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Publisher's Summary

This magnificent novel is about the murder of a miserly, aged pawnbroker and her younger sister by a radical, destitute St. Petersburg student named Raskolnikov, and the emotional, mental, and physical effects that follow. It is a remarkable masterpiece about a man's turbulent inner life and his relationship to others and to society at large. Dostoevsky explored the human condition on many levels in this great piece, and among the main themes the novel explores is the rather strange theory that criminals have a spiritual need to be punished - that indeed they demand it. Today we might think of this as masochism and dismiss Dostoevsky's thesis as the powerful wanderings of a mind steeped in the mysticism of the Eastern Orthodox Church. But this wonderful classic is far more complex.

Raskolnikov the intellectual divides humanity into two types: the meek, submissive mass of mankind and the "Supermen". The Nietzschean Superman can violate any law or principle to attain his beneficial ends. Since Raskolnikov has allied himself with the Superman, he intends to prove his superiority by committing a murder without remorse by eliminating an "undesirable" person.

The novel's central question is whether it is justifiable to commit an atrocity in order to improve humanity. Dostoevsky shows us that a person cannot control and direct his life solely with his reason and intellect, that free will is limited. Listen as one of the finest psychological novels ever written unfolds.

Translated by Constance Garnett.

©2008 Audio Connoisseur; (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Marsha
  • Walden, NY, USA
  • 01-02-09

Perfect narrator!

Simply amazing narrator! Charlton Griffin, with his mellifluous voice and always-clear perfect diction, breathes new life into this classic Russian novel. He performs every speaker - even women's voices - with artistry, interest, and believability to such an extent that even some of the minor characters (who would ordinarily get lost in the story or seem boring) become interesting. I can't imagine trying to listen to this otherwise long, dark story without the kind of masterful narration that Mr. Griffin gives us. (I will surely seek out all of his narrations!) Anyway, if you are interested in (finally?) delving into this classic, I highly recommend this truly outstanding version!

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Theo
  • RaslouwSouth Africa
  • 02-08-09

Involving and convincing.

I had read the book many years ago, but remembered only that I struggled through the difficult literature, often losing the story line. So I bought the Audiobook to listen to it again and have to admit, I was surprised at the ease with wich the narrator relayed the story. The story is not easy to follow, with difficult emotions, thought processes and circumstances to picture in one's imagination. I think the narrator does an excellent job at involving and convincing the listener of these difficult aspects of the book. Raskolnikov (the main character) is an obscure character in even more obscure circumstances. Throughout the events of the book, his emotions and thought processes take the listener on a journey of the human condition focussing on questions that are still relevant and un-answered today. It culminates in an unexpectedly "correct" yet strangely unfortunate ending, leaving the listener with an appetite to know what happened during the remainder of his exile and thereafter.

As for the author, Dostoyevsky, all I can say is that the story could not have been written without deep, real, personal experiences which are difficult to recreate in the way that he does. I would not want to delete a single explanation or description given throughout the story as it would undermine the overall experience.

A true classic, and very satisfactorily relayed.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • Tempe, Azerbaijan
  • 01-06-09

Fantastic

This audiobook is incredible. The narration is above and beyond any audiobook I've listened to. You surely will not be dissapointed with this one. You feel yourself getting into a criminals mind. Taking every step with him and feeling every emotion. SUBERB. Don't miss this one.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Crime and Punishment

