoy or Dostoevsky. But this was definitely written by Dostoevsky. It has everything you'd expect: epilepsy, tragic interconnected love triangles, alcoholism, idealistic radical intellectuals, murder, dreams, madness, brain fever, long passionate speeches in candlelit rooms in the dodgy parts of 19th century Petersburg. The book has it's problems. It is melodramatic at times. The evil characters are a bit too evil, the simple minded characters a bit too simple minded. That said, there it does have a lot going for it. Like many of his other books, it is told from the perspective of a narrator who is writing notes or a diary rather than a novel as such. Unlike most of his other novels, though, this is written by a hack writer. The neat part is the hack writer is not writing a novel (or is he?) but rather recollections with a view to explain his troubles. The result is a tension between a very literary style and also a wild and almost incoherent passion to just tell the story simply. Of all his novels, this has the most literary references that I can remember (that is not to say allusions; after all this is a book by a writer, and you know how writers are with dropping names). There are constant mentions of Pushkin, Gogol, and Schiller, and then a few other guys who I didn't recognize. I enjoyed the book, but I wish I'd picked a more soothing book to read this month. Some of it hit just a little close to home and I was on the verge of developing a brain fever myself.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aygul A.

    recently I picked up this book to read for the second time, I am not that kind of person who prefers to read one novel or a story for many times - there're plenty of them to be read and what is the purpose to re-read if the content is already clear and causes curiousity no more? - nevertheless, my first interaction with this story dated back to early teenager years, so I thought it would do no harm)) and def. not a waste of time. great Dostoevsky is one of those really few authors whose philosoph recently I picked up this book to read for the second time, I am not that kind of person who prefers to read one novel or a story for many times - there're plenty of them to be read and what is the purpose to re-read if the content is already clear and causes curiousity no more? - nevertheless, my first interaction with this story dated back to early teenager years, so I thought it would do no harm)) and def. not a waste of time. great Dostoevsky is one of those really few authors whose philosophy has deep roots, and the time you say you have found the main key, the time you are confused again! perplex! he is new, always totally "fresh". each time you find out the things that you thought never were there, but they are. there are the things, sides, looks, moments that refresh themselves, reborn from the core essense and there per sempre. there is no end and not a true beginning. amazing novel!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Asef Ghabeli

    The very sad story of some miserable, poor, heart broken people...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jelena Ilic

    Rarely does it happen that I merely love or hate a Dostoyevsky novel. It just has to be both. I hated the characters and their pathetic behavior and the idiot woman falling in love against all reason and the idiot man helping her and everybody else. In a lot of ways, I felt the same way as when I read The Idiot. On the other hand, there's his style and language and rhythm. There's a (great) story with meanings hidden and meanings left out in the open. All in all, it's Dostoyevsky, I knew what I s Rarely does it happen that I merely love or hate a Dostoyevsky novel. It just has to be both. I hated the characters and their pathetic behavior and the idiot woman falling in love against all reason and the idiot man helping her and everybody else. In a lot of ways, I felt the same way as when I read The Idiot. On the other hand, there's his style and language and rhythm. There's a (great) story with meanings hidden and meanings left out in the open. All in all, it's Dostoyevsky, I knew what I signed up for.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jason Reeser

    This is a magnificent book. There are glimpses of what Dostoyevsky would eventually create with Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, and The Devils, but there is really enough here in this novel to stand alone as its own classic. I am really surprised that this is so little known. I was thrilled to discover it; it was as if Dostoyevsky had returned from the grave to write a new book. How lucky! I thought I'd found all of his books years ago, but I somehow missed this one. Chronologically, t This is a magnificent book. There are glimpses of what Dostoyevsky would eventually create with Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, and The Devils, but there is really enough here in this novel to stand alone as its own classic. I am really surprised that this is so little known. I was thrilled to discover it; it was as if Dostoyevsky had returned from the grave to write a new book. How lucky! I thought I'd found all of his books years ago, but I somehow missed this one. Chronologically, this novel was published between "The Village of Stepanchikovo" (1859) and "The House of the Dead (1862). I've read both of those, and was impressed most by the latter. But both of those books were much like "The Double" and "The Gambler", shorter novels with plots that did not really develop deep, epic themes. However, "The Insulted and the Injured" (or "The Insulted and the Humiliated" depending on the translator) has that more epic feel like C & P and Br. Karamazov. And like "The Idiot" and "The Adolescent" there are many characters and lots of discussions in living rooms. It would be easy to write this off as a Romance novel of middling importance, if you allow yourself to get caught up in the soap opera feel that some of this book has. However, it is no trivial story of love and family honor. There are some beautiful themes regarding forgiveness, bitterness, and sacrifice. I may come back and write up a longer review of this on my blog later. If so, I'll attach the link to it. Suffice to say, this was a rare treasure to find. How can this book be so overlooked?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Corvus

