George Guidall's performance of this literary classic transports the audience to the slums of St. Petersburg and deep into the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov, a young Russian intellectual. Raskolnikov murders an old woman, a money-lender and pawn-broker he considers repugnant. He reasons that he'll repay his crimes with good deeds. Although he justifies the murder using reason and intellect, he is ultimately consumed by guilt. Crime and Punishment is one of the most influential works of literature in the world. Guidall's tremulous voice captures the severity and suspense of this story, making this an unforgettable experience for the listener.
Translation by Constance Garnett, originally published in 1917.
(P)1991 by Recorded Books, Inc.
"The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools...which hiss and boil and suck us in. They are composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul." (Virginia Woolf)
I have attempted to read this book twice in the past, both times past the halfway point. Each time I added a much more painful tone to the book than the narrator did in his reading. This meant that I stopped reading the book because it was too mentally overwhelming. However, the narrator reads this book well, both adding more characterization than I did myself and providing a way to seperate characters. The 24 hours went by quickly and found it didn't seem like a long book at all.
Crime and Punishment is a beautiful novel of suffering, pride, hope, redemption, and guilt. Through Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamozov and this novel I have considered all those themes much differently in my life.
I have read Dostoevsky's masterpiece in the past and wanted to reread it but considered it a huge chore. Instead, I decided to listen to George Guidall's rendition because of my past enjoyment of his amazing gift as a catalyst between the written word and the spoken word.. The audiobook immediately captured my interest and attention in a way that reading the book never did. Guidall made the characters come alive. How a narrator could carefully enunciate all the Russian names and give them separate voices and fully express the emotions and meaning in the text seemed such a wonderful feat, that I felt an obligation to tell potential listeners that they should not be afraid to invest the 25 plus hours to enjoy one of the greatest classics of world literature.
Before you hear this title, be aware that many other books you have read will seem worse than you thought of them before, and the initial glow of many new books could fade away fast in comparison. At least, that is what happened to me when I read this book. Dostoevsky is one of the best, if not the foremost, describers of our human nature, and "Crime and Punishment" is a work of genius. It is a long book, yes, but then again our human nature is hard to describe swiftly. It is an understatement that I highly recommend this well read masterpiece.
Dostoevsky was said to be able to bring the human unconscious to life in his writings. I have read this masterwork 3 times in my life; it exhausted me each time! I felt somewhat better when I learned that Robert Louis Stevenson had a similar experience. This audiobook is read by a master narrator. One truly experiences Raskolnikov's inner mind, which is the book's essence. This is a must-have for any serious lover of literature.
Admit it-- there is a certain pride in having accomplished the completion of such a regarded and challenging book, even if it is in audio format. After all, it is not always easy to continue to the end, but not because it is poorly done or boring. As it notes in the prologue, one author describes reading this as being infected with a disease. This classic novel will move you, it will make you think and feel, but you won't always be thinking and feeling positive, happy things.
As is so vitally important in such matters, the reader must be good. While I tired of his interpretation of the main character, Raskolnikov, overall he was a suprior interpreter, a reading of the first class. He better be to listen to him for over 25 hours.
In the end, I have found myself referring to the notions I took from this book in conversations all the time. It has invaded my psyche and is even now affecting some of my personal philosophies as I continue to digest it.
This is a very good audio book. The narrator fits the novel and does well to retain your interest. He does a good job of distinguishing each character by changing his voice slightly. Definately worth getting, if you can deal with a 25 hour novel.
Usually happy customer
A haunting classic, read by one of the best I've heard. He is so good, that I clicked on his name to find out what else he is reading. The novel itself is easy to follow, tense, and stimulates much thinking. If you have any inclination to read classics, start here!
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.
Outside of the Holy Bible, this is my favorite book of all time. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books but none have the power of this one.
While listening to it one time, I was in deep depression and I felt like this book was a balm to my deep emotional wounds. The relation and connection was deep and intense. It expanded my mind like few books ever have.
I absolutely marvel at the power and force of such an incredible classic. No doubt that Dostoyevsky had an ability to climb into the human psyche like no one before and maybe no one ever will. This is my 3rd time listeing to the book and it gets better every time. George Guidall's mastery of the text only enhances the depth of this masterpiece. Each time I listen, I am more and more grateful for his emphasis and pauses which only deepen my appreciation for the text. I wish I could give it a 7 star rating.
