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Editorial Reviews

George Guidall's performance of this literary classic transports the audience to the slums of St. Petersburg and deep into the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov, a young Russian intellectual. Raskolnikov murders an old woman, a money-lender and pawn-broker he considers repugnant. He reasons that he'll repay his crimes with good deeds. Although he justifies the murder using reason and intellect, he is ultimately consumed by guilt. Crime and Punishment is one of the most influential works of literature in the world. Guidall's tremulous voice captures the severity and suspense of this story, making this an unforgettable experience for the listener.

Publisher's Summary

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.

Translation by Constance Garnett, originally published in 1917.
Public Domain (P)1991 by Recorded Books, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools...which hiss and boil and suck us in. They are composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul." (Virginia Woolf)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Greg
  • Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  • 02-07-04

Wonderful Book

I have attempted to read this book twice in the past, both times past the halfway point. Each time I added a much more painful tone to the book than the narrator did in his reading. This meant that I stopped reading the book because it was too mentally overwhelming. However, the narrator reads this book well, both adding more characterization than I did myself and providing a way to seperate characters. The 24 hours went by quickly and found it didn't seem like a long book at all.

Crime and Punishment is a beautiful novel of suffering, pride, hope, redemption, and guilt. Through Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamozov and this novel I have considered all those themes much differently in my life.

46 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Sedona, AZ, United States
  • 07-30-08

Masterful narration of a masterpiece

I have read Dostoevsky's masterpiece in the past and wanted to reread it but considered it a huge chore. Instead, I decided to listen to George Guidall's rendition because of my past enjoyment of his amazing gift as a catalyst between the written word and the spoken word.. The audiobook immediately captured my interest and attention in a way that reading the book never did. Guidall made the characters come alive. How a narrator could carefully enunciate all the Russian names and give them separate voices and fully express the emotions and meaning in the text seemed such a wonderful feat, that I felt an obligation to tell potential listeners that they should not be afraid to invest the 25 plus hours to enjoy one of the greatest classics of world literature.

43 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pure excellence

Before you hear this title, be aware that many other books you have read will seem worse than you thought of them before, and the initial glow of many new books could fade away fast in comparison. At least, that is what happened to me when I read this book. Dostoevsky is one of the best, if not the foremost, describers of our human nature, and "Crime and Punishment" is a work of genius. It is a long book, yes, but then again our human nature is hard to describe swiftly. It is an understatement that I highly recommend this well read masterpiece.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pride

Admit it-- there is a certain pride in having accomplished the completion of such a regarded and challenging book, even if it is in audio format. After all, it is not always easy to continue to the end, but not because it is poorly done or boring. As it notes in the prologue, one author describes reading this as being infected with a disease. This classic novel will move you, it will make you think and feel, but you won't always be thinking and feeling positive, happy things.

As is so vitally important in such matters, the reader must be good. While I tired of his interpretation of the main character, Raskolnikov, overall he was a suprior interpreter, a reading of the first class. He better be to listen to him for over 25 hours.

In the end, I have found myself referring to the notions I took from this book in conversations all the time. It has invaded my psyche and is even now affecting some of my personal philosophies as I continue to digest it.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Walter
  • Sharon, PA, USA
  • 12-23-03

the unconscious made conscious

Dostoevsky was said to be able to bring the human unconscious to life in his writings. I have read this masterwork 3 times in my life; it exhausted me each time! I felt somewhat better when I learned that Robert Louis Stevenson had a similar experience. This audiobook is read by a master narrator. One truly experiences Raskolnikov's inner mind, which is the book's essence. This is a must-have for any serious lover of literature.

66 of 68 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

One of the best recorded novels

A haunting classic, read by one of the best I've heard. He is so good, that I clicked on his name to find out what else he is reading. The novel itself is easy to follow, tense, and stimulates much thinking. If you have any inclination to read classics, start here!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Superb

The novel is a completely gripping study of the mind of the leading character. The narration is superb, no other word for it. His voice is clear and dynamic. When doing dialog you could be listening to a group of different actoors performing the piece. In fact I chose my next selection solely on searching for the same narrator.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Nicely Done

This is a very good audio book. The narrator fits the novel and does well to retain your interest. He does a good job of distinguishing each character by changing his voice slightly. Definately worth getting, if you can deal with a 25 hour novel.

70 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic but what else would you exect?

