Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.
"Best "Karamazov" yet."
A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-stricken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it.
Prince Lyov Nikolayevitch Myshkin is one of the great characters in Russian literature. Is he a saint or just naïve? Is he an idealist or, as many in General Epanchin's society feel, an "idiot"? Certainly his return to St. Petersburg after years in a Swiss clinic has a dramatic effect on the beautiful Aglaia, youngest of the Epanchin daughters, and on the charismatic but willful Nastasya Filippovna. As he paints a vivid picture of Russian society, Dostoyevsky shows how principles conflict with emotions - with tragic results.
The great explorers were the celebrities of their day - the romance and danger of their daring expeditions captured the public imagination and the world's headlines to an extraordinary degree. Not all of them lived to tell the tale, of course, but those who emerged triumphant from jungle, desert, or polar wasteland were hailed as if returning from beyond the grave. Journalists vied for their stories and publishers rushed their firsthand accounts of exciting and dangerous journeys into print for a wide and voracious readership.
Lovely old Mr. Loveday, who looks after the feeble-minded patients, is so deserving of a day off, isn’t he? And then there's that lost traveller who's rescued in the Amazon and conscripted to read Dickens, a man who hates radios, Bella Fleace's party and a whole host of hilarious characters that Evelyn Waugh ruthlessly satirises with his elegant, malicious prose. If you've never read Waugh then this collection is an excellent introduction. If you know his novels then his short stories are a revelation.