©2000 Blackstone Audiobooks. Originally published in 1880 in Russia.
"Nothing is outside Dostoevsky's province....Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading." (Virginia Woolf)
This novel is always interesting, but often difficult to follow and I think many people will be tempted to give up in a few spots. I would concur with the other reviewers that the narrator did a good job with a challenging cast of characters to distinguish. I would also suggest that this is not the easiest introduction to Dostoyevsky -- Crime and Punishment or even Notes from the Underground would be better.
The audible transcription cuts off 30-60 seconds from the end of each part. Very disconcerting. The book and narrator, however, are worth every minute. (I do think Crime and Punishment was more engaging, though.)
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.
This is another triumph for Robert Whitfield, the master narrator of the classic novel. Readers who assign a low rating to such a great work of literature and such a masterful reading should probably stick to popular, lighter modern works. There are lots of great pieces in that catergory.
This was a good story and it moves along at a decent speed which is remarkable in Russian literature. I've read some and listened to some, and I'm finally convinced that it is too dense to enjoy as an audiobook. It just turns you around. And because the patronymics are not clearly laid out, the first half of the audiobook is spent trying to figure out which goes with which character. It is a good story and the characters are good, but I almost feel that it could have been a novella, it is so odd and charming but gets weigh laid with heavier material in the middle.
Really food dialogue throughout touching on those key elements Dostoevsky always includes in his works, primarily morals/ethics, religion. Additionally, memorable characters and rich characterization. At times tough to get through but well worth it.
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
This was an outstanding translation and performance of the famed novel the idiot. I highly recommend it.
I've read The Idiot twice before, the last time about three years ago. The thing with Russian literature (note: I'm a huge fan of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bulgakov), is that it's super easy getting confused with various plot lines, character arcs, and the lack of clarity (at least for me) with where the overall narrative is going. The Idiot is in my "top 5" list of favorite novels, so I was curious whether listening to it versus reading it might bring the narrative a little more to life for me.
Well, not really. Though I don't blame this version for it. The narrator did an outstanding job with the various characters and with the overall storytelling. He has a nice voice that just kinda sucks you in.
The story is wonderful though - I'm not going into the plot, because the novel is less about the particulars of the story than it is about the ideas conveyed. Can a truly good man (or woman) exist in the world without becoming corrupted? Are we cursed to a life of sorrow and suffering because of our past sins? Are we evil people who do good things or the other way around? Etc, etc. Some of the ruminations about the existence of God, the Catholic Church, and the
Nature of evil are incredibly deep and profound, and as ever applicable to our day and age as the were in Dostoevsky's time.
This book demands engagement, in order to fully appreciate it. I would recommend listening to the audiobook while following along with the written text in order to grasp the full weight of this masterpiece.
This is indeed one of the best books, simply ever. The narration was incredibly well done; I highly recommend it and it's worth every minute of the 23 hours.
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