©1866 Public Domain; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
The book is a classic, so there is not much to say that wasn't already said by someone. I'll turn to the reading...
WOW. This is the best audiobook I've ever listened to. The narrator, Anthony Heald, reads like he is telling the story from his own head, like it's something that happened to him. Amazing. A very very enjoyable listen and highly recommended for all.
I'll definitely try to check other books read by this guy.
I didn't realize Anthony Heald was such a brilliant audiobook reader; now that I know, I'll be on the lookout for more titles from him in the future. He takes what I had always thought was a fairly stodgy translation and makes it jump off the page (or in my case, out of the iPod). It's a breathless performance, all the characters clearly differentiated, the narration moving forward rapidly, the novel closing in on the climax of the story with almost unbearable tension. There are at least three hearty laughers in this novel, and in Heald's reading we can tell them all apart instantly.
In this case the tension is moral rather than physical. It's a murder mystery of sorts, but one where we see (and FEEL) the crime being committed: Dostoevsky and Heald put us inside Raskolnikov's mind before, during, and after the double murder at the center of the plot. In this case the problem that drives the story isn't whether the police will catch the killer -- although the novel features a clever and persistent detective worthy of the best of the genre -- but whether the killer can be brought to a point where he has the moral courage to confess.
It's a disturbing book, not because of Raskolnikov's minutely-described act of violence, but because of Dostoevsky's pitiless, unblinking gaze at poverty. I can't remember the last time a description of hunger and hopelessness had such a visceral effect on me. I kept wanting to grab Raskolnikov by the collar and scream "EAT SOMETHING!!"
First rate on all counts. Highly recommended.
I got through the first 1/3 of this audiobook but couldn't get myself to move on to the next file. Why do classics have to be so tough like this? I kept some interest while Raskolnikov planned out his murder and executed it but then things slowed down as he dealt with the guilt of his crimes. Dostoevsky's writing seems to meander going off on these tangents of thought like stream-of-consciousness writing that does a good job of representing the feverish state of the main character. However, the writing just didn't pull me in. I didn't CARE about any of the characters. My initial interest in seeing what the big deal was with this much lauded author and my interest in seeing him delve into the psychology of crime slowed waned. Raskolnikov seemed like a parody of melodrama with all his swooning and mood swings. Maybe the story improves a lot after the point where I stopped but I could easily see it going on and on in the same fashion until my joy for audiobooks completely drained away. Maybe I've been too spoiled by plot-driven modern literature to appreciate classics like this, I don't know.
On the other hand, Heald the narrator, does an excellent job of bringing such tough material to life. He throws in mannerisms and affectations in his speech to push his work from mere narration to true character creation. Unfortunately, his narration skills weren't enough to keep me listening to this one. I'll have to find out what else he's narrated though.
Crime & Punishment is near or at the top of my list.. I wanted it in an audiobook, but was leery about quality. This version is superb. Anthony Heald is awesome not only in reading & characterization, but also in pacing and tone. His voice modulation is never too loud or too soft & he always is clearly understandable. The result is a relentless wild ride through emotion, action, philosophy and analysis.
This narrator is simply awesome! His voices are clear and varied, and for one character he even manages to speak accompanied by a consumptive cough! What can I say for the content other than that they're called classics for a reason. Everything means something, and there is beauty in such resolution.
This was a total surprise for one who avoided Russian literature in high school and college. It was so absorbing and accessible. This narrator, Anthony Heald, was the best I have had the pleasure of listening to in my eight years of listening to Audible. I am now going to search for his other works, then try some more Dostoevsky!
The book was interesting. It made me want to continue listening. There was only one chapter that seemed totally pointless to the overall plot though several seemed to drone on at times. There were some events which also seemed to lack reason except perhaps to make you think... because they were never explained. The ending was fine but I expected more. The narrator did well with all of his varied voices. I would give the narrator a 4.5 out of 5 stars and the book I would give a 3.8 out of 5 stars therefore my overall rating is a 4. This is not a light and easy book. I would recommend this book but only to those who have patience and perhaps some maturity.
I can't believe this was written so long ago. Seems like something that would come out right now.
This is a dark, intense novel. The reader does an excellent job making it seem alive and interesting. I never read the book so I can't compare the reading to the actual writing by Dostoevky. It is quite lengthy. I kept wondering what else could happen to make the story so long. I was not disappointed.
This was a very interesting book. I found it annoying how they kept referring to the hero as smart and intellectual even though he rarely showed signs of that sort. Directly after I read it I didn't really care for it, but a week after my mind clicked and I understood the plot theme of the book and I was glad I read it.
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