Jim Killavey delivers a dignified performance of The Eternal Husband a novella by revered Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamozov. The wealthy Alexei Ivanovich Velchaninov visits Saint Petersburg, where widower Pavel Pavlovich Trusotsky pays him a surprise visit. The men have a history: Trusotsky’s deceased wife, Natalia, had an affair with Velchaninov. Whether Trusotsky is aware of this - and that the daughter he has been raising is in actuality Velchaninov’s child - is unclear. So begins a thrilling, complex tale about rivalry, love, and hate.
Told from the point of view of a rich and idle man who is confronted by a rival, the husband of his former, and now deceased, mistress, the story concerns the interchanging hatred and love of the two men. The book has both emotional power and an uncompromising insight into the human condition.
(P)1986 Jimcin Recordings
I've always wanted to read Dostoevsky but the size of his books was a little "off-putting." This was the perfect size for me and was a great psychological study. The reading was good but there was a slight "print-through" echo effect. However I stopped noticing that after a few minutes once the story had grabbed me. Five stars.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
Screwed by Love,
Husband, I barely cut you,
Show me your fair daughters,
Laying with your wife,
Some men are perpetually drowned by love,
Hypochondriacs make the best lovers.
Not my favorite Dostoevsky, but definitely a novella that sticks to you, like a nightshirt after a fever. The big D is dealing with amazing themes: class, love, men, women. In someways it reminds me a bit of Beckett, but instead of Vladamir and Estragon, Dostoevsky gives us Velchaninov and Trusotsky -- and instead of God, there is Woman. See?
OK. I'll use another approach. Velchaninov and Trusotsky are binary stars. They are locked together by a woman, a child, and a strange mutual gravity. Pavel Pavlovich (Trusotsky) is fascinated by Velchaninov, but at the same time repelled by him. Alexei Ivanovich (Velchaninov) can't seem to interact with Pavel Pavlovich without disrupting Pavel's relationships with women (past, present, or future).
Then there are all the women. They would seem to be casualties of their society. Bound to be married by their fathers for money. Destined to be controlled by their husbands. Yeah, in theory. In practice, however, the women seem to be the only ones in control. The men have the symbolic power, but the women possess the energy and the force. Anyway, a clever little novel that I might have overlooked if I hadn't run across it in the sale rack of a discount book shop. Lucky for me, stars (and cuckolds) aren't the only things with gravity.
The audio quality of this novella kinda stinks. It sounds a bit like it was recorded by a 1980s Aiwa walkman through a toilet paper tube on a subway. Just based on the recording quality I'd probably avoid this, unless you really, really are a Dostoevsky audio completist.
The first sections are riveting -- like a truely suspensful tale. the tedium in the middle grows aggravating -- the back and forth between the two male characters, the trickery and the vulnerability of each man. It went on for one chapter too long for my taste. I don't know why Dostoevsky added the "analysis" section and then the added chapter at the end. I have thought about it for the few days since I finished it and still can't figure out exactly what Mr. D. was trying to say ... it sort of escaped me. Good story for long drives, though.
Although not one of his most famous works, this novel is a powerful tale and uses two of Dostoevsky's favorite themes - mental torture and neurosis. It is both captivating and revealing and explores love, guilt, and hatred. An incredible tale by a true master.
The narrator is well suited to the story and does an excellent job.
Although written by a favorite Author, I was extremely disappointed by this story.
The Narrator should find something else to do. This is certainly NOT his gift. I can do 100% better. He sounds like a boring 4th Grade reader.
I really can't even rate this whole mess as a 1 but, I did want to encourage you to .. at least get a new Narrator. Very difficult to listen to.
Allow me to Narrate this for you and save you some embarrassment!
The narration is quite bad, but the text of The Eternal Husband shines through. Worth listening to if you can suffer through the two voices of Jim Killavey.
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