This is my first Dostoevsky experience and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Prior to listening to Crime and Punishment I knew little of Dostoevsky except that he was Russian and best known for Crime and Punishment, a notorious classic. I don't really remember what prompted me to use a credit on this book, except the little I knew, and just for the sake of being able to say one day, "Yes, I've read Crime and Punishment" A part of my decision to download this audio book was the sample of the narrator who has a great voice and did a terrific job bringing this entire story to life. On the book itself, I was surprised at how straight forward it was. I assumed that the text would be difficult and dry to fallow, but I was completely wrong. The only difficulty I had fallowing this book was that some of the characters have similar or the same names, which, at times, was confusing. Now that I can say “Yes, I’ve read (listened) to Crime and Punishment” I can say that I have read better classics. The story goes into so many different directions and some of the directions were more intriguing to me than others and for this reason I won’t give Crime and Punishment five stars. I found the book to be presumptuous and boring at times. Some of the scenes described in this book I know I will never forget though because they were so exciting, intense, original, and most importantly, real. There are lessons to learn in this book, for sure, but now that I have learned them I am moving on to the next book. I could see myself revisiting this book in ten or fifteen years.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Monrovia, CA, USA
  • 01-12-09

Great novel!!

Dostoevsky does a great job in capturing the mind set of the main character Raskolnikov. The author gets you inside this mans head and sucks you into his methodically cunning murderous (and occasionally benevolent) psyche. Just sit back and enjoy this masterpiece of literature from, in my opinion, Russia's most prolific author.

The narrator does remind me of the voice in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland though. Every time I hear his voice it's the first thing I think about. But don't let it deter you. He does a fairly good job with his characterizations.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A complex masterpiece; often irritating narration!

What did you love best about Crime and Punishment (Audio Connoisseur Edition)?

Dostoevsky's novel is so rich in its moral complexities. It is also virtually double plotted and almost Dickensian in its narrative breadth and social consciousness. If one has read it before, one perhaps forgets that the axe murderer, Raskolnikov, and the detective, Porfiry Petrovich, are not the only characters. The large canvas includes the professionally licensed prostitute, Sonia; the child molester, Svidrigailov; the pompous manipulator, Luzhin; and the self loathing alcoholic, Marmelodov. The book abounds in fantastic scenes, some of them (as in the case of Katarina's dinner party) hilarious in a characterically dark Russian way.

What did you like best about this story?

It is endlessly thought provoking and richly detailed. I love the grotesque humor -- such as Raskolnikov's sister, Dunya, trying to shoot her tormentor at close range and repeatedly missing. But it is really the central hero's Superman complex that fascinates the most. And the fact it really takes him most of the novel to get over it.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Charlton Griffin?

Despite his ultra-dignified and impeccable English diction, Charlton Griffin cannot resist adopting an artificially modulated melodramatic tone, and his falsetto characterizations of the women make them all sound exactly like Mickey Mouse. If not Mickey, then Minnie. It is absolutely intolerable to this listener! It's like hearing Francis Flute the Bellows-Mender play Thisbe.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The book is grim with many strokes of black Russian humor. The fact that Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer gave him this novel to read in the Moscow Airport Transit zone is a joke worthy of a scene in Dostoevsky! The book's many comic moments -- in fact the whole ironic Russian mind-set that informs them -- go over most people's heads. I do not find anything in it moving. It's all grotesque. Look for something moving and sentimental stuff elsewhere. That said, Dunya and the charming student, Razumikhin, become a touching couple.

Any additional comments?

The novel is an essential masterpiece. The production is professionally done. But with all the narrator's women sounding like squeaking mice, you may want to scream and open a real book instead. By the way, that's Bartok being used for the occasional bits of music.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great piece of work and well read

obviously a classic piece of work and excellent translation and reading. Narration excellent (with the possible exception of the voice of female characters - admirable effort) otherwise the performance was outstanding. i have read the book previously and found this audio book better than reading it myself. Getting the correct pronunciation of soviet names and places for instance made a big difference to understanding the more subtle aspects of the characters.

Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great plot of human turmoil, beware.

At first I was wondering why I bought this book, though I do like them with lots of hours. Yes pretty silly requirement. This book got better after a few hours and lots better the longer it went on, as it takes allot of time to get into the book fully. Sets itself up very well , but you must listen closely , this is not a simple read and haves a very intriguing ending that is full of surprises and lots of emotion and conflict. For a book being over 150 year old what a psychology wonder encompassing most of the human emotions we our capable of.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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SKIP the first 8 and a half minutes!