The novel is a completely gripping study of the mind of the leading character. The narration is superb, no other word for it. His voice is clear and dynamic. When doing dialog you could be listening to a group of different actoors performing the piece. In fact I chose my next selection solely on searching for the same narrator.
This is Dostoevsky?s most complete work. The narration by George Guidall, one of the titans of audio book narration is perfection. He brings to characters to life and his perfect pronunciation of Russian names makes this complex and vast work accessible to all.
The translation by Constance Garnett often gets a bad press, but in my opinion is far superior to the 'modern' translations, which may or may not be more accurate (I cannot read the original Russian text), but are not as enjoyable to read or well written.
On the whole this is a brilliant work and an exceptional audio book. It may the most expensive version, but you get what you pay for. In my opinion it?s worth every penny.
If the paper version is a ?page turner?, this version is an ?ear burner?! A masterful vocal depiction of complex and tense emotions and multidimensional characters? but don?t take my word for it, ?see? for yourselves!
"A Beautiful Reading"
It is difficult to see how a reading of this book could be better. It is perfectly paced, expressive and clear. Each character has a distinct, natural voice. The settings and characters come alive. Wonderful
"Really rather good"
I've made it a third of a way through the book twice now and decided that the audiobook was the way to go. It's not always easy to listen to and you do have to work at it, but before long the story and - moreover - the characters get under your skin and they stay there for a very long time.
The narration is really excellent. The pronunciation, individual characterisations, constantly shifting pace and erratic mono and dialogues would challenge any narrator. He does a stunning job of keeping on top of the delivery.
As to what was going through Dostoevsky's head when he wrote it, I'm not too sure. It's a journey, in any case. Partly through the world as it was at that time and partly through the mind of a man who's not quite the full kopeck...
"So much easier than reading this complex novel"
I was struggling to read this novel for my book group and finding the Russian names difficult so decided to try it as an audio book. The book is well read and the author knows how to pronounce all those Russian names. The novel became an enjoyable experience rather than a 'must do'.
I have got a general method of using audiobooks which I suppose would affect my review too. I normally read and listen. That is, while I'm hearing to the audiobook I read the book simultanously. This, I believe, helps to get the most out of the both experiences.
My first audible experience was with Crime and Punishment. Although I'd had listened to the various audiobooks before, but this was the first time that I read the whole book in concert with listening to its narration. George Guidall's narration of the Crime and Punishment was fascinating and very engaging. The particular connection that his narration makes between the reader and the main character of the novel--Raskolnikov-- is beyond imagination. It definitely gets the reader into the world of the novel and shed even more light on one of the masterpieces of Dostoevsky. Guidall's soothing voice plus his tactful narration will help the reader of Crime and Punishment to live the novel.
"Crime And Punishment - A Classic"
This book is a classic and because of its topics, period & style, it is a hard book to read. This was well read & a tale worth hearing.
"An intellectually absorbing read."
Din't know whether it was my cup of tea but really enjoyed the characterisations and although unbelievably detailed it was never overdone and displayed the authors psycho-analytical skills in a very satisfying story.
The book deserves its reputation - it's a masterpiece. I'm glad I chose to listen rather than read though, there's a lot of detail and dialogue that I would otherwise have skimmed. The narration is excellent - I suppose I could quibble that I'd have prefered fake Russian accents rather than English and Irish, but Guidall gives a voice to each character that works really well, and he reads beautifully. I cannot believe how good this book is, the hours of listening were absolutely worth it. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves great literature, and also to everyone else.
"Devastating writing, awesome narration!"
I had never read any of the great Russians, audiobooks seemed the best way to do it and on the strength of this title , I will be be listening to more Dostoevsky certainly. I have just acquired The Idiot here, I only hope its narration is close to the awesome high quality of George Guidhall who with Crime and Punishment is a master of this art. This book is utterly contemporary whilst painting a general and particular portrait of time and place, it has everything. Such a masterpiece needs a master narrator, George Guidall is awesome.
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