We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Idiot | [Fyodor Dostoevsky]

The Idiot

In The Idiot, a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man."
Regular Price:$31.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

“My intention is to portray a really beautiful soul.” - Dostoevsky

In The Idiot, a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find “man in man.”

The Idiot is a quintessentially Russian novel, one that penetrates the complex psyche of the Russian people. “They call me a psychologist,” wrote Dostoevsky. “That is not true. I’m only a realist in the higher sense; that is, I portray all the depths of the human soul.”

(P)2001 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (184 )
5 star
 (58)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.0 (97 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (95 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Daniela Sun Prairie, WI, USA 02-05-10
    Daniela Sun Prairie, WI, USA 02-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Dostoevsky does it again"

    I have read other Dostoevsky books before, and for some reason The Idiot has never appealed to me. I love Dostoevsky but did not have high expectations for this book. To my surprise,I really enjoyed this book when I finally decided to listen to it. The story is catching with the typical Dostoevsky observations on life, human behaviour, philosophy without being a lecture on these themes. It is worth reading/listening. Plus, the narration is great.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Sarasota, FL, USA 01-25-10
    Eric Sarasota, FL, USA 01-25-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "engrossing performance of a gripping novel"

    Narrator Robert Whitfield gives individuality to every personality in this character-driven novel. The Idiot careens from drawing room comedy to pathos to political satire sometimes in a wink. Whitfield is up to all the challenges and renders all the tension and nuance found on the page. The only lapse is the light fluttery voice of Natasha Filipovna which does not match the seductive beauty's willful character.

    One star is withheld because of the translation which at key moments opts for a word that, although correct, misses the sarcastic or hyperbolic intent.

    This book will entertain you while you listen and haunt you with its personalities long after.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-04-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-04-13 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7405
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    400
    396
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1244
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complicated, beautiful & ultimately a bit flawed"

    At once 'The Idiot' is a complicated, beautiful and yet ultimately a somewhat flawed novel. Written shortly after 'Crime and Punishment', it seems like Dostoevsky wanted to invert Raskolnikov. Instead of a mad killer, Prince Myshkin the 'Idiot' is an innocent saint, a positive, a beautiful soul and holy fool motivated by helping those around him. He is a Christ in an un-Christian world, a tortured Don Quixote.

    Dostoevsky is able to use Prince Myshkin's spiritual intelligence and Rogozhin's passion to illuminate the main problems and idiosyncrasies of Russian society. But the story still falls a bit short of perfection. It literally falls between 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Brothers Karamazov'; failing to achieve the simple greatness of 'Crime and Punishment' and the complex greatness of 'Brothers Karamazov'. Like Myshkin himself, the novel's intent is nearly perfect, but the execution is just a little off, a little unstable. That doesn't mean I didn't love it. As a novel I adored it. I was both taken by and frustrated with Prince Myshkin.

    Perhaps my favorite parts of this novel fall into the scenes where Dostoevsky is focused on a painting or an execution. He isn't content with a superficial look at the world. He examines things for depth and poignance that actually left me shaking. He studies Holbein's grotesque 'The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb' with a patient, detailed eye that at once appears to capture the whole life and death of Christ. He describes the beheading of John the Baptist; looking for details of his face in that still and eternal second before his execution. In this Dostoevsky is recreating his own near execution and the horror and magnificence that death (or a near death in Dostoevsky's case) brings to a person's fragile, beautiful and flawed life.

    Robert Whitfield's narration is nuanced and gentle.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Rhoades Texas 05-26-10
    J. Rhoades Texas 05-26-10 Member Since 2008

    MrFlyFishinDad

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Classic Soap Opera"

    The story reads much like a soap opera in high society. Some analysts of "The Idiot" claim Dostoevsky designed the characters to be representative of various aspects Russian society in the 1800's while others claim that the main character's are representative of Christ and the devil. Neither were apparent to me. There are also many characters, which make the story the little difficult to follow. (However, kudos to the narrator, who's outstanding performance minimized this particular difficulty with the story.) The story seemed long and at times, seemed to go around in circles without contributing to the whole. While "The Idiot" is not necessarily bad, it does not soar to the heights of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment".

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gavin Collingsworth Windham, NY 01-27-13
    Gavin Collingsworth Windham, NY 01-27-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A performance as beautiful as the story"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Naples, FL, United States 06-03-11
    Mark Naples, FL, United States 06-03-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Captures Dostoyevsky's Hero"

    Robert Whitfield's reading of Prince Myshkin is perfect. It is worth buying the audiobook. There is a certain genius in the way Whitfield's inflection unveils the personality of Myshkin - the personality Dostoevsky surely considered "heroic." This reading is truly a unique accomplishment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jon Northbridge, Australia 07-30-12
    jon Northbridge, Australia 07-30-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Performance"

    Wonderful Version. The produnciation of the russian names was first rate. Character voices were well chosen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Richmond, VA, United States 05-17-11
    Jacob Richmond, VA, United States 05-17-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "excellent reading"

    This novel has a bewildering number of characters.
    Robert Whitfield manages to give each of them a different voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Halena Alexandria, KY, United States 10-15-10
    Halena Alexandria, KY, United States 10-15-10 Member Since 2005

    Artist in Northern Kentucky. Loves listening to books. My likes are history, mystery and some , and mostly writers of the twentieth century

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "True analysis of human character"

    It's amazing to see the different directions people will go to in their conceptions of a another person's behavior.

    Truly enjoyed this book -- Narrator did a great job!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
Sort by:
  • Amin Amouhadi
    South Africa
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Excellent narration"

    It worked very well for me. Basically it helped me to finish a rather long story which if it hadn't been for Whitfield's narration I would have probably dropped it right before the end. Whitfield's narration gives a different spirit and energy to the novel as it sometime lacks the skills that Dostoevsky shows in, for example, Crime and Punishment.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    London, United Kingdom
    3/30/11
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Great book, beautifully read. The reader does an especially good job of differentiating the characters.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.