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The Idiot [Blackstone] Audiobook

The Idiot [Blackstone]

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Publisher's Summary

Despite the harsh circumstances besetting his own life - abject poverty, incessant gambling, and the death of his firstborn child - Dostoevsky produced a second masterpiece, The Idiot, just two years after completing Crime and Punishment. In it, 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."

©2000 Blackstone Audiobooks. Originally published in 1880 in Russia.

What the Critics Say

"Nothing is outside Dostoevsky's province....Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading." (Virginia Woolf)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (584 )
5 star
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4.2 (359 )
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4.4 (351 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 06-02-05
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 06-02-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overall excellent, although a long haul"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 05-15-05
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 05-15-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, good narration, poor transcription"

    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.)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Parkin, AR, USA 08-16-09
    Gary Parkin, AR, USA 08-16-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Come along then...only you"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis La Palma, CA, USA 02-21-07
    Louis La Palma, CA, USA 02-21-07 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 08-22-16
    Emily 08-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read Russian lit - don't listen to it"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TJ Diamond 06-22-16
    TJ Diamond 06-22-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Another decent story from a Russian great"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 06-15-16
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 06-15-16 Member Since 2015

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding translation and performance"

    This was an outstanding translation and performance of the famed novel the idiot. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John W McLellan Los Angeles 04-16-16
    John W McLellan Los Angeles 04-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "An outstanding presentation of a truly great novel"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dakota Jean West Palm Beach, FL 02-20-16
    Dakota Jean West Palm Beach, FL 02-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant narration of an epic book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 05-11-15
    Ann 05-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Listened to it twice"

    I think this narrator is immensely talented and often listen to him. I have to subtract a star for the voices of Nastasha and Ippolet who are central characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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