I've been devastated several times by this occurrence: a classic novel which I've always wanted to read begins with a boring BIOGRAPHY of the author and a SPOILER-FILLED summary of the book I'm preparing to begin! How frustrating!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

amazing narrator

The narrator for this book is absolutely fabulous. The book is still "Crime and Punishment" but Mr. Griffin makes it absolutely entertaining and saves the day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • 03-04-09

Excellent

The narrator gives well thought out voices to each of the characters and clearly relishes the performance in parts. Only gets confusing when there two female characters speaking in a scene as they all sound more or less the same, but it's a minor quibble.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cathryn
  • 12-31-13

Spellbinding!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! Great narrator, very easy to keep track of the Russian name diminutives. Compelling story. The psychological tension and physical manifistations Rakolnikov endures in the struggle to understand that the suffering of condign punishment is easier to endure than the weight of the crime completely captivated me.

What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

The animation he brought to the characters

Any additional comments?

I was so enraptured that I tripped while listening and broke my arm. I took the time to pause the book before calling the ambulance so I wouldn't lose my place.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sofía M P
  • 10-26-09

A wonderful and actual story

I had read this book at school but didn't remember anything and I really loved it. The characters are great and the story is amusing. A little daunting at first but once you are in the plot, it flows very easily. The narrator was great as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 10-23-10

Excellent novel somewhat spoilt by the narrator

This is an absorbing and powerful novel, but I can't agree with other comments about the narrator. I found his style drawly at times, reminiscent of Lloyd Grossman, and the voice he used, when speaking the lines of the female characters, was the same for all of them - weak, almost pathetic and particularly irritating.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 01-06-17

Top stuff

Thoroughly depressing. Loved every second of it. More books should be written from the perspective of horrible people.

  • Overall
  • osama
  • 11-23-16

Deep insight into criminal psycology

thorough description of a ceiminal's psycology and emotional state... a bit gloomy, not much philosophy.

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  • Geminiras
  • 07-04-15

Crime and True Punishment

I may be the only person on the planet that feels this way, but I found this novel truly awful and in fat painfully so. I couldn't listen to the end because it made me want to stick several forks in my eyes. The narration was even more awful than the novel and seemed to be read by someone for whom English was a new language as the pronunciation of so many of the words was strange and spoken in a way I've never heard before. My Crime was for having attested to take a shortcut into this supposedly great novel and the punishment to have to listen to this extremely strange rendition.

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  • I. Beattie
  • 01-27-15

Utterly absorbing.

Loved this story and generally loved the narration. Some mispronunciation. I am so sad to have now reached the end :(.

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  • Souzan
  • 07-07-14

Very interesting but a bit too much monologue

Would you listen to Crime and Punishment (Audio Connoisseur Edition) again? Why?

Probably but only if I was studying it not for pleasure

What other book might you compare Crime and Punishment (Audio Connoisseur Edition) to, and why?

War and Peace becuase of the russian connection

Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I got quite fed up with all the monologuing. It is not the natural way that people speak

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  • Performance
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  • J. B. Marins
  • 01-20-14

Charlton Griffin and Dostoevsky ... beautiful!

Would you listen to Crime and Punishment (Audio Connoisseur Edition) again? Why?

I don't know Charlton Griffin, but I am already a fan. His voice is unique and the life that he gave for each character...wow!I heard this audiobook many times and I love it! I wish that Mr. Griffin could read " The Idiot" as well.Highly recommend this one!

What did you like best about this story?

Everything!

Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't.

Any additional comments?

Please, ask Charlton Griffin to read " The Idiot".

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  • eoin
  • 03-22-15

Well Worth the effort

Well narrated and an enjoyable production. The backing music heightens suspense and adds to the overall experience. Give it a go