Such an author as Dostoevsky can seem daunting on audiobook. The Idiot proved slightly challenging at the outset due to the subtle details of relationships between the characters, and the unfamiliar Russian names. I was certainly not prepared for each character to go by two titles interchangeably. Yet I found it well worthwhile to exhibit some patience in learning this facet of Russian culture.
Though the story is quite detailed, I am glad to have experienced it on audiobook for the first time reading it. Robert Whitfield employs his voice to great effect in reinforcing the characters' traits - for example Myshkin's innocence, Rogozhin's darkness, or Nastassya Filippovna's insanity.
In this, Whitfield delivers one of my favorite audiobook performances. In performing each personality uniquely, he by no means does it to such an extreme as to be artificial or cheesy. His conveyance of the characters is in fact very natural and easy to follow by ear.
As for the story itself, I regret that the Constance Garnett translations of Dostoevsky prevail on Audible. Nonetheless, I found it a riveting and meaningful tale. So many complex themes intermingle flawlessly in this story. I always looked forward to long drives when I was working on The Idiot. Certain passages were so magnificent that I would re-listen to them over and over again.
I highly recommend this for both author and narrator. It is a combination difficult to beat.
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