With Fyodor Dostoevsky as the author and George Guidall as the narrator, you would expect excellence and that's exactly what you get. I put this off because of the length, but it's worth every second. Don't overlook this one. A timeless classic; a timeless narrator.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bob
  • Tujunga, CA, USA
  • 01-26-04

A looooong book, but worth it

The narration for this very long book was GREAT! I often lose track of who's who in a book, and there's a lot of characters. But the narrator keeps them all straight and voices each one beautifully.
The stereo-typical russian novel in length, this book tells a story of redemption for the un-redeemable, but in an incredibly human way.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Balbir
  • 10-25-08

Masterpiece

This is Dostoevsky?s most complete work. The narration by George Guidall, one of the titans of audio book narration is perfection. He brings to characters to life and his perfect pronunciation of Russian names makes this complex and vast work accessible to all.

The translation by Constance Garnett often gets a bad press, but in my opinion is far superior to the 'modern' translations, which may or may not be more accurate (I cannot read the original Russian text), but are not as enjoyable to read or well written.

On the whole this is a brilliant work and an exceptional audio book. It may the most expensive version, but you get what you pay for. In my opinion it?s worth every penny.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ehab
  • 01-06-09

Simply awesome!

If the paper version is a ?page turner?, this version is an ?ear burner?! A masterful vocal depiction of complex and tense emotions and multidimensional characters? but don?t take my word for it, ?see? for yourselves!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • 08-13-10

A Beautiful Reading

It is difficult to see how a reading of this book could be better. It is perfectly paced, expressive and clear. Each character has a distinct, natural voice. The settings and characters come alive. Wonderful

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 10-07-11

Really rather good

I've made it a third of a way through the book twice now and decided that the audiobook was the way to go. It's not always easy to listen to and you do have to work at it, but before long the story and - moreover - the characters get under your skin and they stay there for a very long time.
The narration is really excellent. The pronunciation, individual characterisations, constantly shifting pace and erratic mono and dialogues would challenge any narrator. He does a stunning job of keeping on top of the delivery.
As to what was going through Dostoevsky's head when he wrote it, I'm not too sure. It's a journey, in any case. Partly through the world as it was at that time and partly through the mind of a man who's not quite the full kopeck...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Diana
  • 04-07-13

So much easier than reading this complex novel

I was struggling to read this novel for my book group and finding the Russian names difficult so decided to try it as an audio book. The book is well read and the author knows how to pronounce all those Russian names. The novel became an enjoyable experience rather than a 'must do'.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amin Amouhadi
  • 12-23-12

Very engaging

I have got a general method of using audiobooks which I suppose would affect my review too. I normally read and listen. That is, while I'm hearing to the audiobook I read the book simultanously. This, I believe, helps to get the most out of the both experiences.

My first audible experience was with Crime and Punishment. Although I'd had listened to the various audiobooks before, but this was the first time that I read the whole book in concert with listening to its narration. George Guidall's narration of the Crime and Punishment was fascinating and very engaging. The particular connection that his narration makes between the reader and the main character of the novel--Raskolnikov-- is beyond imagination. It definitely gets the reader into the world of the novel and shed even more light on one of the masterpieces of Dostoevsky. Guidall's soothing voice plus his tactful narration will help the reader of Crime and Punishment to live the novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • davybush
  • 01-29-16

Excellent Novel

The story caught my attention immediately. The voice of the reader is s pleasure to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Raal Harris
  • 11-20-15

Incredible performance

It's a classic of course so no need to talk about what a fantastic piece of literature it is. George Guidall's narration is amazing in that he manages subtle alterations in his voice to help distinguish characters and really bring the text to life. A highly pleasurable way to spend 26 hours

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robin Goode
  • 04-14-16

The crime? Writing this. The punishment Hearing it

Full of tedious moral machinations, first person philosophical debate and banal romanticism. How did this ever get recommended

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • ripped off
  • 04-09-16

oh my some good moments but

This book goes on and on recovering the principle of martyers and sinners from many angles.

By the end so bored with the labouring of the main characters key personality flaw felt like shouting it out from the audience.

A few gems of prose and analysis but.....

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  • Benjamin Lupton
  • 11-15-17

Had to give up on this narration

12 hours through this audio book and had to give up on it. After listening to the audio samples of all the different narrations of this book, I chose this one based on the nice atmosphere/tonality/emotion that this narrator provides. However, it turned out to be a terrible mistake. The narrator has one voice for all the characters, making the conversation scenes impossible to follow - and even a lot of the book impossible to follow. At first I thought that this was due to the Constance Garnett translation that all the audiobooks are based off, so I tried the Pevear & Volokhonsky as well as the Ready translations in Kindle format, no doubt they are superbly better translations in general, and especially as Ready includes footnotes so you can understand the subtle references - Garnett even omits so much detail. However that said, neither of those Kindle versions have audiobooks. So I tried the other 2 audiobooks that I had shortlisted. The Heald and Griffin versions. The Heald was better, but still difficult to follow. The Griffen edition however, includes music, and is superb, all characters have different voices, and it is easy to follow.

I really wish that Guidall did a better job of giving different characters different voices.