I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Dostoevsky did not write many short stories so this is a rare gem. This is a very, very good short story narrated excellently. It is dark, surprising, touching, and real. A real bargain at a buck (don’t waste a full credit).
This is the first book of an extraordinary seven part novel. I listened to the samples of all the versions available on audible, and as soon as I heard George Guidall’s narration I was hooked. With a narration the least bit pedantic or dry or florid or scholarly this could be quite tiresome. Guidall’s light touch and almost childlike tone was perfect for the story. This is less a story than ephemerally connected evocations, exploring the associations between memory and sense and time. The writing is introspective, complex and beautiful.
The only downside that, after completing this first part, I found this narrator had not read the other parts on Audible. The samples by Rowe and Jason did not entice me. I hope Guidall will narrate the other parts.
This is an amazing and beautiful book. I had read the play and seen the opera and the movie, and liked them all, but I was still surprised how much I liked this book. This was intense and captivating. The structure of the novel is wonderful, with the end at the beginning (which would have been too intense at the end) then transitioning narrator and the beginning of the story then culminating powerfully. It is quite rare that a novel gets me to cry, but this one sure did (even though I knew the story). Even if you didn't like the play, opera or movie, I would still recommend this wonderful novel. The narration is pretty close to perfect, with multiple actors doing a great job with the challenging and emotional characterizations.