Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
This is one of those novels I always meant to read, but never got around to. That's surprising given my legal training, but I'm pleased I listened to it, however belatedly. Of course it is a very ambitious exercise to try to capture the meanderings of a tormented soul. Dostoevsky succeeded in the attempt. Still, it is no small achievement and it makes the listening difficult because for most of the novel we listen to a flawed man grappling with the demons of his pride, his belief in his own moral superiority and his disdain of help. I'm not sure anyone other than a Russian of the era of this tale could have captured the desperation, the fatalism and the climax so fully. However, because listening is difficult, it takes some perseverance so that at times I felt as if I was doing the time for Raskolnikov's crime.
As to the plot controversy, of which there is much written, I subscribe to the group that thinks the Epilogue is worthwhile. I can see why some say it is unnecessary, but I guess it depends on whether you want the loose ends tied-up, or not. Of course, be warned, if you skip the Epilogue (particularly its Chapter 2), you will leave with a different view of the book and, I suspect, Dostoevsky's world view.
As to the performance, I can imagine that this was a terrifically difficult book to read aloud. I started with this one (see my review of the Dick Hill narration which substantially reproduces the review above), but I found the Heald version too fast, too frantic and difficult to follow . It is an amazing 2 and an half hours faster than the version I ultimately settled upon. I can't believe that time difference is all attributable to the translation. There were times when I thought Anthony Heald sounded like a famous (and very entertaining) law lecturer, Irving Younger, but that was law school and this is something else. I preferred the less frantic pace of the other version. Also, I had trouble differentiating between the vocalisation of the characters, even within a single scene, and certainly the voices were not consistent over the course of the whole novel. Finally, I found the pronunciation of the tri-nominal Russian names too harsh and not melodic at all. One of the great delights of the Russian novel for me is the character names, but I thought this narration missed its chance to reproduce that pleasure for the reader. Of course, that might have been its intent, but I take the view that the novel is harsh enough in itself and needs no assistance in that regard.
I enjoy this story so much so I have read it several times and will again. each time differently. looking for anything I've missed. focusing on a particular character or an incident. analyzing the author's thought process. trying to imagine what people thought about it when it was first published. but most of all the one story is a fantastic tale and I am amazed by it everything.
Anthony Heald does a wonderful job and I have sought out books he has performed and enjoyed them all. he keeps you engaged and entertained
and makes you like the characters.
Cannot give enough credit to the narrator. This story is a classic, obviously, and much has already been said. So I will limit my review of the book by stating that the author delved deep into the heart of the main character and revealed his true motive. Anthony Heald's narration was excellent. The changes from one character to another were smooth and he captured their condition - whether drunk, or giddy, or suffering from consumption. An excellent performance. I'll look for other narrations by Heald. As an aside, I generally listen to most audiobooks at a slower speed - generally 0.85 of normal. It helps in keeping the narration from feeling hectic or hurried.
The last 50 pages were intense but Anthony Heald to me is one of 3 narrators I buy without hesitation.
I have listened to Moby Dick and he carries you through the book making it more enjoyable. The profound inflection, how he pauses and captures mood in such a realistic manner is a complete joy. It matters a lot in this book because the translation sometime add what the character should sound like after the sentence but Heald has already reflected that in the reading, just amazing.
The reading was wonderful bringing to life the horror,comedy and spirit of a great novel
Anthony Heald's reading of this classic story is the best audio book performance I've yet heard. He reads with emotion, the characters are distinguishable, and his females don't sound like they have beards.
Descriptive Gripping Captivating
The depth of the characters.
He brought the book to life.
Edge of your seat