This is said to be Dostoevsky's favorite novel. It has a protagonist who he had desired to be, even though in the story, it is questionable whether Prince Myshkin succeeded or not and what was to be accomplished. And it is more questionable as to whether or not Myshkin is a hero or anti-hero or none at all because of the whirlwind he caused when he entered into these people's lives. Nevertheless, it is a great novel, even if it does drag a bit (Aglaia was a bit annoying). The audio was superb. It is great when a male narrator can pull off the female characters fairly well. I had in mind though that Nastasya would sound a bit more stronger in tone of voice. I guess I say this because she was independent-minded, and really took control of her own fate for a while after Totsky. Aglaia was done perfectly -she sounded innocent and like a know-it-all sometimes but in a child-like way - as was Prince Myshkin and many others. Rogozhin had to be my favorite. The narrator portrayed him as cold and crafty, and you can really feel the bitterness in his voice, even when it seems he is being nice. The bitterness dies out in the end in chapter 11 or the last part.
Overall, this novel leaves a lot of questions to be answered, specifically about Myshkin. It is not better than Brothers Karamazov, but it is the most in-depth psychological book Fyodor ever wrote in terms of his characters.
The audiobook may be abridged, but at moments the narrator brought me almost to tears with how how he presented father Zosima. His voice is quite caring in the narrating throughout. He gets the female characters perfectly, especially Grushenka and you are able to distinguish one character from another, despite the numerous characters. I don't believe anyone should substitute reading this masterpiece by simply listening to the audiobook. However, to miss out on this narrator's telling of a beautiful story is to miss a performance of a lifetime. Believe me, I place no exaggeration on this at all.
This narration or performance, rather, is very good but I always imagined Iago to be more cynical and apathetic, cold as metal on a cold day in tone when he speaks alone. The narrator who plays him at first speaks with a lot of emotion but perhaps that is to throw everyone off, including us. You read the play and you can theorized why Iago turned on Othello but there are many reasons given. A teacher of mine posed the theory that Iago could have had some hatred in him that was primarily racial. Among the theories, I believe that Iago lost his "god" Othello when Casio was chosen over him because we come into the play with Iago already determined to harm the Moor. And his determination gives proof that he held Othello up the highest pedestal and loved him, but like Satan to God, Iago is determined to take vengance against his "Judas".
As I can't go and see this play in the theatre, this is just as good and with my imagination I don't need any visual assistance. Many people will disagree but this is better (not by a lot) than the overrated Hamlet play, but if you think about it, both Iago and Hamlet are seeking revenge. It is Iago who is like a sociopath while Hamlet is more human, which I think separate them; Iago thinks he is higher in mind than all those around him because he puts on so many airs and we, the audience, still don't know the primary reason why.
Anyway, GREAT narration.
The longest book I have ever read in the shortest time was a 400 page book by W.C. Baer and I read it in one day. But it is wrong to compare a genre novel to a literary monster such as Crime and Punishment, a book that is so real and so scary in some moments (I became a bit paranoid when Raskolnikov murdered the pawnbroker, feeling the axe in my chest, looking around my room for him, checking my doors) that to study it is to study the psychology of most murderers. Yet, it took me 4 tries to stay with the book. I guess it's because the book spends so much time on Raskonikov's mental state but the reader, he gives you so many distinctive voices, does female characters very good and perfected the imagery people develop about these characters concerning how they would sound. I had to buy this because even though I finished the book in eight months (Paradise Lost was an easier read, if that's believable), the intensity of the story give reasons to read again and again. Do not hesitate to buy this. Great.
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