©1987 Jimcin Recordings
I loved it! I have read this book a number of times and in different translation but it was great to listen to it while on the road.
This is one of those life-changing books that has a profound impact on all who read it. On one level it is the story of a murder in which the murdered man's sons share varying degrees of complicity. However, it also has a deeper level. It portrays the spiritual drama of the characters moral struggles between faith, doubt, reason, and free will. Wonderful story, though not exactly light reading. Walter Covell is one of my favorite readers and he did his usual excellent job. Five stars.
I tried all three narrators available for the unabridged Brothers K. I hated them all to begin with, but Covell is the one that I was able to settle into. Davidson's condescension, though I tried my best to ignore it, was just too much. Woolf and Clovell are both underwhelming, and it takes more concentration to hang on, but between them, I like Covell. In general, I've found boring narrations to be less offending to the ear across a long listening than obnoxious ones that might be more dramatic. Listening to Covell is sometimes like hearing those computer-automated voice, but it can actually become endearing after a while. In any case, while his voice didn't do anything to enhance the reading, in the end he didn't detract from it. I've read the book before, and I found the sensation of hearing Covell's reading exactly the same, whereas Davidson's narration jarred the spell completely for me.
It's a shame there is not a reading of this novel as great as Guidall's masterful Crime and Punishment, but this performance still amounts to a wonderful experience.
If you want the story, there is a good movie. Russian novels are difficult at best and the only reason I even understand this is because I took a course on Dostoevsky in college. One of the main problems for non-Russians is the variety of names for a single person: there are formal names, semi-formal names, diminutives and short diminutives. The person who reads this book solves that problem because somehow he makes it clear who he is talking about. Overall, the reader is excellent.
This is the third time I've "read" the novel. Each time you notice something different, like with the appreciation of any timeless artwork. This time I noticed Kolya's interaction with the doctor at Ilusha's fbedside. Who cares about Fyodor? This is the real tragedy. Also, I noticed how boring the lawyer's speeches were at the end of the book and I wondered if Dostoevsky had noticed a market for courtroom dramas and was trying to drive up sales . . . ever the cynic.
I confess I have not finished yet, and suspect I may go to the print book.
The audio levels and recording setup seemed to change abruptly several times throughout this recording. So much so that I was not sure it was all the same narrator. The pacing and tone was also very monotonous and made it very hard not to zone out. That said, I previewed all the available versions and this seemed the least bad.
I suspect that the story would be much more compelling if I were able to sit down and read it on my own.
I actually wish that I could get a refund on this book. I'm halfway through the second part and am very unlikely to get through the whole thing.
A well done reading of a story worth hearing.
I'm not a huge fan of classic literature, but this story is still relevant and powerful, particularly if you know any sullen young "intellectual" men with chips on their shoulders, or happen to be one.
As far as fiction goes, I would rate this #1.
I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of drama, psychology, philosophy, religion, law, & Russian History!
I have not. But based on the 40 hours of this recording, I would recommend, and will definitely seek out other recordings by Covell!
The chapter entitled "The Grand Inquisitor"... Also some of Father Zossima's speeches...
One can tell that this novel was first written serially, and that Dostoyevsky was paid by his output. The story does lag in some places, especially for the modern reader, so accustomed to speed, but all in all the work is a must-read (or must-listen) for the thinker...
Disclaimer, I do not typically listen to the classics, this and The Count of Monte Cristo are the only real classics I have listened to.
Given my background I really struggled getting through this entire book. There were times in the book where Dostoevsky would introduce a meaningful thought or axiom about life in general outside of Russia, but these were few and far between. The book lacked continuity and a clear line of progression. I regret picking this book up on a whim.
Love mystery books
The narration was great.
It is a classic story, many know the plot even before they listen, but still, the way the character development unfolds is masterful. Dostoevsky is genius as most of us recognize it.
Throughly loved it.
"Great book - dull reading"
The narrator here seems to be working on autopilot. When there is a piece of dialogue followed by something like "he said angrily", you realise that Walter Covell frequently hasn't read ahead. Most of the women's voices sound the same. He leaves hardly any gap at the end of a chapter before giving the title of the next one and moving on. The effect is rather relentless. Characters change voice as the book goes on. I had to keep replaying sections to get the meaning. He's not without expression but doesn't do this great book justice.
This is as poor a rendition of a brilliant novel as it has been my misfortune to hear. The narrator seems not to have read the sentences before voicing them, frequently running out of breath before reaching their end. The result is that the ends of phrases seem to be tacked on without rhyme or reason. His struggle with the Russian names is painful, and they seem not to become any more familiar to him as the reading progresses than they were at the start. Added to that, the lack of variety in tone and tempo made the reading sound like a mechanical, text-to-speech machine. Very, very poor.
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