    Well, honestly this is one of my favorites by Dostoyevsky. But then again, I cannot guarantee for my objectivity when discussing the works of such a great author. This is a very short, very cute novel, and yet a very sad one. It may not have the depth of Crime and Punishment, nor the symbolic writing of Idiot, not even the complexity of Demons. But it's very beautiful in it's own way, and amongst the first books I have read by Dostoyevsky. It takes incomparable brilliance to make someone feel for Well, honestly this is one of my favorites by Dostoyevsky. But then again, I cannot guarantee for my objectivity when discussing the works of such a great author. This is a very short, very cute novel, and yet a very sad one. It may not have the depth of Crime and Punishment, nor the symbolic writing of Idiot, not even the complexity of Demons. But it's very beautiful in it's own way, and amongst the first books I have read by Dostoyevsky. It takes incomparable brilliance to make someone feel for, cry with and laugh with people who lived ages and centuries ago, and this work does exactly that. Its lack in allegory or any kind of symbolism enables the raw reality to hit in and unleash all of the emotions at once. Now to be frank, I wouldn't call it a masterpiece because of its simplicity and the linear narrative, and Dostoyevsky undoubtedly has more talent than he has put in this work, but boy oh boy what does it do to my heart every time I read it....

  26. 4 out of 5

    J.

    I read this last summer when I was at my grandmother's. There was a whole shelf of Russian books to choose from. However, having heard from just about everyone in my family that unlike Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gogol or Chechov Dostoyevsky was horrible, I of course decided to pick him up. This novel is not widely heard of in America, but surprisingly good. After all that I heard about Dostoyevsky I was expecting a dry writing style, dull characters, and a morbif plot. Yes, this book is depressing in ju I read this last summer when I was at my grandmother's. There was a whole shelf of Russian books to choose from. However, having heard from just about everyone in my family that unlike Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gogol or Chechov Dostoyevsky was horrible, I of course decided to pick him up. This novel is not widely heard of in America, but surprisingly good. After all that I heard about Dostoyevsky I was expecting a dry writing style, dull characters, and a morbif plot. Yes, this book is depressing in just about every possible way, but at the same time impossible to put down. I could not imagine that it would be so engaging. I would reccomend it to anyone.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Moriartyandherbooks

    A very interesting read! Dostoevsky always manages to pull of what should be the impossible: telling a story with such detailed accounts of the main character's day to day activities, and with the plot moving at not a very fast pace, yet the story still intrigues one enough to keep reading and not want to stop. This work does not fully capture Dostoevsky' ability to do such, as well as Crime and Punishment did, but it was a great tale nonetheless. It was funny, had it's main plot twist along wit A very interesting read! Dostoevsky always manages to pull of what should be the impossible: telling a story with such detailed accounts of the main character's day to day activities, and with the plot moving at not a very fast pace, yet the story still intrigues one enough to keep reading and not want to stop. This work does not fully capture Dostoevsky' ability to do such, as well as Crime and Punishment did, but it was a great tale nonetheless. It was funny, had it's main plot twist along with a couple smaller ones, and made one want to shake their head at the dramatics of all the characters. Truly, an enjoyable read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    James

    This was the first of Dostoevsky's full-length novels. With the characteristic Dostoevskian emphasis on suffering this melodramatic story features a young writer (not unlike Dostoevsky himself) who is in love young girl who, in turn, loves another young man named Aloysha. Ivan has philosophical disputations with Aloysha's father, Prince Valkovski. The melodrama is further heightened by the presence of another girl, Nelly, who is harassed by the Prince. The melodramatic sequences reminded me of e This was the first of Dostoevsky's full-length novels. With the characteristic Dostoevskian emphasis on suffering this melodramatic story features a young writer (not unlike Dostoevsky himself) who is in love young girl who, in turn, loves another young man named Aloysha. Ivan has philosophical disputations with Aloysha's father, Prince Valkovski. The melodrama is further heightened by the presence of another girl, Nelly, who is harassed by the Prince. The melodramatic sequences reminded me of early Dickens, but the novel is buoyed throughout by signposts of the greatness immanent in Dostoevsky's literary style.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kerriwyn

    I really enjoy Dostoyevski. I think this is my favorite of his stories, so far. Right behind The Idiot. I like the idealogical views he gives. A very judgemental author, that's nice. Especially, of course, when you agree with the point of view. ;)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    I picked this up in New York City after moving from Chicago to go to school there and probably read it during the first, the winter, break from seminary. Dostoevsky's most Dickensonian novel, this is an exercise in the pathetic.

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