An excellent audio book. Take a great classic like Crime and Punishment and add George Guidall's superb narration and it just doesn't get any better! I didn't want it to end!
Dostoevsky has created an amazing look into the mind of a killer before and after his act, and it is delivered through the eyes of a student. It is during a time where temporary insanity is catching on and "monomania" is gripping the small streets and cabins of St. Petersberg. The vivid descriptions of the people and land are immense, character development sums up much of this mind bending murder: from the initial act, the chase, and the turmoil therein.
The narrator helps develop the characters superbly with changing his voice to match a person, and delivers the feelings and mood very well. This book was excellent, and the audio version matches its excellence.
The narration for this very long book was GREAT! I often lose track of who's who in a book, and there's a lot of characters. But the narrator keeps them all straight and voices each one beautifully.
The stereo-typical russian novel in length, this book tells a story of redemption for the un-redeemable, but in an incredibly human way.
George Guidell has done a fantastic job of reading Dostoyevsky's masterpiece. His timing is excellent and his interpretation of each of the characters has a quality and vitality worthy of the task. As one who loves the work of Dostoyevsky, I am deeply grateful to Mr Guidell for an excellent performance. Please Mr Guidell - MORE!!
I feel slightly different than the other listeners here. First, yes this is a great story and narrated by the best. That being said, I found it to be difficult to listen to at times and kept thinking, when will it ever end? I'm not saying don't listen but I am saying, don't think for one minute this is a light "read". Listening to this one feels like heavy work at times.
Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment has a towering reputation. The audiobook is definitely worth listening to, but be prepared for a very slow moving and dense opening. It seemed that the story developed pace only near its midpoint. Having said this, this is an extraordinary work, and raises fundamental issues. The main philosophy of the protagonist, Raskolnikov, could superficially be described as the ?intellectual omelette? approach - intellectuals or ?superiors? must inevitably break some eggs (disturb or even shed the lives of some ordinary folk, or ?inferiors?, who are in the way) to make an omelette (for example, impose new laws or philosophies, make new scientific discoveries, or right wrongs) for the greater good. Raskolnikov?s model for this was Napoleon, but Dostoevsky would certainly have been pained to see how a form of this philosophy was used as a justification for mass genocide by left and right wing dictatorships in the 20th Century. Thought provoking, to be sure.
George Guidall's narration has true quality, but can be a little slow and dry. A rendition by the late Peter Ustinov would have been perfect.
I remember liking this book in high school, but this is really a book that should only be read by people who have lived long enough to have had significant experience with moral conflict and human frailty. The word "classic" is probably overused, but this book is an absolute masterpiece, combining an extremely compelling storyline with profound reflections on the reality of goodness and the goodness of suffering. Very, very few books deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with this one.
From a purely stylistic perspective, Dostoyevsky is at his best when he portrays the emotional anguish that results when good and evil strive within a single soul. Apparently he had some personal experience of this kind of anguish. He must have had experience, to nail it so completely in this book.
DO NOT read an abridged version. I can't imagine losing any of what Dostoyevsky wrote.
The narrator, by the way, is superb.
My mother got her degree in Russian Studies and really pushed me to listen to this book. I don't know what to really say about it, it left me feeling like something was off. Which I think is part of the point. I also just feel wrong saying I enjoyed it, given that it's about a grisly murder and the psychotic breakdown of the murderer. I think I have to go to my fallback, it's an interesting book. It made me think about class structure, morality (what is right), and virtue/vice struggle (doing what you know is right and not what you know is wrong). While there's a glimmer of hope by the end, it's a heavy book and by the end I felt I needed to take a shower. Definitely worth the listen but know what you're in for.
This is a fantastic book all around. The story is wonderful and pulled me along all the way up to the end. There were no slow points and the tension-release game is beautifully played. Even when I knew what was going to happen I was dying to find out how it happened. There is good reason that this is a classic.
I will also say that the reader is superb. He does a great job with the voices without overdoing them and it's always easy to tell who's speaking. This is important when there are so many Russian names being tossed about. I believe he represents the characters and the novel very well.
If you think that something this big, and seemingly heavy, isn't for you - then think again. I would recommend this book to anybody. It is easy to follow and the characters will captivate you. It has instantly become one of my favorite books of all time.
This selection is obviously a classic and is very well narrated. I highly recommend it to most readers. The only people I would steer clear of this are those who don't enjoy delving into how a mind works or how a guilty conscience can destroy. This book does not drag at all, which is a bit of a surprise given the subject matter.